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Class Notes: Spring 2019

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Emily L. Amaral (MS ’15) is a registered adaptive riding instructor now — and also provides OT integrating hippotherapy into patients’ plans of care while aspiring towards HPCS certification.

Connie Charney (MA ’80) is the Founder of Food for Thoughts Cards, greeting cards that give back and feed the hungry. While commuting to NYU when she was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of OT for twelve years, Connie packed PB&J’s to give to the homeless. She’s taken that sandwich-giving up a notch through Food for Thoughts Cards. 40,000 PB&J sandwiches have been donated to feed individuals in need. 

Rhoda Scherer Cohen (BS ’49, MA ’76) is 91 years old and has been a working OT for 70 years and a patient with degenerative polyneuropathy for almost 5 years. She recently published an article in AOTA’s April 2019 OT Practice Magazine on helping clients transition to living with a disability. 

Diane Powers-Foltz Dirette (MA ’93, PhD ’97) and Sharon Gutman (PhD ’98) are the new editors of the textbook Occupational Therapy for Physical Dysfunction, 8th Edition. This essential OT textbook was formerly edited by Radomski and Trombly. The new edition will be available soon!    

Mary V. Donohue (MA ’73, PhD ’85) has published an art book on the work of her second cousin, Marion Greenwood, in which the artist depicts occupational therapy activities for men returning for rehabilitation at the end of World War II. Ms. Greenwood was hired by the United States Army to record this historical intervention for wounded veterans carried out at a hospital on the beach in Atlantic City, NJ. Dr. Donohue has contributed a copy of the book to the Occupational Therapy Departmental Library.

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Griffin Lannigan (PhD ’04) is the co-author of AOTA’s 2019 Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Adults Living with Serious Mental Illness. Liz is currently the chair of the AOTA Mental Health Special Interest Section. Currently, Liz is adjunct faculty at the University of New Hampshire.

Carolyn Russo-Azer (MA ’85) has worked the past 34 years in Pediatrics/Early Intervention and is currently the Director for Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey’s Early Intervention Program.

Anna Sampsonidis (MA ’89) has lived in Greece since 1993. She is Head of the Occupational Therapy Department of Metropolitan College in Thessaloniki, Greece. Anna is co-owner of two pediatric therapy centers and the organizer of a certification program in Sensory Integration in collaboration with the University of Southern California. A leading expert in pediatric practice in Greece, she teaches and presents within the country as well as Cyprus and other European countries.  

Anne Scott (BS ’69, MS ’82, PhD ’95) has spent 50 years in OT and going strong. She recently presented a paper at the NYSOTA Conference (11/2018) based on the chapter “Narrative Reasoning in Disability-Themed Films.” This was co-authored with her husband, Richard, and published in Global Perspectives in Professional Reasoning (Creek, J. & Cole, M., 2016, Slack).

Chaya Weinstein (MA ’92, PhD ’98) now has an NYC-based private practice in therapeutic coaching after 30 years as a proud occupational therapist working in the mental health field. She assists people with stress, anxiety, or mental health issues and is happy to speak with you or someone you know who might benefit from her services. She can be reached at ecweinstein@gmail.com or 646-902-5098.

Sheila Wilson (MA ’94) is working as a supervisor at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia PA. She completed her OTD in 2016 from AT Still University in AZ and was recently elected as the state representative to the AOTA Representative Assembly for Pennsylvania. 

Diana Chen Wong (BS ’90) is currently a Senior Director of Rehab at ManorCare in NJ. She recently completed her OTD from Thomas Jefferson University in January 2019, with her Doctoral Capstone on implementing evidence-based research in practice for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and neurocognitive disorders. She continues to be on the adjunct faculty at NYU and for the OTA program at Rutgers University. She also is in private practice as a Certified Life Coach.

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