School of Occupational Therapy scholarships are awarded each spring semester for the following academic year. Current and prospective students are eligible to apply for consideration for these school level awards.

Additional descriptions and history of the awards are listed below. You can apply for scholarships through our financial aid website. The School of Occupational Therapy Scholarship Committee looks forward to reviewing your application.

Lewis A. Leavitt Scholarship

For outstanding students of occupational therapy 

Dr. Leavitt was instrumental in the support of TWU Houston School of Occupational Therapy. He was the chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the School of Occupational Therapy from 1962 until his death in 1977. Dr. Leavitt was known for his work in artificial limbs and other devices for those with disabilities. Not only did he hold leadership positions with TWU, he was former president of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, held positions with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and was the chair of that department at Baylor College of Medicine. The Lewis A. Leavitt Scholarship includes contributions in memory of former faculty members Cruz Mattei and Evelyn Jane Powell.

Sammons Fellowship Endowment Fund  

For outstanding students of occupational therapy

Fred Sammons began his professional life teaching mechanical drawing to high school students. After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he earned his Occupational Therapy degree at Virginia Commonwealth University on the GI Bill. His first job was at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he became the director of Occupational Therapy in 1957. In 1960, Fred joined the staff of the amputee clinic at Northwestern University. At Northwestern he began designing and building devices to assist individuals with disabilities in their everyday activities. With a growing demand for his devices, Fred decided in 1965 to devote all his time to creating, manufacturing, and distributing his inventions, and "the rest is history". Sammons, Inc. grew to a multimillion dollar business, and is now Sammons Preston, a part of Patterson Medical, Inc. In retirement, Fred remains a special consultant and special ambassador of this company to Occupational Therapists around the world. 

Grace Emanuel Gilkeson Fellowship

For PhD students of occupational therapy

Grace Gilkeson joined the TWU faculty in 1970 and taught on both the Dallas and Houston campuses. She served as Dean of the School of Occupational Therapy from 1983-1994. Prior to that, working in conjunction with her husband’s career, Gilkeson worked with physical disabilities in Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Jersey. Near Cleveland, Ohio, Gilkeson and a local postmaster, established a rehab facility for individuals with cerebral palsy. Grace Gilkeson trained members of the Junior League to help facilitate treatment. That clinic has continued to grow and is still in operation. Her proudest legacy is the establishment of the first occupational therapy PhD program at a public university in the United States at TWU. It took 5 years of communication with the education board in Austin and was finally established in the early 1990s. Upon her retirement in 1994, her husband, along with Fred Sammons and friends established the Grace Emanuel Gilkeson Fellowship in her honor.

Janette Schkade Memorial Scholarship Endowment

For PhD students of occupational therapy 

In, 1994 Dr. Janette Schkade, PhD, OTR, was named Dean of the School of TWU Occupational Therapy until retirement. She helped to establish the doctoral program in occupational therapy at TWU which would be the first doctoral occupational therapy program at a public university in the United States.  Her most notable research and publications have surrounded the co authorship of the occupational therapy model of occupational adaptation. After working with Texas Woman’s University for nearly 14 years, Schkade retired in 2001. After her passing in 2008, her husband established an endowment in her honor for those pursuing a doctorate degree in occupational therapy at TWU.

Dot Diggins Endowed Scholarship

For students of occupational therapy at Houston

Dorothy (Dot) Diggons was a Houston TWU MOT alumni, class of 1994, and mother of two children. Her classmates remember her as a friendly and devoted student. She served meals for those in need at the Houston George R. Brown Convention Center and worked with individuals with multiple sclerosis at Camp Can-Do. Dot’s thesis at the conclusion of her master’s program was on how those with multiple sclerosis can adapt to everyday living.  In 1995, at the beginning of her occupational therapy career at age 38 she passed away from lung cancer. Diggon’s family, together with the students from her class, created the scholarship to recognize a Houston Master of Occupational Therapy student who demonstrates the commitment and kindness that Dot did in her life.

Lee Rowe Sewell Scholarship Fund

For students of occupational therapy at Dallas or Denton

Lee Sewell served on the TWU Occupational Therapy faculty at both Dallas and Denton Campuses. She became Associate Dean of Occupational Therapy in Denton in 1994 where she was a champion for students and an excellent mentor for young faculty. Her life was cut short by ALS, but her legacy lives on through the occupation-based education of students at TWU.

Catherine Currie Scholarship

For students of occupational therapy

Catherine Currie joined the faculty at TWU Occupational therapy school in 1968 as a graduate assistant. She became a faculty member in 1969, the assistant director from 1978 until 1982, and the interim dean of the school for a year 1982-1983. Currie was awarded Outstanding Educator in America in 1972. A pediatric specialist in occupational therapy, she belonged to the Center for the Study of Sensory Integration Dysfunction. In 1973 she was recognized as the Texas Occupational Therapist of the Year. Along with the above accomplishments, Catherine Currie was involved in the American Occupational Therapy Association, past vice chairwoman of Trinity North Texas Occupational Therapy Association, and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Gerry F. Pullium Endowed Scholarship

For students of occupational therapy

Gerry Pullium graduated from Texas Woman’s University with an occupational therapy degree in 1960. Originally from Mineola, Texas, Pullium began her occupational therapy career in Pueblo, Colorado. She was the assistant chief occupational therapist at Colorado State Hospital from 1960-1962; chief occupational therapist at Pueblo Therapy Center from 1961-1962. From 1962-1963 she was a staff therapist at Fort Logan Mental Health Center in Denver, Colorado. She returned to Texas as senior staff therapist  at Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Waco 1963-1967. Pullium worked in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Parkland Memorial Hospital of Dallas as chief occupational therapist 1970-1988. From 1988 until her retirement in 1996, she worked at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School as both an occupational therapist and a faculty member. After her death in 1997, her husband established the Gerry F. Pullium Endowed Scholarship in her name.

Page last updated 12:04 PM, September 12, 2018