Gannon University Recognizes Occupational Therapy Month Across Two Campuses

Posted: April 18, 2016

At more than 200 students, the occupational therapy programs on Gannon University's campuses in Erie and Ruskin, Florida are collectively among the University's largest in terms of enrollment. So it's no surprise that the observance of National Occupational Therapy month in April brings a flurry of events and celebrations.

The 24 students in the inaugural class of Gannon's new Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program are celebrating their first OT Month in the most appropriate way-through service to their community. Students and faculty will be volunteering for Visions of Hope International's Breaking Free: Silent No More fundraising event in nearby Tampa on April 17. Visions of Hope International are a transitional domestic violence agency in the Tampa Bay area.

Just before that event is the American Occupational Therapy Association's 2016 Annual Conference & Expo in Chicago. This is the largest gathering of occupational therapy practitioners and students in the world.

At the conference, Ruskin campus OTD student Selena Hengy present product adaptive equipment she designed to a panel of judges. Her design will then be showcased for the 10,000 occupational therapy practitioners and students who are expected at Chicago's massive McCormick Place.

In support of the four students, and three members of the Ruskin campus faculty and staff who will attend, the Ruskin Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) is raising money by selling OT-related apparel.

On the Erie campus, the Gannon University chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon national honor society for occupational therapy students and alumni will host the fourth annual Inclusion Dance at Gannon's Robert H. Morosky Academic Center. Inspired by Special Olympics' and Best Buddies' "Spread the Word to End the Word," campaign the Inclusion Dance was created by a group of five Gannon occupational therapy students. At the event, students will offer a variety of interactive and theme-based activities for young persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to inspire respect and acceptance through raising awareness of the effect of hurtful words and disrespect.

Megan Theuerkauf, a fourth-year OT major and District 7 representative to the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association has organized a team for 2016 Walk for Autism at Presque Isle to celebrate OT month. Members of the Gannon community will be part of her team.

To learn more about Gannon University's occupational therapy programs, click here.