Letter from the director, Ruth Benedict

OT student doing research with child


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Letter from the Director

After a long Wisconsin winter, I’m reveling in watching my garden flourish as summer turns to fall. The beauty of my garden is, in large part, attributable to the talents of my gardening colleagues and friends. I stand in awe of their lovely yards, cherish their advice, and am grateful for the plants they dig and share.

Ruth Benedict
Ruth Benedict
Like my garden, there is pleasure in being part of a growing and flourishing OT Program. In this issue, you will read about the myriad ways the UW–Madison OT Program continues to blossom. Our cover article features the research of Karla Ausderau, an assistant professor who joined us in 2012. Her work is a striking example of the everyday occupation of feeding and its importance in the family life of children. The story about Ted Elias and his journey into OT is quite touching, and but one example of the diverse stories our 300-plus applicants share in their statements about choosing OT as a career. Once on campus, students quickly become rooted in their studies but also engage in countless extracurricular activities that benefit their own growth, as well as that of the community. You will read about their accomplishments in the Student News.

Our faculty continues to grow with the addition of Kristen Pickett and Brittany Travers, both experts in motor control and learning, but viewed through different lenses. The list of publications in this edition will quickly convince you of the important contributions the OT faculty are making to the field. Several faculty members and doctoral students presented their research at WFOT in Yokohama, Japan in June and took advantage of opportunities to network with the global OT community. Visiting with many of you at the AOTA Alumni Party in Baltimore in April was a highlight of our year.

Over 70 years of planting seeds, tending plants and providing needed food and water have produced a strong, healthy and successful program. We stand in awe of you, our alumni, students, faculty and staff, that have long been the gardeners nurturing the growth of Badger OTs!

On Wisconsin!
-- Ruth Benedict

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