Our Events

Signature Events

The events described below are signature events hosted by the School of Occupational Therapy:

Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship

The Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship was established in 1994 by Roland and Virginia Chandler Dykes to honor the first program director of occupational therapy at Texas Woman’s University, Fanny B. Vanderkooi. It celebrates the School of Occupational Therapy’s legacy of commitment to vision, professional values, and leadership development in occupational therapy education, practice and research. The event is typically held in February and has become known as a favorite homecoming event for alumni of the TWU School of Occupational Therapy.

Community Building Workshops

The School of Occupational Therapy Community Building Workshops were established in 2001 to celebrate the professional community that surrounds and supports the School, showcase emerging and established area expertise, and to provide a vehicle for networking to foster collaborations between the professional resources of this regional occupational therapy community. The workshops are generally held in conjunction with the Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship.

Bridging The Gap

Bridging the Gap is an annual event hosted by the Pi Theta Epsilon honor society in Denton. A researcher from a related field is invited to address students, alumni, and guests and then a panel of occupational therapy experts discuss the topic to help ‘bridge the gap’ between research and occupational therapy practice. The event provides continuing education for occupational therapy practitioners.

Mary Joyce Newsom Award

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 6:32 PM, October 20, 2020