2013 OT Matters Alumni Updates

OT student doing research with child


Main Office

Occupational Therapy
School of Education
2120 Medical Sciences Center
1300 University Avenue
MadisonWI  53706-1691

Tel: 608/262-2936
Fax: 608/262-1639

Email: otoffice@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

Alumni Updates header

Ethel Erickson Radmer BS 1957 

Ethel has published four non-fiction books, has a fifth at the publisher and is writing a sixth. Ethel reports that all of the medical, restoring health, function and independence aspects of earning and using her occupational therapy degree have heavily influenced who she is and what she writes. 

Cynthia Ann Rayburn Wise BS 1959 

Cynthia reports that she now is 99 percent retired after a solid 50 years of OT talk, OT change and OT innovation. She notes that she clearly recalls filling out forms at the UW where one checked a box for correct age group and thinking, “OMG-ages 65-70, that is unbelievable!” Last fall, Cynthia completed her second sprint-distance triathlon and did a 5k in June of 2013. She reports that OT has never lost its core belief and practice in occupation, but the changes, growth and development have been amazing. She sends a special thanks to UW and Caroline Thompson OT/R! 

Mary Wollenburg BS 1974 

Mary reports spending most of her career working with the seriously mentally ill population on an outpatient basis. Most of her work centered around learning skills in money management, hygiene, basic housekeeping skills and socialization techniques. Mary says she was divorced in 2000 and retired to live in her condo on a lake. 

Rachelle Dorne BS 1975 

Rachelle is an associate professor and Master of Occupational Therapy program director at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She has been in academe for 22 years. Her research interests are in aging in place, home assessment and modification, teaching and learning, and hoarding by older adults. Rachelle is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. She has three children; two earning degrees in the arts and one in law. Rachelle reports that her occupational therapy degree from UW–Madison prepared her well for occupation-based practice and made her eager to pursue graduate education. She is looking forward to a trip this fall to Hong Kong, where she will visit an occupational therapy educational program as part of her travel. 

Lisa F. Harris BS 1980 

Lisa reports having relocated to San Diego from Scottsdale, Ariz., more than two years ago, noting the she became tired of the hot, long summers and was ready for a change. When Lisa relocated to San Diego, she notes that she took a position with UCSD Medical Center in La Jolla. The director of rehab who interviewed Lisa was also a UW graduate in the class two years ahead of her. She reports that the two had many of fond memories of UW–Madison to share. The two are both huge Badger fans and there is a lot of red during football season. Lisa practices in the outpatient Hand and Physical Therapy Department at the Perlman Medical offices. Lisa reports having fond memories of UW–Madison and the Occupational Therapy program, which was part of the school of Allied Health many years ago. She also has fond memories of the ice cream at the Memorial Union, UW football games, Lake Mendota and the “cookie man.” 

Robert A. Thompson — BS 1980 

At the end of June, Robert retired from his school-based occupational therapy position in the School District of the Menomonie Area. He had been working full-time in that capacity for 21 years. At the time of his retirement, Robert had just completed his fifth year as president of the Menomonie Education Association. He also was named the 2010 New Delegate of Distinction at the New Orleans National Education Association Representative Assembly. Robert reports that he was married in April of 2008 to his wife, Linda. For both of them, he says it was their second marriage. Robert says he will be looking forward to pursuing part-time employment opportunities utilizing the skills he has learned the past 32 years, directly or indirectly, as an occupational therapist. 

Karen Frank Barney BS 1965, MS 1982 

Karen was selected to present in “The Last Lecture” series, April 17, 2013, at Saint Louis University. She was elected to Alpha Sigma Nu, Jesuit Honor Society, in May 2013, and was awarded emerita status at Saint Louis University effective July 1, 2013. 

Jane Kozicki Ross BS 1985 

Jane obtained a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in May 2012. She continues to work as a school-based therapist in DuPage County, Ill. 

Amber Ward BS 1993 

Amber works full time in a clinic with clients with progressive disorders like ALS and muscular dystrophies. This December, she is speaking at the International ALS/MND Symposium in Milan, Italy, on “Gadgets and Gizmos for the ALS client.” She also is presenting a poster in Milan titled, “Power wheelchair use as it affects quality of life and function in the client with ALS.” Amber also is the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association president.

Tatiana Kaminsky BS 1995 

Tatiana lives in Seattle and is an associate professor of occupational therapy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. She has been teaching there since 2005. Tatiana earned her post-professional degrees (master’s and Ph.D.) at the University of Washington. She teaches the adult neurological rehabilitation and gerontology courses. 

Joe Handrick BS 1996 

Joe Handrick is serving as the administrator of the Equal Rights Division at the state’s Department of Workforce Development. He joined the agency in August 2012. The position gives Joe the continued opportunity to advocate for equal rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities. He had represented the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association as a lobbyist and governmental affairs specialist since 2002 after serving six years in the Wisconsin State Assembly in the 1990s. 

Liz Wall BS 2000 

Liz began serving on the AOTA Early Intervention & School Systems Special Interest Section Committee last summer and spoke at the AOTA School Specialty Conference in July. She started working toward an educational leadership degree last fall. Liz is currently an occupational therapist in the Boulder (Colo.) Valley School District. 

Nanette H. Wilde MS 2010 

Nanette is currently serving as the Director of Pediatric Therapy at a beautiful outpatient therapy facility called Reavis Rehab & Wellness Center in Round Rock, Texas. While she directs the pediatric department (OT, ST and PT), she also has the opportunity to treat patients across the life span who are experiencing upper extremity dysfunction due to illness disease or injury. Professionally, she reports that it has been rewarding and interesting to explore such a variety of diagnoses. She also has enjoyed considerable research and practice opportunities, particularly in the area of pediatric CIMT (constraint induced movement therapy). She reports that OT offers a variety of practice venues. Nanette’s advice to new grads is to feel free to explore and be sure you understand how the facility or organization you are considering is managed, and the level of support/mentoring that is available. With the right fit, she says that OT can be a very rewarding career. 

Sarah Brenberg BS 2010, MS 2012 

After finishing fieldwork and graduating from the occupational therapy program in December, Sarah studied for and took the NBCOT exam, passed and started working as a traveling OT. She worked for five months as a traveling therapist in two different skilled nursing facilities in central California. She then accepted a permanent position at Therapy in Action, a pediatric outpatient SI clinic in Los Angeles where she completed her final fieldwork. Sarah says she could not be more excited to be back in pediatrics at such an incredible clinic — although she occasionally misses the Midwest and is definitely missing Badger football this fall!  

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