School & Alumni News
When Dallas opened an emergency shelter for unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in North Central America in spring 2021, Texas Woman’s School of Occupational Therapy faculty and students jumped at the opportunity to use their skills to help. Much like when the field of occupational therapy supported people experiencing occupational deprivation in the old psychiatric hospitals and tuberculosis asylums 100 years ago, this shelter needed help to provide meaningful activities and support an environment that allowed minors to heal.
Houston native Anthony Bui wanted to make a difference in the world, but wasn’t sure how to accomplish that. He knew it would involve serving others, though, and joined the U.S. Marine Corps right after graduating high school. Now, he’s set to receive his Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree in Texas Woman’s May 2021 Houston commencement ceremony.
From a young age, Texas Woman’s alumnus and School of Occupational Therapy Associate Clinical Professor William Sit (MA ’99, PhD ’04), 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).
Alumni News: Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown, OTD, OTR/L, BCP ’79 was recently appointed to the American Occupational Therapy Association Commission on Continuing Competence in Professional Development.
Alumni News: Charles Williams
Charles Williams ’95, ’97 is the new president of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Hillcrest in Waco, Texas.
Texas Woman’s University is honoring the legacy of Dr. Sophie Lin Rydin, occupational therapy alumna (MOT ’78, PhD ’07) and adjunct professor, through the naming of the Dr. Sophie Lin Rydin School of Occupational Therapy - TWU Houston Center.
When the infinite cycle of sales quotas, corporate ladder expectations and ethical dilemmas finally became too much for former sales associate and Texas Woman’s alumnus Christopher Villarreal (MOT ’17), he decided to go back to school and pursue his earlier dream of occupational therapy. That decision has not only awarded him a more fulfilling life, but it continues to enable him to affect positive change in this world.
As a child growing up in Greenville, Texas, Texas Woman’s occupational therapy alumna Christina Hill (MOT ’14) combatted issues of alcoholism, drug addiction and poverty within her family and herself. But with the help of her faith, the discipline of martial arts, and most importantly, the support of her son and husband, she has dedicated her life to helping others persevere through their own struggles.
OT faculty members part of collaborative research project
School of Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor Heather Roberts and Assistant Professor Angela Shierk are part of a collaborative research effort between Scottish Rite for Children and Texas Woman’s University, UT Arlington and the University of North Texas that is looking into the impact of the pandemic on teenagers and youth. The collaboration is detailed in the D Magazine article, "Scottish Rite for Children is Studying the Impact of the Pandemic on Children and Young Adults."
A Dallas Museum of Art official says TWU's Tina Fletcher was instrumental to a recent exhibition and its catalogue, which won a "best in show" award in the Texas Association of Museums publication design competition.
As both a health care professional and an officer in the U.S. Army, Texas Woman’s alumna Maj. Katie Odom (BS ’07, MOT ’09), serves her patients and her country every day. Now the recipient of the prestigious Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers Martelet Cup, she continues to be grateful for the foundation she received from TWU and the amazing experiences the Army has provided.
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience many challenges when it comes to participating in social activities in their communities, and as a result, are frequently underemployed, bullied or lonely. Thanks to a $267,477 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Woman’s Occupational Therapy faculty member Tina Fletcher EdD, MFA, OTR, is addressing this problem.
Occupational therapy PhD student co-authors AOTA document
Christene Maas, TWU occupational therapy PhD student, co-authored the autism opportunities roadmap for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Lou Ann Hintz, Texas Woman’s PhD in occupational therapy student and recipient of a Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarship, first heard the words “occupational therapy” when she was just 9 years old. From that day forward, she knew she wanted to have a job where she could help others by making them feel better despite having medical conditions and being separated from their families.
The Texas Woman’s University School of Occupational Therapy will host its 27th annual Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship at the T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center (5500 Southwestern Medical Ave., Dallas, TX 75235-7299) on Friday, Feb. 7.
Eight years ago, TWU Occupational Therapy professor Tina Fletcher, EdD, MFA, OTR, collaborated with the Dallas Museum of Art to host sensory friendly events to build autism awareness and bring OT training and teaching opportunities to her students. The events have now expanded across Dallas and influenced museum planners and therapists across the globe.
TWU alumnus and hospital CEO Charles E. Williams is building a foundation for continuous quality care
The Regional Medical Center's President and Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Williams compares his duty to provide quality care to that of building a home. Ensuring a good foundation undergirded by the strength of community involvement and support is where he has started. Williams received his bachelor’s degree in community health/health studies and his master’s in occupational therapy, both from Texas Woman's University. He was the first person in his family to go to college and later earned a second master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas in Arlington in 2001.
Graduate students in occupational therapy worked alongside Scottish Rite’s neurology and occupational therapy research teams this summer to implement a constraint induced movement therapy (CIMT) camp for children diagnosed with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. It was the second year TWU students have participated in the camp, and assistant professor Heather Roberts, PhD, says it will be an annual event.
Roberts and adjunct faculty member Angela Shierk, PhD, worked with approximately 40 TWU occupational therapy students during the two-week camp held at Scottish Rite Hospital in Frisco.
Texas Woman's University faculty and students hit a home run in early April when they managed an Autism Awareness Night for children and their families at a Frisco RoughRiders baseball game. According to Gwen Weatherford, director of TWU's sport management program, the baseball team specifically requested support from TWU. Twenty TWU occupational therapy students and faculty members managed the event, with hosting support from TWU students in sport management and kinesiology
Yvonne M. Randall, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, CFD, (BS '87) will be honored as one of two TWU Distinguished Alumni on Friday, April 12, 2019, in the Blagg-Huey Library. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor given to a graduate of Texas Woman’s University. Recipients represent the high ideals of the university demonstrated in a lifetime of professional accomplishment, leadership and service which brings honor to the recipient and the university. Randall is an occupational therapist currently serving as chair of the American Occupational Therapy Association Political Action Committee and associate dean in the College of Health and Human Services, Touro University Nevada.
A new app aims to make home assessments easier for clinicians and home owners, while providing more consistent and thorough results.
"Can sensory gallery guides for children with sensory processing challenges improve their museum experience?"
Tina S. Fletcher, associate professor of occupational therapy at Texas Woman's University, Amanda B. Blake and Kathleen E. Shelffo explore whether museum gallery guides for sensory avoiders and seekers could be utilized with children with sensory sensitivities to help them prepare for and participate in museum experiences. Results showed combining both sensory avoiding and seeking gallery guides into one sensory friendly gallery guide can have a positive impact on a child’s museum experience.
TWU Dallas occupational therapy students host "A Show of Hands" exhibit
The "A Show of Hands" exhibit marks the end of the first semester of school for TWU Dallas occupational therapy students (OT 5132: Persons, Tools and Occupations). Like the experience of hand casting, the journey toward becoming an occupational therapist is marked by periods of intense activity, excitement, frustration, pleasure and contemplation.
As is typical for endeavors associated with the field of occupational therapy, the process and outcome of hand casting reflects a complex blend of science and artistry. Hand casts may serve as a form of medical documentation, as an essential component of creating prosthetics and orthotics, or may contribute to reducing scar tissue formation by enabling therapists to create customized splints that supply sustained pressure to burned skin.
According to associate professor Tina Fletcher, "there is also no denying the psychosocial aspect of creating an image of oneself. The occupational therapy students have taken the complex process of alginate and Hydrostone casting to another level through their display of expressive hand gestures and the inclusion of objects that reflect who they were, are now, and someday hope to be."
When the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden hosted its Autumn at the Arboretum Sensory Friendly Family Day on Sunday, Nov. 5., students from Texas Woman’s University’s School of Occupational Therapy were there to help guests as they explored special sensory-friendly exhibits.
Our Spring 2017 Newsletter is now available! Download your copy today (pdf).
Whether you’re a recent TWU School of Occupational Therapy graduate, or a longtime friend of the school, we know that you’re making a difference in the lives of your clients and your communities.
We would love to know about your accomplishments and journeys since graduating from the School of Occupational Therapy. We may even feature you on our website! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know the results of your career choice as an occupational therapist and your education from TWU. You may also sign up for the Friends of OT email list to receive job info from corporate supporters. Email your contact information (name, physical address, and web address) to email@example.com.
Page last updated 9:53 AM, July 19, 2021