2018 Frieda J. Behlen Scholarship Winners

Photo of Francine Cacciola and Monika DworakowskiThe NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarships. This year’s awardees are Francine Cacciola and Monika Dworakowski.

Francine Cacciola graduated from NYU Steinhardt in 2016 with a degree in Applied Psychology, and has returned to complete her masters in Occupational Therapy. Francine has a background working with children with special needs, and though she one day hoped to open her own school—she now sees the importance of making her holistic approach to learning available to all students and aspires to work as a practicing OT in a public school setting. There she hopes to help cater to all learning styles, sensory needs, and foster empowerment, growth, and creativity with a focus on children’s strengths. She is also a certified yoga teacher! Francine will graduate in 2019.

Monika Dworakowski completed her B.A. at Boston College in Psychology and Hispanic Studies. Her research interests within the field of OT include neuroscience, geriatrics, and anatomy. Monika participated in a summer research project that was a scoping study about how women with disabilities are treated by their partners in Sierra Leone, as well as a current project relating to the effectiveness of cognitive stimulation therapy for those with mild to moderate dementia. She also worked for the GIFTED Women’s Fellowship Program in the summer of 2017. Monika is also a student ambassador, helping welcome new OT students as they begin their journey at NYU. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in a setting with a geriatric population, with a focus on patients with dementia. Monika will graduate in 2019.

The Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarship is an endowed fund created principally by gifts from alumni of the occupational therapy programs at NYU. Income generated by the endowment is awarded annually to students who demonstrate superior academic achievement as well as financial need. With growth in the fund’s balance from new gifts, the amount given out has been able to increase and will continue to do so. The award takes the form of a tuition aid applied toward summer courses. Professional Program second-year students are eligible to apply.

The fund was named to honor the memory of Frieda J. Behlen, founder and longtime chair of NYU’s Department of Occupational Therapy. Ms. Behlen was known for never hesitating to find monies, even if from her own pocketbook, to enable deserving students to complete their studies.

To contribute to this and other Department of Occupational Therapy funds please visit http://www.nyu.edu/giving/.