We would like to extend a huge congratulations to Anne Mueller who has recently received the Student Award of Excellence from the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association (WOTA)!
Anne is a grad student who will graduate in December with an MS in Occupational Therapy who is supervised by Dr. Beth Fields. She told me that she decided to pursue a career in OT because, “it is a holistic, client-centered profession that will enable me to work with people of all ages and abilities with therapeutic expertise. I have a strong interest in working with older adults and their families in a home health setting to promote safe, productive, and independent aging in place.” Anne’s primary research in Dr. Fields’ Geriatric Health Services lab is focused on exploring the relationship between health care interactions and burden experienced by care partners of older adults. She is finalizing a manuscript for publication and she is presenting the preliminary results at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting. She is also currently finishing her second-level fieldwork assignment in a home health setting. In addition, Anne mentors two undergraduate students working on a systematic review project. During her time at UW-Madison, Anne has also contributed to a webinar on enabling environments for successful aging in place, a 90-min course at WOTA’s Annual Conference on bridging the communication divide between adults with IDD and their communities, and two critically appraised papers that were submitted to AOTA earlier this year.
Dr. Fields nominated Anne for the award which is intended “To recognize a WOTA student member who has accomplished more than a typical student while in an OT/OTA program. This student would be an example to other students of how important and beneficial it is to go above and beyond normal responsibilities of a student in the areas of volunteer work, gaining professional experience, and leadership skills.” Anne has demonstrated a curiosity for scholarship, an aptitude for leadership, and a passion to promote the health and well-being of people with disabilities and their families. In her nomination, Dr. Fields wrote “Anne embodies the values and promise of occupational therapy as an emerging leader and scholar. I firmly believe she will soar to new heights and touch the occupational therapy field in special, engaged, and empowering ways. Anne is very deserving of this award and will continue to contribute to local and state communities.”
When she heard that she received the award, Anne said she was surprised and honored. She also felt humbled and valued for the work she has been doing in the last few years. While she may not have expected to receive the award, we are very proud and confident in the work our students are doing, and we had no doubt in our minds!
Once again, congratulations, Anne!