OT Students Explore Disability in a Global Context in Shanghai

This summer students and faculty from NYU Steinhardt’s Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs traveled to Shanghai for the course China: Disability in a Global Context. The class was led by Wen K. Ling, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Sally Poole, Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy. This interdisciplinary course brought students together from Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Teaching and Learning, and other programs at NYU Steinhardt. The students explored and identified factors, including cultural factors and health beliefs, which may influence a community’s view of disability.

Students spent two weeks in Shanghai, touring around the city with their home base as NYU Shanghai’s campus. During their free time they took part in traditional exercise classes, toured local homes, ate traditional meals together, and took in the culture of the region. They also learned about education, traditional Chinese health beliefs and practices, current health care, access and public transportation, and social welfare for individuals with disabilities in China.

We spoke with Joy Sarraf, a current OT student, about her experiences in the course. Read on to learn more!

Tell us more about yourself and what brought you to NYU Steinhardt.

I’m from Long Island and I am currently in the NYU Occupational Therapy Masters Program. I went to NYU for my undergrad degree as well and had the best most fulfilling four years here. In addition to the unbeatable location and many other factors, the fact that NYU offers global courses definitely added to the appeal of staying at my alma mater. 

Why did you want to participate in this global class?

For one thing, it was a wonderful excuse to travel to China! The Occupational Therapy Framework always stresses the importance of altering treatment plans based on your environment; being in an unfamiliar foreign country gave me a chance to really see how OT transforms with the culture and environment of the patients at hand. It was an engaging learning experience and also so much fun! Eating authentic Chinese cuisine and seeing the famous beautiful light up Bund, when the skyline of Shanghai lights up, excited me as well.

What was your favorite part of the Steinhardt global experience?

Although there were short lectures in the morning, a big bulk of the course consisted of field trips to hospitals, orphanages, living facilities, etc. Every afternoon we had another opportunity to take a peek into the health care system and daily life of China in a very hands-on way.

In some institutions we even got to see treatments as they were being performed. We all really appreciated these immersive field trips, and it was incredible to view OT through the lens of another culture.

Do you think having students from other disciplines in the class made the experience richer or more well-rounded?

Definitely! In the field, Occupational Therapists work so closely with other health care professionals, especially Physical Therapists, that it feels only natural to learn with them as well and to practice the inter-professional skills that we will utilize throughout our careers. Also, it was nice to get to know some new NYU faces and broaden my network. We all made some awesome friends during this trip and still keep in touch– we’re even planning a dumpling dinner reunion soon! 

What parts of the class did you find most interesting and/or surprising from an OT perspective?

To our surprise, in China there isn’t much of distinction between Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapists; they are all referred to as Rehab therapists and receive no specialized training. 

How do you think seeing how OT’s and other medical professionals from other cultures interact with their patients /clients will help you in your future practice?

I think this experience pushed me to think outside the box and use critical thinking to alter treatment plans appropriately. More and more occupational therapists are traveling abroad to live or to aid in natural disasters. I feel more prepared to be flexible with my treatment in the event that I end up working outside of NYC. I also believe I may be better able to understand the values and relate to my future international patients because of this experience. 

How has Steinhardt helped you to achieve your personal and professional goals? 

Because Steinhardt and NYU in general value the importance of inter-professionalism I have had multiple opportunities to learn from students with different backgrounds and gain a deeper understanding of the health care system that I will eventually be a part of. In addition to my interpersonal experience in China’s global class, I have been working with future health care professionals in my role as Inter-Professional Education Group leader for my OT class. IPEG brings students from all health care departments together, the board consists of NYU leaders from 11 different health care programs. Our goal is it to create events where all NYU health care graduate students can engage with each-other. Some of our events are social mixers to help students network, while others are more academic like our Grand Rounds where mixed teams work together and race to figure out the diagnoses of a case study – all of them help us better understand and appreciate one another and therefore better work together. Working with IPEG has truly been one of my most enriching experiences at NYU.

OT Students Win President’s Service Award

We are excited to share that a group of Occupational Therapy students were recently awarded the NYU President’s Service Award. The purpose of the President’s Service Award is to recognize the distinguished achievements of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and student organizations for their commitment to civic engagement, and service in local communities across the University’s global network, or for their promotion of learning, leadership, and quality of student life at New York University.
The group of OT students recognized worked with non-profit organization E-nable, which builds 3D printed hand prostheses for children with arm/hand amputations. The group put their OT brains together and created a project to showcase how the prosthetics could be used in everyday life by designing games and activities with teams of OT students, and had the privilege of educating the public on their use and the role of OT in prosthetic training for two years at the World Maker Fair in New York City.

The group included graduating students Elisabeth Bahr, Valerie Grinman, Michael Maish, Lindsay Marin, Emma Petkovsky, Marie Joie Tabiri, Matthew Welt and Lindsay Cecic as well as first year OT students Valerie Aziegb and Withline Olibrice.

Department and Steinhardt Graduation Award Winners

The Department is proud to announce our departmental and Steinhardt award winners:

Marisa Davison, winner of the Letha Hurd Morgan Award, presented to one undergraduate and one graduate student in recognition of outstanding scholastic attainment and service to their department and School

Michael Maisch, the 2017 OT Department Banner Bearer at Valedictory Ceremony at Radio City Music Hall, chosen for demonstrating spirit through leadership and academic excellence

Elisabeth Bahr, winner of the Samuel Eshborn Service Award, presented to graduating graduate students in recognition of superlative and extraordinary service, exhibiting the value of strong leadership in school activities in NYU Steinhardt

Many congratulations go out to our student award winners and all of our 2017 graduates!

 

Occupational Therapy Offers New Autism-Focused Study Abroad Course

Associate Professor and Department Chair Kristie Koenig, will be offering a new graduate-level study abroad course in London this January. The course, Strength-Based Paradigm: A Focus on Autism, will examine the treatment of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder in a variety of settings. Participants will examine the efficacy of intervention through a strength-based lens and compare and contrast the theoretical basis of interventions in the U.S. and the U.K.

“The United Kingdom has been a leader in not only looking at what individuals with autism can do instead of what they cannot, but also is at the forefront in studying long term outcomes. For example, England’s National Health Service did the first study of autism prevalence in adults. This has lead to a more comprehensive understanding of autism as children grow up, which can be used to guide our understanding of strengths and challenges of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” Koenig explained. Participants will attend lectures at the NYU London academic center and conduct site visits to local institutions to examine service delivery systems. The course will also offer ample opportunity to engage local professionals and visit cultural sites throughout the city.

Visit Steinhardt Global Affairs for more information on this and other global experiences available to NYU students.

NYU at the 2017 AOTA Conference

 

The American Occupational Therapy Association held its Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia, PA from March 30 to April 2, 2017.  This milestone event had record breaking attendance with over 14,000 attendees. The theme for this year’s conference focused on the History of the OT profession. The conference also had an extra celebratory tone this year with a special Centennial Bash and Centennial Ball for attendees.

For the third year, NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy had a booth in the Expo. Alumni and current students stopped by to say hello, reconnect with the department, and show their NYU OT pride by wearing our popular NYU OT Alumni, Supporter, and Students badges. We also had a number of student and faculty presenters.

The booth also provided an opportunity for prospective students to learn more about the post-professional MA, OTD, and PhD programs. We were also excited to promote our new online OTD program starting Fall 2017. Faculty members and staff were on hand to answers questions about the curriculum, admissions requirements, and our remuneration program.

We hope to see fellow alums next year at the 2018 AOTA conference in Salt Lake City!

See below for a complete list of department presentations and posters:

Faculty:

Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor

State of the Science Symposium:
“Resilience: Occupational therapy and its role in helping to adapt to adversity”. AOTF State of the Science Symposium Speaker at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA March 2017.

Presentation: Shifting to Strengths and Success: Authentic Partnerships Between OT and Autistic Self-Advocates. With Stephan Shore

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Yael Goverover, Associate Professor

Presentation: Assessing Functional Cognition: Its Importance in Occupational Therapy Research and Practice
Contributing Authors: Carolyn M. Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Timothy J. Wolf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Joan Toglia, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

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Grace Kim, Assistant Professor

Poster: The Effects of Attentional Focus on Upper Extremity Motor Training Using Robotics With Persons After Chronic Stroke
Contributing Author: Jim Hinojosa, PhD, OTR, FAOTA; Mitchell Batavia, PhD, PT; Ashwini Rao, EdD, OTR, FAOTA

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Tracy Chippendale, Assistant Professor and Patricia Gentile, Adjunct Professor

Poster: Indoor and Outdoor Falls Among Older Adult Trauma Patients: A Comparison of Patient Characteristics and Outcomes

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Janet Njelesani, Assistant Professor

Conversations That Matter: Doing, being, & becoming a tenured professor: Conversations for junior faculty on the tenure track.

Poster: Test Construction of the Occupational Repertoire Development Measure- Parent (ORDM-P)

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Sally Poole, Clinical Assistant Professor

Short Course: Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy Intervention for Patients With Distal Radius Fractures. With Debra T. Zizik

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Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor and Jim Hinojosa, Professor Emeritus

Poster: A Postmodern Approach to Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy

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Students:

Chien-Ying Yang, PhD Candidate

Poster: Motor Performance of Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Fourth to Sixth Grades: Differences Among Subtypes
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Yun Shi PhD Candidate and Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor

Poster: Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Behavior-Based Feeding Questionnaire (BBFQ) for Taiwanese Mothers of Preterm Infants

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Brocha Stern, PhD Candidate
Poster: Time To Learn: A Neurobehavioral Approach After Musculoskeletal Hand Injury

Poster: Older and Happier? Associations Among Age, Affective Symptomology, and Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis

Poster: Coaching in Hand therapy: Strategies for engagement and empowerment, with Mark Hardison

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Margaret Waskiewicz, OTD student with Steve Van Lew, Daniel Geller, and Liz Martori
Poster: Adult MTBI and Sensory processing

Poster: Determining the efficacy of OT treatment of postconcussive syndrome, with Elizabeth Martori

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Professional Program Recent graduates:

Catherine Stalter (MS Program), Elisabeth Bahr (MS Program), Norhora Guzman (MA Program), with Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor

Poster: Afya: A Descriptive Study of Community-Based Long-Term Rehabilitation Project in Post-Earthquake Haiti

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Kristina Fusco (MS Program), Erin Devine (MS Program), Talia Zeitz (MS Program) with Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor

Poster 4049 – Afya: The Impact of a Long-Term Rehabilitation Project on Pain and Function Outcomes in Post-Earthquake Haiti

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Marisa Davison (MS Program), Cara Flinter (MS Program), Nylah Lummer (MS Program), Katelyn Ryan (MS Program), Mallori Seliger (MS Program) with Grace Kim, Assistant Professor

Poster: The Use of Web-Based Resources To Facilitate Stroke Rehabilitation

 

Frieda J. Behlen Scholarship Awardees for 2017 Announced

The NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarships. This year’s awardees are Kathryn Ross, Alexia Santiago, and Claire Sherman. These three exceptional students will each receive a $2750 tuition award for their Summer 2017 semester.

Many congratulations to our 2017 recipients!

Kathryn Ross has fostered two passions during her time in the OT department: pediatrics and cooking. Through a fellowship with Dr. Koenig at the Center for Discovery, she was able to work with students in the CSD and Nutrition departments at Steinhardt where she saw the impact food can have on both children and adults with physical or cognitive impairments. Upon graduation in 2018, she hopes to create a cookbook with family-friendly recipes that can be combined with educational resources for how to utilize adaptive equipment in the kitchen.

Alexia Santiago is passionate about mental health and orthopedic rehabilitation, two areas that work in unison with many clients. In her future as an Occupational Therapist, she plans to create and use evidence-based research that reflects the benefits of actively incorporating mental healthcare in all domains of OT, and hopes to make things better for her clients through research and political advocacy. Alexia looks forward to the many opportunities available to tailor her OT practice to her talents and interests.

Claire Sherman came to the OT program with a desire for her future clients to live the most independent and productive lives possible, and through her time in the program has grown to cultivate her interests in the areas of work rehabilitation and hand therapy. She has a passion for advocacy and along with being a clinician, she looks forward to being an advocate for those with disabilities through the promotion of legislation and policies beneficial to these populations.

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/.

Occupational Therapy J-Term Class Spotlight: Reframing the Meaning of Disabilities to Families

We chatted with Department of Occupational Therapy student Kathryn Pelech to learn more about her experience in the department’s J-Term class Reframing the Meaning of Disabilities to Families, taught by Dr. Judith Grossman. Dr. Grossman is an Associate Director at Ackerman Institute for the Family, as well as Project Director for Resilient Families: Children with Special Needs. The class examines family-centered care for families with special needs, taking into account theoretical approaches as well as experiences of parents and other care providers.

Where are you from, and what brought you to Steinhardt to study Occupational Therapy?

I am originally from Belle Mead, New Jersey, and I studied Health and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey for my undergraduate degree. I was drawn to the Occupational Therapy Program at Steinhardt due to the accomplished faculty and the opportunity to work in such a culturally rich urban environment, which is where I ultimately see myself staying in the future.

What made you interested in taking the “Reframing the Meaning of Disabilities to Families ” course this winter?

In my career as an occupational therapist, I hope to work with children with special needs and at-risk youth in collaboration with their families. I felt that this course would prepare me to provide exceptional quality family-centered services.

What are some of your favorite aspects of the class?

Dr. Grossman encouraged us to learn about family resilience from the “inside out”, by reflecting on the structure and dynamics within our own personal families, which I found to be a very valuable and enlightening approach. I also felt inspired after hearing about Dr. Grossman’s professional endeavors, and how she has integrated family-centeredness in her practice

What is one important thing you learned from the course that you may have not otherwise come across?

I learned about the sheer impact that positive familial bonds can have on an individual’s capacity to overcome life’s challenges, and the importance of promoting this social support network when working with clients and their families.

What do you hope to accomplish with what you’ve learned in this class?

I hope to apply the knowledge I have gained from this course to recognize and respond to the needs of not only my future clients, but their families as well. On a larger scale, I would also like to work cooperatively with other service providers to address the barriers to family-centered care that exist within current societal systems.

What made you want to become an occupational therapist, and how has Steinhardt helped you fulfill those goals?

I wanted to pursue a career that was devoted to helping others achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. The Steinhardt faculty members have been extremely supportive and have offered unique perspectives from their diverse professional backgrounds and experiences, which has opened my eyes to the endless opportunities that the field of occupational therapy has to offer.

 

January 2017 Therapy Ed NBCOT Test Prep Course

The NYU Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to announce that it will once again be hosting its Annual January NBCOT Exam Prep course offered by Therapy Ed. The two-day course will be held at the University on Wednesday, January 18th and Thursday, January 19th, 2017. NYU OT students are eligible for a $30 course tuition discount. To register, please follow the instructions on the NYU OT registration form.

Please visit http://www.therapyed.com/nbcot.htm for additional course information.

 

AOTF St. Catherine’s Challenge Annual Kickball Tournament and Picnic Fundraiser

On September 16, 2016 over twenty faculty, staff, and students of the Occupational Therapy department participated in the annual AOTF St. Catherine’s Challenge by holding a Kickball Tournament in the East River Park.

The challenge is a student-led initiative to support the profession of occupational therapy by raising funds for research grants provided by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. It helps increase awareness of occupational therapy research that guides practice, and challenges OT students across the country to engage their communities and join together in support of the AOTF’s mission.

A great day was had by all as participants enjoyed a picnic lunch and friendly kickball competition. The event raised over $730 this year (a 60% increase from 2015!) and the department looks forward to holding the event again in 2017.