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The 21st Annual Mary Joyce Newsom Lecture and Celebration of Scholarship was hosted by Texas Woman’s University, School of Occupational Therapy, Institute of Health Sciences Houston.

Mary Joyce Newsom


Sarah Cupit

This year’s event took place Wednesday April 23, 2014.  Pictured above is Sarah Cupit, the 2014 Mary Joyce Newsom Award recipient.  Previous year’s recipient Cissette Muster delivered an inspirational lecture titled: The OT Toolbox – Using Skill to Empower Others and was there to pass the honor on to Sarah who will return in 2015 with her message for the class coming up behind her.

The award was established to honor Mary Joyce Newsom for her professional contributions, her personal qualities, and to honor and promote student excellence at the Houston Center. Mary Joyce Newsom received both her BS and MA degrees in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University. She served as Director of Occupational Therapy at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research in Houston for 20 years, until she resigned in 1980 because of ill health. Donald and Harriett Davidson, following Miss Newsom’s death, established the Newsom Award fund in 1982. This fund was transferred to the Mary Joyce Newsom Endowment Fund for Occupational Therapy in 1994. The Newsom Award was first given at the Houston Center in 1982, at the time of a recognition ceremony for students leaving the center to go to their Level II fieldwork experiences. In 1994 a separate ceremony was begun, in which the awardees from the prior year returned to TWU to present a lecture to current students. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to the lecture; light refreshments to follow.

The criteria for the award are based on Miss Newsom’s concept of the ideal occupational therapist. Specifically, these include scholarship, professional/community service, and personal characteristics including an ability to see things in perspective, a genuine sense of humor, a commitment to finding better ways to do things, a commitment to the theoretical base of occupational therapy, and a genuine interest in and concern for people.

page last updated 3/11/2015 1:10 PM