Letter from the director

OT student doing research with child


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Occupational Therapy
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Letter from the Director

Reflecting back on my first year as director of UW–Madison’s Occupational Therapy Program, two words keep occupying my mind; change and celebration. No healthy organization ever remains static but rather, to be viable, we must continually adapt to environmental transformation and seek opportunities in the challenges set before us. 

Ruth Benedict‚ÄčUW–Madison and the OT Program are in active states of change. Our new chancellor and the coming of a new provost will undoubtedly lead UW–Madison to novel ways of fulfilling our mission. Rapidly evolving technology and the call for accountability are prompting innovative models of teaching and learning. Turnover in faculty and our ever-shifting student body bring enthusiasm, energy and creative new ideas to the OT Program. 

During the past year, we celebrated the long-term leadership of Mary Schneider as she moved into retirement and we wished Julia Wilbarger well as she reconnected with her California roots. We welcomed Karla Ausderau and Kristen Pickett, both joining our faculty with post-doctoral research training. Our MS-OT class is the largest ever with 26 students, selected from well over 200 applicants. The diversity of our classes continues to grow and your financial gifts provide support to an increasing number of students. 

In this edition of OT Matters, you will read about many of our accomplishments during the past year, including the exemplary performance of our students on the NBCOT exam and a range of important contributions from our faculty. And you’ll learn about our newest initiative, an online post-professional OTD program that is under development and will enable therapists such as you to become visionary leaders through the translation and application of evidence to inter-professional contexts. 

Finally, we want to celebrate you, our Badger alumni, who so readily share your time, your talents and your resources to mentor and support students and the mission of the UW–Madison OT Program. We hope you will join us this fall for our Caroline Thompson Memorial Lecture or next spring for our Badger Bash at the AOTA Conference in Baltimore. 

Thank you for your continued interest and support!

 Ruth Benedict 

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