Multiple Prestigious Awards Highlight Stellar Work by Department of Occupational Therapy’s Faculty at SJSU

The College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Occupational Therapy stepped up to the challenge despite COVID-19 and achieved distinguished awards from Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) and California Foundation for Occupational Therapy (CFOT).

Assistant Professor, Dr. Luis Arabit was awarded the 2020 Honored Lecturer for the California Foundation for Occupational Therapy (CFOT). The CFOT Honored Lecturer Award recognizes California occupational therapy practitioners who have demonstrated leadership and promoted ideas and visions in occupational therapy for the profession, and a presentation gives them an opportunity to share their insights and knowledge with the occupational therapy community at the CFOT Awards Luncheon and Symposium. According to Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn, “Dr. Luis Arabit is well recognized within the profession of occupational therapy as an advocate and leader.” His commitment to the profession can be noted by his many leadership positions; Dr. Arabit served as the American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (AOTPAC) Region V Chair since 2018 and as Chair of the OTAC Government Affairs Committee for over 10 years.

OT Department Chair, Dr. Gigi Smith received the Outstanding Service Award from the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC). This award recognizes practitioners who have sustained service in elected or appointed positional locally, statewide and nationally and have participated in special projects/tasks locally and statewide or nationally. With over 20 years of leadership experience in elected positions, Dr. Smith was recently elected as Vice President of OTAC. Dr. Schultz-Krohn commended Dr. Smith’s contributions as a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association Commission on Practice. Her expertise was instrumental in the documents discussing the role of occupational therapy practitioners with persons who experience feeding and eating disorders. With her dedication to advance the profession of occupational therapy, Dr. Smith was also awarded the prestigious Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (FAOTA) in 2017 for her “Excellence in Practice, Exemplary Service, and Mentoring.”

Former OT Department Chair, Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn received the OTAC Lifetime Achievement Award, a very prestigious award from the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC). This award recognizes an OTAC member who has made significant contributions to the field of occupational therapy in California and advancement in education. OTAC distinguishes Dr. Schultz-Krohn as a role model and inspirational example to the community. Dr. Schultz-Krohn has worked tirelessly at the local, state and national level in a multitude of ways to support and promote the profession, including active involvement in the areas of advocacy, policy, practice and service. According to Dr. Smith, Dr. Schultz-Krohn has mentored hundreds of students to not only engage in research, but to also present their findings at state and national conferences. She continued to commend Dr. Schultz-Krohn for her many academic and professional contributions throughout her 30+ year career in occupational therapy.

Congratulations to the amazing faculty and to the Department of Occupational Therapy!

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