UAB OT Class of 2016UAB OT Class of 2016A day in the life of an occupational therapist is different for everyone and never the same.

Work with children? Yes. Work in a hospital? Yes. Work with elderly? Yes. Work in schools? Yes.

You get the picture. With a wide range of possibilities we teach our students a wide range of solutions. We use creative techniques to bring hands-on learning to the classroom. We use service learning to bring students to real field work.

While others use books and simulations we use real people with real problems in real life. Often we capture our students in these environments through photographs that reveal the excitement of knowledge and the joy of impacting lives.


UAB OT partners with UAB Theatre

OT Life 01Our students are now getting real-world experience with a new cross-professional program that uses students from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre as patients.

OT students must master many skills in human interaction before moving to the next step of their education, including fieldwork rotations, during which they interact with real patients. So UAB OT students get to work with “real” patients before they begin their field study and UAB Theatre students get to test their chops in acting out a diagnosis before auditioning for a character role with medical issues.




ElevatorPediatrics Class

The class is officially called OT 624: Occupations of Infants, Children and Adolescents but everyone calls it "Pediatrics Class." This four-hour credit course official listing says, "Evaluation, intervention planning, implementation, and specific intervention strategies across diagnostic categories for children, birth through adolescents using a holistic approach."

But what separates this class at UAB from this class at many universities is the actual children. Faculty and staff work to bring children - yes, sometimes even their own - into the classroom so students can truly understand the challenges and the benefits of working with children. As we saw on this day, children are not easily distracted when something catches their eye.



AHECHosting AHEC Students

Students from the UAB School of Health Professions Departments of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy spent two days with students from the Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program. They explained the differences and the highlights of being an OT or a PT, they showed them how OTs and PTs work and much more.

The Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program's mission is to reduce health disparities by improving the quantity, diversity, distribution and quality of Alabama’s healthcare workforce.



OT Posters 2016Class of 2016 Poster Presentations

Every year, UAB Occupational Therapy students conduct research for their field. The research conducted cover a wide variety of problems affecting many different demographics of people. Recently, some students were even part of a published study of play space inequities between affluent and non-affluent communities.

Every year, during the Spring semester, our OT students complete their research and create posters that they present to OT practitioners, alumni, students and faculty. The 2016 event was held at the new UAB Hill Student Center Ballroom.



Cunningham AwardCunningham wins Graduate School Dean's Award

We have an award winning faculty (and four Fellows of AOTA!) most recently highlighted by Deek Cunningham, MS, OTR/L, SIPT (#2623), ATP, winning the 2016 Graduate School Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentorship. The UAB ceremony drew more than 120 people to the Hill Student Center Ballroom to celebrate Cunningham and his fellow honoree's achievements.

The honor is based on nominations from students and colleagues with the award being decided by a committee. The award winners were given personalized plaques as well as memory books that contain the letters their mentees and colleagues wrote to nominate them for the honor.



Firehouse VolunteerJoy to Firehouse Shelter

Mention volunteering at a shelter and most people think about serving food. But what about the rest of the day-to-day operations? Or what about the holidays?

After countless hours of volunteering, our students recognize that The Firehouse Shelter, who serves homeless men in the seven county Birmingham, Alabama metro area, is much more than a place for people in need to eat.

So on the student's day off - no classes, no clinics - in Fall 2015, they spent their own time off taking care of little things, like cleaning, and big things, like decorating for the holidays.



Experiential LearningExperiential Learning

So often each semester, our OT classes receive first-hand learning experiences designed to put them in the place of their potential clients.

In this session, they were asked to navigate the School of Health Professions Building in wheelchairs. For those not familiar with SHPB, it is a six-floor building. Students were required to navigate elevators, ramps, bathrooms and more without leaving their wheelchairs. In a simultaneous session, students were asked to navigate a kitchen and bake cookies while using a walker.

In both cases, students were not allowed to be out of client character during the session.



OT Pi InductionPi Theta Epsilon Induction

We inducted 16 students into the Alpha Beta Chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon last year. It was the largest inducted by UAB OT and included Anne Abernathy, Olivia Collette, Katie Crumpler, Haley Dean, Renee Harris, Alexandra Hollis, Morgan Hutto, Erin Killen, Dunrey LaRose, Casey Latham, Omar Mohiuddin, Allison Riley, Savannah Shores, Shea Spicher, Tara Weaver and Abbey White.

“Pi Theta Epsilon is known for recognizing students that have demonstrated academic excellence, scholarly contributions, and service so it is an honor to be counted among an exceptional group of students being inducted,” said one OT student.



OT LabLab Sessions

Each year we have a group of leaders, our UAB OT Student Ambassadors, who along with the UAB Student Occupational Therapy Assocation host the newest OT students for a pizza lunch.

But of course, this is about much more than just eating lunch. This is a way for the veteran students to provide the incoming students with a glimpse of what their life will be in UAB OT. This past year, more than half of the incoming class attended the session. They learned about classes, faculty, labs, clinics and expectations.