Members of UW-Madison’s Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) take a look back at the 2015-16 academic year
Outreach and service
The Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) at UW–Madison provided community service to the Madison area through its continued partnerships with the Badger Childhood Cancer Network (BCCN) and Avalon Assisted Living. Each month, SOTA members play games and create art projects with children while parents of BCCN lead a support group. Play and leisure is imperative for all children, especially those whose lives are affected by cancer. At Avalon Assisted Living, students help run a monthly balance exercise class for older adults.
Additionally, SOTA members participated in a variety of other events, including the: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walk with social work students; National Multiple Sclerosis Society walk; Polar Plunge for Special Olympics; and the English Tea Event at The Madison Senior Center.
In April, students took part in Family Night at the Madison Children’s Museum with teen parents and their families. OT students provided information on child development and care.
AOTA Annual Conference
Both students and faculty of UW–Madison’s Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program took a road trip to Chicago for the annual American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) conference in April. This was one of the largest gatherings of OT practitioners and students in the world, with approximately 10,000 in attendance. Students presented posters at the conference on a variety of topics including: stress and adolescent pregnancy; sensory integration on motor outcomes in autism spectrum disorder; and group vs. individual exercise interventions for Parkinson disease.
Students also attended the 2015 Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association Conference in nearby Fitchburg, Wis.
Student news ticker
Throughout the year, students participated in a range of interprofessional health events on topics including chronic conditions, pain management, mental health, and general patient care. These events provided an opportunity for MSOT students to interact with students from other health disciplines and collaborate on case studies.
In September, students attended the Caroline Thompson Memorial Lecture with AOTA President Ginny Stoffel. Before the lecture, MSOT students were invited to a private discussion with Stoffel.
In March, occupational therapy and physical therapy students from UW Madison held a rehabilitation job fair where they were able to connect with local healthcare business employers from different settings.
The MSOT class of 2016 graduated on May 14 at Camp Randall Stadium. Following the ceremony, SOTA held a celebration banquet on campus. And the incoming MSOT class of 2018 was welcomed at an orientation on June 3, 2016 at Union South.
UW–Madison’s Sabrina Hilton earlier this year was able to meet U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin during fieldwork practicum work in Washington, D.C.
The MSOT program requires students to complete two, three-month clinical rotations practicing in the field of OT.
But Hilton elected to have a third fieldwork experience before starting her occupational therapy career, and worked for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in Bethesda, Maryland, as a member of AOTA’s Federal Affairs team.
In this position, Hilton advocated for the OT profession and was able to work with those in Congress and other federal agencies to include occupational therapy considerations into current legislation.
2016-17 OT Student Scholarship Winners
Mildred Averill Scholarship
Jean Chapman Kiernat Scholarshi
Adeola (Toni) Solaru
Elizabeth Roughton Travel Award
Karina Lathrop, Samantha Evander Elmore and Kathleen Kubisiak
Caroline G. Thompson Scholarship Fund
Brittany St. John and Karina Lathrop
Caroline G. Thompson Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowships
Pin-Kuei (Cara) Chen and I-Chen Chen
Lucile Schreiber and Wendel A. Witkay Scholarship Fund
Carl Oliver, Katherine Crider, Courtney Engel, Robyn Geist, April LaGrave and Caitlin Rhoten
Amelia Doyon Scholarship
Linda Anderson Memorial
Sarah Cook and Brittany Ewert