School & Alumni News

OT PhD student wins second association award

Texas Woman’s PhD student Sue Ram, OTD, OTR, received the 2023 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Gary Kielhofner Emerging Leader Award for extraordinary service early in her career. 


OT faculty awarded grant to assist children with cerebral palsy

Two Texas Woman’s occupational therapy faculty members received a $20,000 grant from United Cerebral Palsy to fund early diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy in children. Assistant professors Heather Roberts, PhD, and Angela Shierk, PhD, will use the grant to train and work with early childhood intervention therapists to implement Therapy Together, a caregiver-led intervention for young children that have unilateral cerebral palsy or are at risk for developing unilateral cerebral palsy.

Pageant title spurs OTD student to pursue greater role in supporting homeless

Aryana Bosh is small but mighty. The 5’2” Texas Woman’s occupational therapy doctoral student has big plans, big ideas and a lot to say. She was crowned Miss Black Texas and is hoping to use her platform over the next year to help others.

Three OT students volunteer with Foster Grandparent Program

Three students from Texas Woman’s School of Occupational Therapy gave a presentation on fall prevention to volunteers from the Foster Grandparent Program in Denton.

OT faculty members collaborate on published article

Four members of the Texas Woman’s University community from two schools collaborated on an article published in the school psychology publication, Communiqué.

Environmental audits aimed at reducing barriers

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s motto, “Nothing About Us Without Us,” means that decisions about autism need to be made with input from people with autism. Tina Fletcher (Occupational Therapy, Dallas) and her students took that to heart in a project aimed at evaluating the autism-friendliness of community venues and events.

Fletcher used a $267,477 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to create sensory spaces on wheels for use at cultural arts and entertainment venues, and also developed an environmental audit process for businesses and other public venues.

TWU Houston students collaborate on custom cars

Occupational therapy and nursing students from TWU’s Houston campus partnered with students from EnMed to provide electric ride-on vehicles for some children with special needs in the Houston community. The project was part of the national Go Baby Go program.

Regents give green light to health science building project

The Texas Woman’s University System Board of Regents today approved a plan to build a 175,000-square-foot health science center for the Denton campus to support growth in the colleges of health sciences and nursing and other collaborative efforts.

TWU occupational therapy graduate finds more than just an education

Texas Woman’s is known as the “campus with a heart” for the care and attention given to each and every student, especially when those students, like December 2021 MOT graduate Sommer Moreno, find themselves balancing their education while starting a family.

TWU occupational therapy alumna Aimee Piller, PhD '16, featured on AOTA podcast

TWU occupational therapy alumna Aimee Piller, PhD '16, was the featured guest on AOTA's Everyday Evidence podcast. She discussed generating, implementing and promoting evidence in pediatric occupational therapy practice.

TWU provides unique camp experience for children with cerebral palsy

Texas Woman’s University School of Occupational Therapy faculty members are always searching for ways to combine research and therapy that not only aids patients but also contributes to new knowledge in their profession. This summer, they were able to do both by providing children with cerebral palsy a camp to improve the use of their upper extremities and have fun in the process.

TWU faculty and students use occupational therapy to alleviate trauma in minors

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.

TWU occupational therapy graduate has a passion for helping others

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.

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), 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.

TWU Houston School of Occupational Therapy named for alumna Dr. Sophie Rydin

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.

TWU alumnus finds new purpose in helping others through occupational therapy

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.

Faith and Focus: TWU OT alumna Christina Hill finds success through adversity

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."

OT faculty member Tina Fletcher credited for role in DMA award

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.

A life of service: TWU alumna demonstrates commitment to patients and country

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.

TWU professor uses grant to help create autism-friendly community events

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).

TWU graduate student trains next generation of occupational therapists

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.

Texas Woman’s holds annual occupational therapy lecture, workshop

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.

Fletcher brings Autism awareness events to students and DFW community

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.

Camp benefits children, OT students

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.

TWU hosts Autism Awareness night at Frisco RoughRiders ballpark

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, to receive TWU Distinguished Alumni Award

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.

Page last updated 9:03 AM, January 6, 2023