COTAD leaders are dedicated to promoting and celebrating diversity both within and outside the occupational therapy profession. Each member of the COTAD Board is actively engaged in programming, education, and other endeavors directly related to the organization’s mission, and their work does not go unnoticed.
Here is a sampling of the ways in which COTAD leaders have recently been honored or recognized for their dedication to diversity issues in their local communities, universities, and practice settings:
Medical University of South Carolina: “Black History Month Award” Dr. Cristina Reyes Smith was selected for the 2018 MUSC College of Health Professions Achievement in Diversity Award as part of the MUSC Black History Month Award Ceremony. Dr. Smith was nominated by the CHP Student Diversity Leadership Council due to her achievements and involvement in local, college, university and national initiatives related to promoting diversity and inclusion.
West Coast University: “Most Outstanding Student Support” Dr. Arameh Anvarizadeh earned this award at West Coast University (WCU) for her work teaching OT students and new graduates to be culturally humble practitioners as well as her leadership of the WCU student COTAD chapter. Of note, Dr. Anvarizadeh is the only educator who received this award throughout the University, and she described this achievement as “a wonderful honor!”
Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change at Washington University in St. Louis: "Manager of Operations, Strategy and Development” As of April 2018, Dr. Adam Pearson is working at the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change as Washington University in St. Louis, a collaborative academic-industry research group that studies different facets of public health and behavioral economics. In this role, he will be collaborating with a team to manage all operations, strategy and development. In his previous role as the Program Director of Peter & Paul Community Services’ Safe Haven Program and site manager for Garfield Place Apartments, Adam delivered client-centered services and collaborated with colleagues to help Garfield Place residents lead healthful and productive lives and maintain permanent housing. In the four years he worked with Peter and Paul Community Services, Dr. Pearson made a huge impact on the homeless community in St. Louis, Missouri.
Washington University in St. Louis: “Chancellor Search Committee” Dr. Catherine Hoyt was recently selected to be part of the search committee for the new Chancellor at WUSTL. Dr. Hoyt is serving as the Graduate Student Representative as well as a member of the Board of Trustees. As part of the search committee, Dr. Hoyt will add her voice and perspectives – and those of the stakeholders she represents – to the highly important process of selecting the next Chancellor of the university.
Gateway Occupational Therapy Education Council (GOTEC) Workshop Presentation Drs. Catherine Hoyt and Adam Pearson were invited to speak about COTAD and the work they are doing to further diversity initiatives and support students and practitioners from diverse backgrounds at the upcoming Gateway Occupational Therapy Education Council (GOTEC) Workshop. The theme of this year’s event is “Promoting a Diverse Occupational Therapy Workforce: Strategies for Inclusive Fieldwork Education,” and the event is well-attended as a high-quality CE offering each year. Register to attend, learn more about fieldwork issues related to diversity, and connect with Dr. Hoyt and Dr. Pearson here: http://gotec.squarespace.com/continuinged/
Congratulations to each of these individuals on advancing diversity initiatives and expanding the reach of occupational therapy in their own communities and around the world. We look forward to seeing what the next year brings for the hardworking leaders of COTAD!