In honor of Dr. Jim Hinojosa’s immense contributions to the NYU Department of Occupational Therapy and to the OT profession as a whole, we are pleased to announce the establishment of the Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award. This annual award seeks to recognize an outstanding NYU OT Alumni who has made significant contributions to the profession. The award will be presented at the Department’s Alumni Reception at the annual AOTA Conference. Recipients will receive $500 and will be featured in the Department’s Blog/Newsletter.
We are pleased to announce that the nomination period for the 2017 Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award has opened. Nominations are open to all NYU OT Alumni. Self Nominations are permitted. Nominees must have made significant contributions to the profession as demonstrated by advocacy, leadership, generosity, scholarship and mentorship.
Nominations are open through January 15, 2017.
Please follow this link to the application:
Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award Application
Tracey Bates (MS ’09) works in the outpatient center at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C., focusing on oncology (breast, head, and neck) Lymphedema and implementing the head and neck Lymphedema program for the hospital.
Robert M. Bieber (MA ’72) Retired in 2015 as a risk manager, and is presently working as a personal trainer.
Rhoda Scherer Cohen (BS ’49, MA ’76) worked as an OT throughout her whole career—and is now working with them since having developed CIDP and having a shoulder recently replaced. She now shares with her OT how she used to practice in her early career, and is learning how they do it now.
Patrick Dolan (MA ’96) is currently work at Albany Memorial Hand Center.
Per Erik Edlund (MA ’82) has recently retired from Landvetter Airport in Sweden as Project Director and Business Controller.
Rita Fleming-Castaldy (PhD ’08) has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s centennial history project called “OT Archive”. Dr. Fleming-Castaldy is responsible for the curation, development, and review of historical materials which will commemorate occupational therapy’s first 100 years. She is working with an editorial board comprised of leaders in the field (including Dr. Jim Hinojosa) to identify people and events which have significantly influenced the profession to be highlighted during the AOTA’s centennial celebration in 2017.
Shirin Golshani (MS ’14) is one of the founding leaders and volunteer VP in charge of Clinics of a non-profit organization called Angel City Sports, where sports programming and competition is put on for children and adults with physical disabilities including amputees. She is also currently a full-time school-based OT for Los Angeles Unified School District going into year three.
Renee Elizabeth Keny (George) (MA ’06) has spent the past 10 years since graduation on a journey from the east coast to the mid-west in Chicago, helping students with special needs in clinics, homes, and schools. As she looks forward to the next 10 years, she’s so happy to say that she ran into former Steinhardt professors at the AOTA conference in Chicago this year (see pic)!
Andrea Krauss (BS ’79) has been in academia since 1990, starting her teaching career at Touro College. She is currently the Director of the OT Program at York College CUNY. In addition, Andrea maintains a small private practice providing consultation to families that have children with behavioral issues secondary to SID, ADHD and autism.
Robbie Levy (MA ’82) has moved her private practice, Dynamic Kids Inc., to a larger space in Hartsdale, NY further exemplifying her long term commitment to the local community. The office now has a dedicated EI treatment space, two sensory gyms, an enhanced fine motor room and private office space. Besides providing on site mentorship, Robbie continues to be a national speaker for PESI Education and local and regional Child Development organizations.
Karen Ling (MS ’14) Started a shop named Inclusive Greetings with her husband, an MD. The greeting cards bring awareness to disability inclusion, diversity and equality with a goal is to initiate conversations, connect, and bridge the gap between people with different backgrounds.
Jeannine Giustino Nonaillada (MA ‘15) defended her dissertation ‘Educating Healthcare Providers and Hospital Staff on Geriatrics and Shared Decision-Making: Evaluation of an Online Program’ and graduated with her PhD in Social Work with a concentration in gerontology from Fordham University this May 2016.
Hermine D. Plotnick (MA ’63) spent 37 years working in the NYS Office of Mental Health, most of that time at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center beginning as a staff occupational therapist, and then, Unit Chief, with part time adjunct positions at Columbia University. She is also an associate professor and founding program director of the OT programs at York, LaGuardia Community College and NY Institute of Technology.
Linda Rowe (MA ’84) is currently the owner of Support By Design OT, SLP, PT, PLLC Pediatric Therapy practice.
Natasha R. Sexius (MS ’07) currently runs a private practice for adults and pediatrics in Trinidad, West Indies. She is also part of a team starting up the first OT master’s program at The University of the Southern Caribbean in Trinidad commencing September 5, 2016.
Jessica Sibley (MS ’11) recently began working heavily with the autistic and/or non speaking community using Rapid Prompting Method to help students learn to spell to communicate on stencil boards. She has also become more heavily focused on Motor learning and skill acquisition for clients, and has recently started her own private practice, Minds in Motion OT.
Lindsey Vestal (MS ’11) is the owner of the Functional Pelvis, practice specializing in pelvic floor therapy “house calls”, a convenient, comfortable, and holistic operation for clients that incorporates their environment. Lindsey has two children Avery, 4 and Liam, 2.
In an interview with SpOTlight, Hinojosa talks about his 25 years at NYU, his reflections on the profession, and life after retirement.
How did you get your start in Occupational Therapy?
I got into OT by accident. I was a biochemistry major at Colorado State, giving tours to prospective students. I used to joke on the tour that the home economics program brought women into the school. Well, the Dean overheard me one day and let me know that there were many programs under that home economics umbrella, one of them being OT at the time. I looked into it and it ended up being a combination or what I really wanted to do. I got to take all the basic sciences that I was interested in and also got to take art, weaving, and other interesting topics. It really worked for me.
What was your path to NYU?
After completing my master’s at Columbia and my doctorate at NYU, I was an associate professor at Downstate Medical Center-SUNY. The chair of the Occupational Therapy department at NYU at the time knew there was an upcoming opening for the director of post-professional programs, so I applied and was hired. After five years, I was promoted to a full professor, and I’ve been here ever since. During my time here I taught primarily theory. My whole core knowledge that I’m known for is the theoretical base of practice and how it influences day-to-day practice.
What were your favorite aspects of working in the department?
I taught mostly post-professional classes that are relatively small, and therefore I got to create assignments that relied on a lot of involvement with the students. It helped me really get to know them as they’re developing various projects or looking at a particular theory. Really getting to know the students as individuals had been the most rewarding.
Do you have any stand-out memories from your 25 years here?
One memory that sticks out is that of so many student’s achievements after they have finished the program. Many of my doctoral students have surpassed me and my expectations of what I thought they would achieve, worldwide. I have past students who are now deans in schools across the country, program directors, and directors of research in their institutions. One of the most meaningful experiences is when I get to go to a conference and students come up to me and thank me for particular focus that they have or something that I had offered in a class. It feels good to know their time in the department influenced them in such a positive way.
What about life after NYU? Any big plans for retirement?
I think that with retirement will come more control of my own time. I don’t want to make too many particular plans or goals right now, but I want to use it as an opportunity to grow in a way that I will find interesting, like trying out some volunteer work. Also, I have to find a way to fit all the contents of my NYU office into my current (small) apartment!
What kind of legacy would you like to leave at Steinhardt?
I’d like to think I will leave the legacy of a strong focus on theory-based practices in the classroom, as well as some of the things that I introduced into the curriculum like textbooks that are still being used today. Also, the conceptualization of both the PhD program and the clinical doctorate program. My colleagues and students are all incredible people. They are skilled, knowledgeable, and stimulating to work with. I’ve been very fortunate.
The 96th Annual AOTA Conference and Expo was held April 7-10, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois. This year’s conference theme was Evidence and Outcomes: Empowering the Profession.
The department had for the second year in row an exhibition booth to promote our post-professional programs (MA, DPS, and PhD). Prospective students had the opportunity to meet with and speak to our associate director of enrollment, various faculty, and our fieldwork administrator. The interaction between prospective students and our representatives was vital for them to learn about the NYU Steinhardt post-professional occupational therapy programs.
The department was also excited to hold its annual alumni dessert reception during the conference. The event, which was held Friday, April 8 at the Hilton Chicago, welcomed alumni, faculty, and students of the department.