Dr. Vicki Smith, professor and chair of occupational therapy (OT), has been named to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Roster of Fellows.
The Roster of Fellows recognizes members of AOTA who, with their knowledge and expertise, have made a significant contribution to the continuing education and professional development of members of the association.
Nominated by Dr. Carole W. Dennis, professor of occupational therapy at Ithaca College, Smith will receive her award in Clinical and Academic Leadership through Business Management at AOTA’s 94th annual ceremony Saturday, April 5, in Baltimore, Md.
“I am honored to be recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association,” said Smith, who earned a master’s degree in business administration. “I am proud to be able to prepare the next generation of occupational therapy professionals with the knowledge and skills I have gained.”
Dennis nominated Smith because of her “long and distinguished record of service to the profession of occupational therapy, which has included professional practice, management, authorship, fieldwork education, and academia.
“I think Vicki’s ‘can do’ attitude exemplifies her clinical and academic career as an occupational therapist,” said Dennis, who was named to the Roster of Fellows in 2012. “Over the years she has taken on a number of challenging work roles and responsibilities with determination and self-confidence, and has achieved very successful outcomes.”
According to Dennis, Smith is “giving back to the profession by serving on Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) Roster of Accreditation Evaluators, which provides a great service to the profession, but also allows her to maintain the excellence of Keuka’s Occupational Therapy Program.”
In addition to her duties at Keuka, Smith has served as director of several rehabilitation clinical sites; penned the textbooks Physical Dysfunction Practice Skills for the Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Occupational Therapy Transition from Classroom to Clinic—Physical Disability Fieldwork Applications; and wrote questions for the Occupational Therapy National Certification Examination. Smith also served eight years as an accreditation reviewer for occupational education programs throughout the country.
The AOTA awards recognize those members of the association who have excelled in their contributions to the profession. Fellows must be an occupational therapist and a current member of AOTA; have made a significant contribution to the profession; be considered to be well-rounded; and have meaningful occupational therapy and other relevant involvement at the local, state, and/or national levels.
Established in 1917, AOTA is the national occupational therapy professional association. It represents the interests and concerns of occupational therapy practitioners and students, and improves the quality of occupational therapy services.
AOTA membership includes occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and occupational therapy students. AOTA’s programs and activities are directed toward assuring the quality of occupational therapy services, improving consumer access to health care services, and promoting the professional development of members.
Editor’s Note: This is the ninth in a series of profiles of new, full-time faculty members who have joined the Keuka community.
What do a Titanic survivor and two Jamaican Olympians have in common?
They are all past clients of Stanley Paul, associate professor of occupational therapy (OT).
“I treated many different patients from all walks of life when I was an OT at Beth Abraham Health Services at the Bronx and Manhattan,” said Paul.
Paul “likes to meet new people and listen to their stories. One client I will never forget is Mary Kline, a woman with a strong German accent. When she was 16, she served as a maid on the Titanic. I will always remember her; she was sweet.”
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of profiles of new full-time faculty who have joined the Keuka community.
A graduate of Keuka’s occupational therapy (OT) program, Michele Bennett has firsthand knowledge of what sets it apart from programs at other colleges.
“I love Keuka; the environment is engaging, and I have a sense of pride that goes with being part of this community,” said Bennett, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master’s degree the following year.
While teaching full time is new to Bennett, teaching at Keuka is not. She has served as a guest lecturer in several OT classes and was an adjunct instructor last year. This semester, the assistant professor teaches the occupational development classes and serves as coordinator of fieldwork experiences in non-traditional settings.
In 1986, Pixar Animation Studios opened, Aliens and Top Gun were hits at the box office, Stephen King’s It was one of the most popular books, and Professor of Occupational Therapy (OT) Peter Talty arrived on the Keuka College campus.
Now, 25 years later, Talty will end his tenure at Keuka College at the conclusion of the spring 2012 semester. Talty has been an occupational therapist for more than 40 years, and has practiced OT in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, a hand therapy clinic, home care, skilled nursing facilities, school systems, factories (ergonomics) and community agencies.
Talty was teaching kinesiology at the University at Buffalo when he received a call from Shirley Zurchauer, the founding chair of OT at Keuka.
“I came to Keuka for one course and one semester, and never left,” said Talty, who has also served as an adjunct professor at D’Youville College in Buffalo. Until 1997, he was also the owner and president of OT Works PC, a private OT practice serving numerous agencies in the Western New York area.
According to Talty, who served as division chair from 1991-2002 and was selected Professor of the Year in 1994, his departure will have no impact on the students’ education.
“We have great leadership and advocacy in OT under [Professor of Occupational Therapy] Vicki Smith,” said Talty. “She is the best division chair we’ve ever had and is a strong and tireless leader. She knows OT practice, the OT environments, and the place of education in making the best OT clinician possible. She is also a tireless advocate for the OT profession, the OT faculty, and the OT students.”
He also believes Keuka has “the greatest relationships with OT clinicians because of Jean Wannall (professor of occupational therapy and academic fieldwork coordinator),” Talty explained. “Jean has the best interpersonal skills and is able to establish and maintain strong ties with the OT clinicians who train our students. She also gets our students ready for the real world and serves as the link between the classroom and the clinics.”
In addition, Talty, who teaches Occupation Adaptation and Technology I, Advanced Theory, and Occupational and Assessment Intervention in Adolescence and Middle-adulthood I, says Keuka has a “curriculum that works, a dedicated faculty grounded in the real world of OT practice, a supportive environment, and fantastic labs and technology.
“Keuka has the most positive work environment that I have ever experienced,” he added. “There is an attitude of cooperation and support that is not common. The OT students are the best. They never miss class or are late unless something beyond their control occurs. They have faith in what we teach and work extremely hard to get the complex stuff we dispense. They also appreciate our efforts as faculty.”
After his departure from Keuka, Talty plans to ride his bike—with a group from the American Lung Association—from Seattle, Wash. to Washington, D.C. to raise funds for research.
“My father died of emphysema at the age of 54, and the fact that [the ride] is organized by the American Lung Association makes it all the more meaningful,” explained Talty. “It will be about 3,300 miles, take 49 days, and we will ride about 83 miles a day. I love to cycle and have always wanted to ride across America, but never had the time to train or do it.”
Talty and his wife, Jan, will spend the winter months in Florida, where he intends to explore teaching opportunities at Florida Gulf Coast University, practice hand therapy and rehabilitation, and volunteer at the Florida Holocaust Museum.
While his wife will not make “the ‘Big Ride’ with me, she will help me write the next chapter in our great life together,” said Talty. “We will be married 46 years Oct. 30.”
When he returns to New York, Talty plans to volunteer at the Enchanted Forest Wildlife Sanctuary, where he will be licensed to care for injured and orphaned wildlife. In 2013, Talty plans to walk the 2,180 mile-long Appalachian Trail, which passes through 14 states.
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth of 10 profiles of nominees for the 2011 Student Employee of the Year award that will be presented at the Annual Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 11.
In the more than two years Emily Conrad has served as a student employee for the Division of Occupational Therapy (OT), she has repeatedly proven her value as a well-functioning member of the office staff, according to Sandra Teague, administrative assistant.
“Emily’s contributions to the OT division have grown commensurate with her knowledge of the program and profession,” said Teague. “She absolutely knows what it means to be a professional and demonstrates this both every hour she is on, and off, duty.”