Student Resources by and for Occupational Therapy students

We are seeking a student Volunteers for the 2017-2018 Newsletter 

If you are a Student Member of FOTA and are interested in Editing and/or participating in the student newsletter, please submit an application. The current student staff will choose the incoming staff . The deadline to submit is July 1. The Fall issue (September) will be the first issue for the new team.  


This form is to apply to the position of one of the following (a) FOTA Student Resource Writers (b) FOTA Student Resource Coordinator. Please answer each application question succinctly in 5-10 sentences.













by Cheryl Mae Granada

The environment affects the individual at the occupational level (Iwama, 2014). This past year social and physical environments affected many of us, from one of the most divided elections in American history, the category four hurricane across Florida, the Black Lives Matter movement, the Pulse shooting, and the Dallas police department vigils. (Google, 2016). All of these events have influenced, touched, and affected us as humans and occupational beings. Among all the changing social, political and external winds we must seek hope as we enter this holiday season and reflect and see how we can be change agents (big or small) with our profession’s skills & principles as our secret weapon.

“If you take away the labels we are far more alike than different” –Ellen DeGeneres

Your Holiday help with hope

By Jordan Powers, OTD-S

This edition of Inspiration Corner is on Holiday Hope. This can have a different meaning to everyone who reads it. For me it means that this is not only a celebration of various holidays and the end of a year, but also hope for the future. The end of the year can have positive connotations such as if you have been productive and are looking forward to another year and future in occupational therapy. However, it can also have negative ones, if school is difficult, or you are faced with the daunting task of “finding a job” and taking the NBCOT exam. Whether this is a joyous or stressful time for you, it is important to remember others who may be less fortunate than you. The holidays are a time where one can typically wind down and spend time with loved ones. Use this opportunity to rejuvenate yourself for what is to come. To help you with taking time for yourself I have put together a little “How To” guide for you, this is just what I do not official doctor recommendations!!

How to relax

  1. Notice you are stressed out
  2. Sit down in a comfy place (snuggle with something soft if you like)
  3. Try to not think about everything going on in your life, focus on a thing or place that makes you happy
  4. Focus on staying in your “happy place” / drink some alcohol (just kidding ☺)
  5. Plan out how to tackle whatever you are struggling with

How to organize your life

  1. Write down your plans (Short term & Long term)
  2. Get a planner/app calendar! Write down things you have to do, due dates, plans, etc.
  3. Create a list of things to do… and actually do them (I promise you get satisfaction from crossing off something on your list)
  4. When feeling overwhelmed look at everything you are doing and decide what is most important (what brings you the most joy, what will help you the most in the future), eliminate the non-essential items until you have more free time

How to gift give during the holidays  

  1. You’re at OT student!!! Get creative! Go on Pinterest, Etsy, and other sites to find something you want to make
  2. This will allow you to work on your potential child craft projects and relax by doing something with your hands
  3. Since we are all in school, we understand the struggles of a graduate student budget. When purchased gifts for many people during the holidays, it can be pricey. Consider doing a Secret Santa gift exchange between friends, and then you only have to shop for 1 person. In your family if a member wants something big, talk to the others about purchasing collectively so the cost is divided.  
  4. If you are struggling with someone who is particularly difficult to shop for, consider what he or she is passionate about. Find an organization that matches their personal motto and give a contribution in recognition of him/her. Through donating supplies, time or money you are providing hope to someone else which is what this holiday season is all about.

Year in ralteview: Occupational therapy’s progress
By Cheryl Mae Granada, OTD-S

I was exposed to my first specialized elective this semester; Occupational science (OS). OS is the complex study and expanding research base of human occupation (Pierce, 2014). As occupational therapy (OT) students and growing activity analysis experts, one might think that we know occupations pretty well however a systematic, intentional examination is required to understand occupation as a phenomenon to grow our field in evidence-based practice. Despite the pushback our profession has received from social understanding, I believe OT has progressed in many areas and there is hope for a greater understanding especially as we approach our 100th year since our founders created this amazing therapeutic and meaningful profession.
OT in acute care
The year 2016 marks significant progress for the field of OT namely in the finding by an independent study of OT’s role in acute care. “OT was the only spending category where additional spending had a statistically significant association with lower readmission rates” (Rogers, Bai, Lavin, & Anderson, 2016). Though the study only focused on heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction conditions, the study highlighted the profession’s client-centered focus on the client’s functional and social needs (Rogers, Bai, Lavin, & Anderson, 2016). This finding poses a friendly reminder for students of our profession’s values and priorities in the therapeutic process of client care and intervention.
OT in schools
This year in March, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) took the opportunity to advocate for children with disabilities after the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last December 2015. The ESSA provides more power and authority to states in the decision making process for educational standards for their respective public schools. Within this new policy, which replaced the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act was the term specialized instructional support personnel (SISP) which includes OT practitioners. This act gives more opportunities for occupational therapists working in the school system to provide targeted, student-centered therapy for children challenged with education and other occupations the school setting offers. AOTA advocated for the necessary supports and accommodations for students with disabilities to successfully participate in the school setting (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2016).
Occupational Science
The study of occupation includes occupations that vary across contexts. Each of us celebrates the holidays differently with our different cultures, family dynamics, traditional ugly sweater parties, and delicious celebratory food dishes. Despite our different occupations, customs, and routines this season; we share the holiday spirit of giving, hope, and love. However, some groups of individuals are unable to participate in meaningful holiday occupations.
A construct of OS is occupational injustice which is the term used to describe the unequal opportunity to participate and engage in occupations that are meaningful (Whiteford, 2010). This holiday season remember there are individuals who are underserved, homeless, and faced with occupational deprivation. Use your humanistic instincts to serve individuals through the power of occupation.        


By Cheryl Mae Granada, OTD-S

 Among all the changing social, political and external winds we must seek hope as we enter this holiday season and see how we can be change agents (big or small) with our profession’s skills & principles as our secret weapon.

Here are some ways local Florida Occupational Therapy students got involved this holiday season (Please email [email protected] if you feel your student organization went above and beyond this holiday season!!!):

  • Winter Games Event - Student Occupational Therapy Association, Florida Gulf Coast University.  A holiday running event facilitated by Master of Occupational Therapy students from Thanksgiving through Christmas to raise positive awareness of people with disabilities.
  • Sensitive Santa Event  -  Student Occupational Therapy Association, Adventist University.  An event facilitated by Adventist University Master of Occupational Therapy students held at Princeton House Charter School to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) enjoy holiday traditions and occupations.
  • Kenly Elementary School Clothing & School Supply Drive - Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) Beta Delta Tampa, Nova Southeastern University- Tampa.  This community event facilitated by Nova Southeastern University Entry-level Doctoral students in the PTE honor society gave back to the community by providing a local Hillsborough county school -where 80-90% of students are on free or reduced lunch- with school supplies and gently used clothing.       top

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2016). AOTA Comments on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Retrieved from
Google. (Producer). (2016). Google- Year In Search 2016 [YouTube video]. Available from
Iwama, M. K. (2010). Cultural persepctives on occupation. In C. H. Christensen & E. A. Townsend (Eds)., Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living (pp. 35-52). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
Pierce, D. (2014). Occupational science research describing occupation. In D. Pierce (Ed.) Occupational science for occupational therapy (pp.13-18). Thorafare, NJ: SLACK Incorporated.  
Rogers, A. T., Bai, G., Lavin, R. A., & Anderson, G. F. (2016). Higher hospital spending on occupational therapy is associated with lower readmission rates. Medical Care Research and Review, 1-19. doi:10.1177/1077558716666981
Whiteford, G. (2010). Occupational deprivation: Understanding limited participation. In C. H. Christensen & E. A. Townsend (Eds)., Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living (pp. 303-325). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

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Your FOTA  Membership dollars at work! The Florida OT Association Board is pleased to announce that membership dollars have now promoted the opportunity of education! In 2010 the Board voted to form a partnership with the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) to enable your state association to offer a scholarship to an OT student. Monies from a long-held but small scholarship fund in the name of Myra McDaniels were given to the AOTF to manage. This action has allowed these monies to grow sufficiently to offer a scholarship this year. AOTF reported this month that Over 1,000 students began the process and over two hundred students submitted their applications. The Scholarship Selection Committee is now busy reviewing the applications. Your Association Board and future recipients of this scholarship thank you for your membership! For more information visit:


About Student Resources: 
Meet your Student Resource Writers
Jonathan Pitts OTD-S, Student Resource WriterJonathan Pitts OTD-S, Student Resource Writer
Hello, I’m Jonathan Pitts! Welcome to the Hot Topics section of the FOTA student resource page. Within this section I will be reporting and discussing issues that are current, important, and sometimes controversial to the field of occupational therapy. 
My goal is to present ideas and information fairly and critically so that readers can be more informed about their profession and the wider healthcare landscape. If you have any comments, ideas for topics, or contributions feel free to email me at [email protected]. I found occupational therapy senior year at Flagler College. With a social and cultural psychology background I felt that my own goals of helping people regain their lives lined up with the core philosophy of OT. I am currently a Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at Nova Southeastern University Tampa.

 Jordan Powers OTD-S, Student Resource WriterJordan Powers OTD-S, Student Resource Writer
Hello everyone!  My name is Jordan Powers and I am a second year Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at Nova Southeastern University in Tampa, FL. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2008. After graduation, I volunteered as an occupational therapy technician at an Army hospital in N.C. and fell in love with the profession. 
One day I hope to make a difference in the lives of military members with physical and mental traumas. Being involved and volunteering allows me to fulfill my passion for serving others. I love this profession and hope that my enthusiasm INSPIRES you. I am always available through email: [email protected] so just drop a line if you need a little individual encouragement.

Cheryl Mae Granada OTD-S: Student Resource CoordinatorCheryl Mae Granada OTD-S, Student Resource Coordinator

Hello! Welcome to Community Connections. My name is Cheryl Mae Granada and the purpose of this section is to raise awareness of what is happening with student occupational therapy organizations within Florida (OTA/MOT/OTD programs). As a writer in this section, my goal is to bridge connections and promote networking opportunities between students who follow the same passion of occupational therapy. We can learn so much from each other. I hope to do this by interviewing and spotlighting local student organizations each semester. Please contact me at [email protected] if you would like your student organization to participate in an interview. 

Along with trying to connect the student occupational therapy community through this section, I am a second year Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at Nova Southeastern University-Tampa. Go Sharks! I knew I wanted to be an occupational therapist when I was in tenth grade and I have a personal goal to spread the word on the specialized services that occupational therapy has to offer in this day and age. I hope to work with children and youth however, with the vast opportunities our profession has to offer I intend to keep my mind open.                                                       top

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