By: Luis Arabit
The Occupational Therapy (OT) department has much to celebrate in 2021. In September, Dr. Megan Chang was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award of the Department of Occupational Therapy and the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award of the College of Medicine at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. The award honors an alumnus of the university who has demonstrated significant achievements and outstanding contributions both professionally and in the community. In addition, Dr. Chang is also collaborating with Dr. Areum Jensen from the Department of Kinesiology on an ongoing multidisciplinary research project to understand the effects of exercise on physiological, physical, psychological and behavioral improvements in children with autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Melisa Kaye was chosen to be a junior faculty mentor in the Affinity Mentoring for Academic Success throughout 2021-2022 academic year. This program engages students by providing mentoring support for graduate students and for those historically underserved students, especially BIPOC students or members of minority populations (LGBTQIA+ students, female engineers, etc.).
This past October, Dr. Gigi Smith, Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy and the Vice President of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) was awarded the OTAC Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes an OTAC member who has made significant contributions to the field of OT in California and is viewed as a role model and an inspirational example to the community locally or statewide.
Dr. Chiao-Ju Fang was awarded the 2021 California Foundation for Occupational Therapy (CFOT) General Research Grant Award for research entitled “The Influence of Social Media Usage on Participation in Daily Activities for Young Adults with Disabilities”. CFOT is a nonprofit public benefit organization that help support students, practitioners, and researchers advance their knowledge and skills, thereby enhancing OT services to the public.
Dr. Katrina Long was awarded the 2021 American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) and The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) Intervention Research Grant for her study on Pre-Active Parkinson’s Disease: A Randomized Control Trial Pilot Study to improve Self- Management of PA routines in Adults with Early- Stage Parkinson’s Disease.
Congratulations to these Fab Five OTs for their outstanding work and service to the community and the OT profession!
In addition, the OT department is also proud to celebrate the research studies published in 2021 by the following faculty: Dr. Megan Chang, Dr. Melisa Kaye, Dr. Chiao-Ju Fang, Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn, and Dr. Deb Bolding. Thank you all for your outstanding contributions to research and evidence-based practice for the occupational therapy profession.