SJSU OT Professors Receive Coveted AOTA Awards.

By Dr. Luis Arabit, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

The 2024 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) annual conference, held in Orlando, Florida, was not only a gathering of professionals but also a celebration of excellence within the field. Among the distinguished recipients of national awards were Dr. Winifred Schulz-Krohn and Dr. Luis Arabit, whose contributions have significantly impacted the occupational therapy (OT) profession.

Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn, Occupational TherapyDr. Schulz-Krohn, Emeritus Faculty in the Department of Occupational Therapy, received dual honors: the AOTA 2024 Distinguished Educator Award and the AOTA 2024 Retired Educators Commendation Award. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Schulz-Krohn has embodied the essence of a distinguished educator through her servant-leader-educator approach. Her commitment to promoting others is evident in her extensive support for students, launching them into successful careers as occupational therapists. Notably, her pro bono services spanning two decades at a local shelter for unhoused families have provided invaluable research opportunities for students, resulting in numerous presentations at state, national, and international conferences. Additionally, her efforts in securing an endowed scholarship at San José State University underscore her dedication to supporting future OT professionals.

Dr. Luis Arabit, Occupational TherapyDr. Arabit, Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, was the recipient of AOTA 2024 Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Arabit has generously shared his extensive expertise with colleagues, students, and others to move the OT profession forward. He has “made significant contributions to the advancement of occupational therapy” in political and professional advocacy and leadership. He organized events and provided presentations and lectures on the importance of advocacy and legislation impacting occupational therapy. His advocacy and leadership positions include elected and appointed positions at the local, state, and national levels. As OTAC VP, he was instrumental in increasing membership in the Occupational Therapy Association of California and as the American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (AOTPAC) Region V Director and AOTPAC Ambassadors Co-Chair he has inspired students and practitioners to actively support the profession and advocate for consumer access to care.

The recognition of Dr. Schulz-Krohn and Dr. Arabit at the 2024 AOTA conference serves as a testament to their exemplary dedication and outstanding contributions to the field of occupational therapy. Their unwavering commitment to education, advocacy, and leadership continues to inspire and elevate the profession, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals within the community.

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