One of our CPERL members, Heather Lim, has graduated with her BS in Kinesiology and will begin her graduate study in occupational therapy. Heather was CPERL’s first research intern in Chicago, circa June 2016. During her time at CPERL, she primarily worked on designing, testing, and co-presenting on the PEM+.

Heather described her time at CPERL as being influential in developing her career interests and distinguishing herself as a unique applicant. She stated,“CPERL was the first truly immersive experience I had regarding OT and, in hindsight, is the experience that made me put the most value in OT. CPERL fostered my journey by teaching me a variety of skills I had barely even brushed upon prior to joining: leadership, mentorship, data analysis, critical thinking/problem solving, tenacity, cooperation, correspondence, manuscript writing… the list is endless. It made me also take a deeper look into the field of OT as a whole. It made me realize just how much work is needed to even make a slight step forward in OT research, and it also showed me how much OT has yet to evolve. It prepared me in a way I could never imagine — building upon my skills, making me think outside the box, and providing me with a team of friends who helped me throughout the entire application process. I think CPERL was truly the most valuable experience out of all my experiences leading up to graduate school.”

Heather recently accepted an offer to attend the OTD program in occupational therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, with a scholarship and graduate assistantship package. It is a great accomplishment to be accepted into this top OT program, and we know that she will excel during her time there. We thank her greatly for all her contributions to the lab. We will miss her and hope that she will continue to use the knowledge and experiences she gained at CPERL during her educational and career efforts.


Below are Individual well wishes from her lab members.

Whenever I would see Heather in lab, she would never fail to brighten my day. Heather has been an amazing lab mate and will be missed!” – Briana Rigau

Heather has been a delight to work with.  She communicates so effectively with everyone she meets – whether it be fellow lab members, parents, or providers at our partnered sites.  She was always willing to lend a hand, go the extra mile, and put in the extra effort it took to help our lab work run smoothly.  This won’t be the last we hear from Heather – I can’t wait to see where her journey will take her!” – Andrea Gurga

Heather was an invaluable teammate, resource, and friend for me when I first started in the lab. I was always impressed with the level of detail and dedication that she took with her work – and I know she will apply that same quality of work to her OT education. I wish her the best!” – Weronika Zuczek

Heather embodied a “go-getter” attitude and dedicated work ethic that is rare to find in others. It was especially impressive considering she maintained this level of tenacity in our lab while she was also a full-time student and working multiple jobs on the side. No matter what was asked of her, she always optimistically answered, “Yes, I can do it.” No matter if it was tedious, complicated, or something new pushing her out of her comfort zone – she was always willing to take it all on for the greater good of CPERL and improving care for children with special needs and their families. I am a better researcher and team member for having had the pleasure of working alongside her! Though she will be missed, I am so excited to hear about the next steps in her professional development. Best of luck, Heather!” – Jessica Jarvis

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