Mary Joyce Newsom Award

This annual event honors TWU occupational therapy alumna Mary Joyce Newsom. Prior to her death in 1982, Ms. Newsom served for 20 years as the director of occupational therapy for the Memorial Hermann Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research. Ms. Newsom received both her bachelor degree and master’s degree in occupational therapy from TWU.

After Ms. Newsom’s death, Harriett Davidson, TWU associate professor of occupational therapy, and her husband, Dr. Donald Davidson, 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. A separate ceremony started in 1994, with awardees from the prior year returning to TWU to present a lecture to current students.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to the lecture, which is followed by a reception for honorees. Criteria for the award are based on Ms. Newsom’s concept of the ideal occupational therapist. Specifically, these include scholarship, professional and 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 10:11 AM, November 30, 2020