It’s graduation season again at UIC OT, and our newest team member, Vivian, graduated with her MS degree. She was voted on by faculty to receive the Emerging Leader Award for “being a model graduate student who inspires, through her words and actions, to be unapologetically ambitious and unwavering in one’s commitment to contribute to the profession”.

Vivian has a clear vision for advancing participation-focused practice with individuals and organizations and a growth mindset to working towards that vision through a rigorous MS program of study that has so far included: 1) successful completion of a LEND fellowship project involving the development of a podcast feature for a local community of practice, 2) volunteer work (e.g., innovative programming for young people with Down Syndrome); and 3) professional leadership (e.g., taking part in AOTA Hill Day). Vivian has successfully disseminated on her  fellowship and volunteer work at both state and national conferences.

This past Spring, Vivian began transitioning into her OTD phase of study by diving into our lab’s work. She has already earned co-authorship for a manuscript in preparation, the methods of which have prepared her to complete her field exam and the results of which she will use to complete her OTD project focused on product development. When not in lab, Vivian is preparing to take her OT certification exam to begin practicing as an occupational therapist while completing her OTD degree this academic year.

Stay tuned for more information on the scope of her capstone project as it takes shape!

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