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The Department of Occupational Therapy at NYU Steinhardt warmly congratulates the two winners of the 2024 Hinojosa Terminal Project Award: Jessica Gonzales and Regina Zick. 

Established in 2022, this award honors Dr. Jim Hinojosa’s legacy as a mentor, leader, and passionate advocate in the field of occupational therapy and in the NYU Steinhardt Department of OT. In keeping with Dr. Hinojosa’s desire to help doctoral students complete their studies, this award supports NYU OT doctoral students who are currently working towards the completion of their terminal projects in the fields of pediatrics or education.

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Jessica Gonzales is a pediatric occupational therapist working in an outpatient setting in Los Angeles. Growing up in an area where many experienced inequalities with access to healthcare inspired Jessica’s journey into OT, where she can give back to the community. She has always had a passion for pediatrics, and her e-Portfolio is titled “Animal Assisted Therapy with Dogs as an Occupational Therapy Modality in a Pediatric Setting.” 

“To be the recipient of an award in remembrance of Dr. Jim Hinojosa is a great honor. Dr. Hinojosa’s legacy lives on through his peers at NYU, who recognize the adaptive applications of core principles to benefit pediatric patients. It's a privilege to carry on his vision of supporting the next generation of occupational therapy scholars in new areas of research such as animal assisted therapy with dogs.”

Jessica plans to finish her first year as a practicing occupational therapist before diving into the world of animal assisted therapy. She hopes to gain practical knowledge and experience through a potential mentor before receiving a dog.

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Regina Zick is an occupational therapist specializing in acute care at NYU Langone Health. With a commitment to client-centered care and inclusive practices, Regina strives to make a meaningful difference in the lives of her patients every day. Her e-Portfolio, titled “Beyond the Basics: OT’s Role in Promoting Safety from the Hospital to the Community among Adults,” aims to foster patient safety from bedside to curbside. 

“This award reinforces the importance of making safety education more accessible and engaging for everyone. I strongly believe that safety does not have to be a mundane part of our learning; instead, we can find ways to make it engaging!”

After graduation, Regina will continue practicing full-time as an acute care therapist, while also immersing herself in academia.

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