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OT Students Showcase Research Efforts Ahead of Graduation

By Colby Gallagher

Published on May 8, 2019

2019 OT Research Posters EventMonths of hard work was put on display at an event that showcased the research of the graduating occupational therapy class.

In order to earn a doctorate of occupational therapy at USciences, students must complete and present their research to members of the OT community, alumni, faculty, and others at the annual event.

The areas of study ranged from body image in female cancer survivors to traumatic events in children.

“This event represents USciences as a leader in the OT community. One of the feathers in our cap is that there are many different ways that you can do a doctoral project and we’ve chosen the most rigorous, a formalized research project instead of other viable avenues.” said Wendy Walsh PhD, MOT, OTR/L, interim chair of the OT department. “Having the students go through the entire research process is something that sets our students apart and we are really proud of them and the process we provide for them to grow.”

Dr. Walsh said this year’s class of 18 students is the largest yet, meaning the event is one of the largest the department has hosted. Once the students graduate, they’re invited back as alumni to see what future occupational therapists are bringing to the field.

2019 Occupational Therapy Post Presentation Event

“Alumni participate in the scholarly engagement with students and that’s really important for them to be able to accurately reflect their work and their findings, so it’s a growth piece for the student, said Dr. Walsh. “They’ve done tremendous work over this last year to do experiential hours and collect data culminating in these final research projects.”

Alumni and other OTs are able to earn continuing education credits for attending. Dr. Walsh said the mutually beneficial event helps to contribute to the scholarly work of occupational therapy here in the community.

Undergraduate students also use the research presentations as a way to gauge the type of work and effort that will be required of them in their final year.

“Whenever you do research, it’s never a smooth line. It sort of looks like loose yarn in a pile, and not a neat ball,” said Dr. Walsh. “It’s the process and the product, but the process is really where the student grows into that clinician who is ready to apply for a job and work in our own communities.”

Encouraging graduates to come back and stay involved with the University is a goal of the OT department according to Dr. Walsh. She said with this success of this year’s event, the bond with alumni continues to grow.

Categories: News, Samson College of Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Students, Alumni, Event, Continuing Education, Current Research Project