TWU alumnus, faculty member awarded for career of service
From a young age, Texas Woman’s alumnus and School of Occupational Therapy Associate Clinical Professor William Sit (MA ’99, PhD ’04), who works at the TWU T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences - Dallas Center, wanted to pursue a career in healthcare and volunteer in various settings. Those desires have led him to a three-decades-long career as an occupational therapist, inspired a passion for teaching and resulted in him being named 2020 Texas Occupational Therapist of the Year by the Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA).
Growing up in Hong Kong, Sit was drawn to the field of occupational therapy as way to help others. He also liked that the profession was research based and scholarly supported. After earning a diploma in occupational therapy from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, he worked as an occupational therapist in Asia for several years but decided he wanted to further his education and expand his knowledge of the field.
“I am a lifelong learner, so I knew continuing my education was the right path for me,” he said.
Sit discovered that TWU was among the top-ranked occupational therapy schools in Texas, so he moved to the United States and his earned his MA and PhD in Occupational Therapy from the university.
After working as an occupational therapist for several years, Sit decided he could make a larger impact on the profession and made the shift from learner to teacher. He became an adjunct faculty member with TWU in 2010 and an assistant clinical professor in 2014.
“As an instructor, I realized that the relationship between learning and teaching is bidirectional,” he said. “My instruction style soon became characterized by a teaching-learning philosophy of profound respect for students as developing clinicians, learners and teachers themselves. In my role as an educator, I hold myself to high standards of skill and competency, and I am driven by a genuine devotion to my students. I am rewarded the most by their successes, which is a measure of my success as an educator.”
In addition to his teaching, Sit has worked as a clinical educator at The Agape Clinic, a primary health care clinic for underserved minority populations in Dallas, to expand the TWU network with clinicians and medical staff. He served as an expert witness in a legal case in 2016 and a physical rehabilitation case in 2020. He also is the primary coordinator bringing occupational therapy students and other faculty to volunteer in an LGBTQ homeless shelter for youth at the Cathedral of Hope through Dallas Hope Charities.
It was that dedication to his students and the field of occupational therapy that led to Sit receiving the TOTA award this year. Recipients of this award display professionalism, leadership and service to the profession at the local, state and/or national level.
“I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of this award,” said Sit. “I strive to contribute to the profession, volunteer in my community and further occupational therapy awareness however I can.”
“William models leadership and advocacy, mentors students into leadership roles, makes it a point to stay current in advanced practice areas and maintains an active clinical practice,” said School of Occupational Therapy Associate Director Noralyn Pickens, PhD, OT. “We are so pleased that TOTA has recognized him for his many contributions, and we are Pioneer Proud that he represents TWU’s best!”
Though the recognition is nice, for Sit, the work itself is and will always be what’s most important.
“It has been my pleasure and honor as a representative of TWU to serve students, the community and the profession of occupational therapy.”
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Page last updated 11:11 AM, December 3, 2020