By Adam Pope, UAB University Relations

OccTherapy2Tamara TraberTamara Traber is the first graduate of the UAB School of Health Professions' Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy program, a degree designed to prepare experienced occupational therapists for important leadership roles in health care, academia and advocacy for professional and community organizations.  

The Texas native completed her plan of study in August 2020. UAB’s virtual commencement for master’s and doctoral graduates is at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14.

UAB has the only post-professional occupational therapy doctoral-level program in Alabama; the program is delivered completely online. The clinical doctorate has core courses as well as three areas for elective study: the low-vision rehabilitation certificate offered in the Department of Occupational Therapy, the health care quality and safety certificate offered by the Department of Health Services, and the general track. 

Traber’s capstone project topic was “Comprehensive Resources for the Visually Impaired in the Greater Houston Area.” Now that she has achieved her degree, she will move from clinical employment to an academic setting as a faculty member at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas.

Traber says the flexibility of online classes and the accessibility of her professors were major factors in her choosing UAB’s program.

“I was able to work during the day and complete my assignments in the evening,” Traber said. “I worked closely with Dr. Beth Barstow and Dr. Laura Vogtle. They were terrific mentors.”

Vogtle, a professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, says she was delighted to have Traber as a student and is excited about her future in academia.

“We are excited for her, and celebrate her achievements,” she said.

To learn more about the program, contact Vogtle at lvogtle@uab.edu or 205-934-3568.