Professor of Occupational Therapy Peter Talty will cap his 25-year teaching career at Keuka College with a “last lecture” Sunday, May 20.
It begins at 2 p.m. in Norton Chapel and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in OT Lab (second floor, Hegeman Hall).
The title of the lecture is “Changing Addictive Behavior through Occupation,” and Talty offers this summary:
“It seems that trying to change habits is a challenge for everyone, especially those behaviors that are addictive in nature,” said Talty. “Habits that have a negative impact on health and well-being have been an interest of mine for several years. I have looked at the range of damaging habits from overeating, video games, pornography, smoking, alcohol, and so on and they all become entrenched behaviors that erode one’s quality of life and health. (more…)
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.
By: Peter Talty, Professor of Occupational Therapy
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) can be an excellent way to engage students in subjects from art history to zoology (A to Z), and just about every discipline in between. PBL was initially implemented in medical schools and has become a mainstay of instruction for schools of nursing, social work, engineering, veterinary medicine, business, law, dentistry, education, and numerous others.
Editor’s Note: This is the inaugural edition of our Fast Class video series, which showcases faculty and staff members discussing their areas of interest and expertise.