New Members, New Opportunities

After the 2017 AOTA Conference & Centennial Celebration, COTAD’s email inbox was bursting with applications to join our ranks! We are so excited to welcome five new members to our team this summer, and we are thankful for their energy and talent!

Vi' Hunter Lawrence, MS, OTR/L

Vi' Hunter Lawrence graduated from Spalding University with a Master's of Science in Occupational Therapy. Since then, she has been practicing as a pediatric therapist. As a student, Vi’ was the recipient of the Metroversity Award for Adult Learners in a Graduate Program. She is currently the coordinator and champion of COTAD’s successful “COTAD Conversations” program, and through her efforts current and potential OT students, practitioners, and leaders have had opportunities to connect with and learn from each other. She is a wife, mother of 5 children, and an active participant in the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity and AOTA.

Lauren Clayton, MS, OTR/L

Lauren Clayton earned her Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy at Augusta University. As a student, she served on the board of her university's SOTA, acted as a Student Government Association Representative, and was the class recipient of the 2016 Nancy D. Prendergast Award for service and leadership. Lauren currently works as an outpatient therapist for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she serves the pediatric population and their families. Lauren is passionate about providing equal opportunity for students of diverse backgrounds and providing equitable, high-quality care to patients in her workplace and individuals in the community. Her current projects including advocating for the inclusion of a COTAD representative and liaison on the board of the Augusta University SOTA and developing a scholarship for minority students within the August University OT program. She also is working to create patient handouts and resources for non-English speaking families she serves in her clinic. Lauren began volunteering with COTAD in 2015.

Stephanie Lancaster, MS, OTR/L, ATP, CAPS

With a B.S. in occupational therapy from Washington University in St. Louis and a M.S. in Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Memphis, Stephanie has served as an OT specializing in assistive technology, pediatrics, sensory processing and attention disorders, and other conditions for over 26 years. As an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, she holds a specialty certification as an Assistive Technology Provider through the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist through the National Association of Home Builders. Stephanie is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Design & Technology through the University of Memphis and is interested in applying her knowledge and expertise related to clinical education, connected learning, and instructional design and technology through her involvement with COTAD.

Diamond E. Rashad, MHS, OTR/L

Diamond Rashad is an occupational therapist and recent graduate from Augusta University. She currently works in the North Georgia/ Chattanooga area in early intervention and outpatient pediatrics. Her main interest in COTAD is to assist in recruitment, placement and retention of volunteers in order to meet the needs of the organization. She hopes to engage advocates and volunteers from diverse backgrounds to promote the needs of occupational therapy clients. As her strengths lie in technology, she also hopes to assist in streamlining COTAD's website.

Carrienne Matthews, OTD, OTR/L

Carrienne Matthews is a passionate occupational therapist presently residing in Cypress, TX. She received her Masters of Occupational Therapy from LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA in 2007 and in 2016, her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy was earned from Misericordia University of Dallas, PA. Dr. Matthews has an abundance of experience practicing in the pediatric outpatient and inpatient rehab settings. Recently, she has transitioned to academia, where she serves as the Clinical Director/Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for an OTA Program in Houston, TX. She also continues to work part-time as a pediatric therapist. Dr. Matthews has a great interest in integrating OT into community-based settings. She is extremely excited for the opportunity to be a member of COTAD and has the desire to work towards AOTA Vision 2025 by promoting cultural diversity and cultural competency in fieldwork settings and by educating high school and college students about the extraordinary field of occupational therapy.

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