All CPERL team members share commitment and tenacity to engaging in interdisciplinary research on children’s participation and integrating what they discover within their respective programs of study. However, Kristen, Erin, and Lauren set a new bar for their resilience in overcoming challenges to complete their research training … and they did it together.

From co-coordinating data collection for an NIH grant, to co-presenting on our team’s work at ACRM conference, to joining forces on qualitative analyses to improve scientific rigor, they worked together at all hours to make things happen and produce high quality work. Of particular note, they did this with less than optimal infrastructure as CPERL transitioned from Colorado to Chicago this past year.

The rewards of a trajectory shaped by research training are not always transparent in the shorter-term, beyond the satisfaction of passing the oral defense, nor are they always material in nature. Anna Cliff, our first CPERL alum who was recently promoted to Lead of Assistive Technology for Madison Schools in Wisconsin, shares, “every tear, every late night, and all the hard work was worth every minute. It was a humbling experience and has made me a stronger OT. I may not do daily research now, but I put a lot more thought into why I do what I do… and am always trying to find ways … to advance my knowledge.”

As they graduate, so ends CPERL in Colorado. We will miss them dearly, but thank them for their lasting contributions to our lab’s work and trust that they will reap the lasting benefits of their time in CPERL. We look forward to continued collaboration as they support our team’s dissemination efforts, beginning with 3 presentations at ACRM in Chicago this Fall!


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