Wanna See What A Level II Experience Can Be Like?

For those readers that don’t know, Maryville’s OT students have five, count ’em, five different fieldwork experiences during their studies at Maryville.  A fieldwork experience is where our students leave campus and work along side experienced OT’s.  Our fieldworks are broken into two levels – Level I’s and Level II’s.  The Level I experiences are one week, 40 hour experiences.  The Level II experiences are 12 week, 40 hours per week experiences.  By the time our students graduate, they have a lot of clinical experience under their belts.

Although we can’t show the actual clients or clinics the students work with, we can show what they do when they aren’t working!  Two of our Class of 2014 students, Kristin Gollihur and Kari Hadler are in Tucson working at Southern Arizona Verteran’s Affairs Health Care System.  This is how they spend their time off – enjoying all that Tucson offers!


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A Lot Has Been Going On in OT Land . . .

. . . and the Blogmaster has been very remiss in her duties!!!  First and foremost, we want to congratulate our very own Bob Cunningham for completing his doctorate in Higher Education.  He completed his doctorate at UMSL (University of Missouri St. Louis) and is dissertation was titled,  “The effects of word prediction and text-to-speech on the writing process of translating in students with disorder of written expression”.  Congrats to Dr. C!!!!    (please note he’s actually much happier about this than the picture shows )



We Won!

YouTube Preview ImageOT students from across the country were challenged to come up with the best video answering the question “What Is OT?”.  Dr. Becky von der Heyde made it a class assignment and had the students break into small groups.  All groups submitted their videos to AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association).  One of our student group’s video was chosen as THE best, and was shown at the opening ceremonies at the national OT conference held in Indianapolis in April 2012.


Fifty-three (53!) of our OT students traveled to Indianapolis to attend the AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) conference being held in Indianapolis in April 2012.  Faculty members Robyn Otty and Karen Parker Davis assisted students in their fundraising efforts to offset the student’s costs of attending conference.  Raffle baskets, ‘mix-in-a-jar’ sales, corn bag sales, bingo night, a yard sale and restaurant participation (where restaurants donated a percentage of the sales during a specific time period) were all utilized to help raise money.

Two groups of our fifth year graduate students will be presenting at the AOTA national conference.  One group is giving a poster presentation on The Effects of Assistive Technology on Student’s Reading and Writing Goals.  The other group is presenting their research titled  Impact of Restorative Occupations on People with Dementia.  In addition, faculty member Dr. Robyn Otty will be giving a poster presentation entitled Community-Based Program: Becoming a Catalyst of Change for Homeless Youth With Occupational Engagement and Access.  Dr. Otty will also give one other poster presentation: Connecting the Dots: Creating a Successful Transition into an Acute Care Fieldwork Setting.

Below is a picture of the display case created by our students with the Indianpolis theme.

Fieldwork Reflections

Following are quotes from our students who recently returned from their Level II fieldwork experiences. The students were given the following themes upon which to base their quotes:

  • You made a difference
  • You engendered trust
  • You communicated effectively
  • You found role models
  • You faced realities

Their quotes are as follows:

  • I realized that the things I planned in sessions and ideas I sent home with parents was having a very real, direct, positive impact on a child’s occupations.
  • It was amazing to be a part of something like that which seems so little but meant so much to her.
  • She was capable of so many things, but helping her find ways to cope with the world around her was so difficult.
  • He told me I made his weekend by helping him get closer to his goal of driving again.
  • If it wasn’t a great day with a patient, I learned something from a co-worker or about a new diagnosis or a handy tip about how to transfer.
  • She had a great personality and went above and beyond being client-centered.
  • I was the first person to introduce a communication device and she was finally able to pick out her clothes, express her desires and pains, and communicate with her visitors. I will never forget when she looked me in the eyes and mouthed “thank you”.
  • I learned a great deal about the danger of making assumptions about the cognitive ability and potential of people who do not communicate like others typically do.
  • What I had planned did not go as planned, but I still needed to work on the skill with the supplies I had. I was able to adapt my activity and make it work!
  • My supervisor stated that she completely trusted my knowledge and ability as a colleague.
  • I felt so accomplished that I helped her make such progress!
  • I spoke fluently about how the patient was progressing in therapy and the MD asked my opinion for discharge recommendations.
  • She is set apart because she puts the client first, no matter what, and never stops learning.
  • I was able to reflect and see that I really was ready.
  • Her description of the loss of her meaningful occupations showed me that I am in the right field.
  • I was able to effectively share my knowledge and realize how much I actually had.
  • She would always be there when I needed help but really made me work for everything I learned.
  • Being accepted by them, even as a student, is something I will always be thankful for and never forget.

A Big Thanks go to all our students for allowing us to share their feelings and experiences with our blog readers.

Kinesiology – Done Maryville Style!!

Check out how Maryville University students learn kinesiology . . . and have fun in the process!

Click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftXk0SftmpM to see our students and professors in action!  Who knew a professor had those kind of moves???

“This I Believe” Assignment

Kelly Reinkemeyer is a 2nd year Occupational Therapy Student at Maryville University.  As part of her Occupational Therapy Theory course, Kelly was asked to develop a “This I Believe” essay based on the international project engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives (www.thisibelieve.org ). The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

Kelly’s instructor, Ashlyn Cunningham, had the students develop an essay based on their belief of the power of occupation and occupational therapy.  Kelly’s essay exemplifies the simple, yet powerful nature of occupation and how it promotes imagination, creativity and engagement.

Continue reading ‘“This I Believe” Assignment’

MUSOTA Prepares Care Packages for our Soldiers in Afghanistan!

The pictures are of our Maryville OT students wrapping gifts and packing boxes to send off to Capt Erik Johnson (U. S. Army) who is stationed in Afghanistan.

In December ‘09, Capt. Johnson sent an email to all OT Program Directors asking if their students wanted to sponsor his OT clinic for a designated month in 2010. Maryville is sponsoring his clinic the last two weeks in December. As Maryville will be on winter break during that time, Jessica Lange (MUSOTA President) emailed Capt. Johnson and made arrangements to Skype him during MUSOTA’s November general meeting.

The care packages will be mailed the week of November 8th to arrive in Afghanistan by December 25th.

Take a look at Capt. Johnson’s website:  armyotguy.com, or click on http://web.me.com/johnsonvillemelee/armyOTguy.com/Welcome.html

Our students after wrapping and packaging goodies for our soldiers!

Organizing the items collected



Ready to go!

Masters Luncheon!

Once our students are finished with their masters presentations (and their studies at Maryville as they are now officially our newest alumni!) we celebrated with our students, their families and friends at the Donius University Center for lunch.

Lunch is served!

Left: Jessica Aylor and Keith McWilliams




Masters Presentations!

Our graduating students presented their masters presentations in the Auditorium on Thursday, July 29th—their last official day as students in our program!

Posters were displayed in Pfaff Lobby for the audience to view

The first group to present consisted of Stacy Bean, Kristen Castens, Claire DePrimo, Jessica Graves, Heather McEwen and Emily Rauh that presented on the topic “Fall Prevention in a Continuing Care Retirement Community: Designing a Client-Centered Program Using Qualitatives Inquiry”.  Their faculty mentors were Ashlyn Cunningham, and Karen Parker Davis.

Beginning of student's presentation


Our next group of presenters consisted of Melissa Barnhill, Tamera Fountain, Holly Fults, Katie Street and Kendra Swanson.  Their topic was “Maximizing Safety & Comfort of Drivers in Vehicles” and their faculty menor was Dr. Paula Bohr.

Alaina Ernst, Laura Jendusa, Erik Judson, Keith McWilliams and Kylie Werner were our third group of presenters.  Their topic was “Stress, Perception, and Function in Occupational Therapy Students”.  Their faculty mentor was Don Kallembach.

Our fourth group of students included Courtney Bergheger, Krista Bloemer, Jamie Grundy, Melissa Kopp, and Elyse Steffan.  The title of their presentation was: “The Effect of Computer-Related Assistive Technology on Persons with Mulitiple Schlerosis”.  Their faculty mentor was Robert Cunningham.

Sarah Crittenden, Ashley Dobler, John Finch, Autmn Gleich and Rhonda Toomey presented their project on “Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Ergonomics Intervention Program for Industrial Engineers:  A Pilot Study”.  Their faculty mentor was Lisa Jaegers.

And our last group to present consisted of Jessica Aylor, Laura Hanneke, Kathryn Hobson, Mallory Nathan and Carley Smith.  Their topic was: “Incidence and Variation of Accessory Tendons of the Abductor Pollicis Longus to the Trapezium”.  Their faculty Mentor was Dr. Rebecca von der Heyde.