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USciences OT Student Project Improves Penn Transit Shuttle Service for Campus

By Michael E. Lapotasky

OT Students

From left to right, front: Marlene Zack MOT’18, Rachel Hernandez MOT’18, and Ashley Lewis DrOT’19; Assistant Professors of Occupational Therapy Mindy Macrone-Wojton and Wendy Fox; Penn Transit Associate Director Michael Randolph. From left to right,back: USciences Public Safety Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Lapotasky and Director Michael Stitley.  

Late in the fall 2016 semester , three eager occupational therapy students approached the Department of Public Safety with a terrific idea for improving the accessibility, convenience, and safety of the Penn Transit Shuttle that serves the USciences Community and the University City District. Their goal for this project was inspired by the culminating assignment known as “The Advocacy Project for Creating Change” in their course “The Past, Present and Future of Occupational Therapy” that is taught and facilitated by assistant professors of occupational therapy Mindy MacRone-Wojton DSc, OTR/L and Wendy Fox, MOT, OTR/L.

The students, Marlene Zack MOT’18, Rachel Hernandez MOT’18, and Ashley Lewis DrOT’19 approached Director of Public Safety Michael Stitley and Public Safety Department Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Lapotasky to ask for assistance in connecting with Penn Transit and facilitating their project which aimed at bringing the pick-up and drop-off for the shuttle onto the campus versus its previous location at 42nd and Woodland Avenues. Providing Public Safety with their well-researched and documented proposal and brief, these budding occupational therapists clearly conveyed and communicated their plan, the improvements, and its value.

With the blessing and support of the University leadership, inquiries were made with Penn Transit Shuttle leadership. Through Brian Manthe, the executive director of parking and transportation, the project was forwarded by Penn Transit Associate Directors Michael Randolph and John Gustafson for their approval. As soon as it was approved, as all parties were compelled by the great work of the students and their professors for creating a community improvement project-based learning experience.

The new location for the pick-up and drop-off is now at the corner of the University’s main parking lot, also known as the Breyer’s Lot, near the Student Services Office. It will soon be marked by a pick-up and drop-off sign on the nearest light pole. This new location not only increases safety for the campus community, but is a great testament to the civic nature of many of curricular components and the value of our student’s visions, ideas, and commitment to our campus community.

This new location will be in effect when students return to the USciences from their spring break.

Categories: Announcement, News, Students, Academics, Samson College, Department of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy