Student Resources by and for Occupational Therapy students 
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A Note From The Editor
by Sue Ram, OTD

FOTA Student Check-in

FOTA student members, I know it has been some time since there has been an update. With all of the changes and restrictions in place during these times, I have found myself with a little more free time on my hands than usual as I study for my board exam. I wanted to check in with the FOTA student members for a few reasons as I know we are all experiencing challenges as we navigate new territory with a global health pandemic. I can imagine the frustration, disappointment, sadness, and financial losses that are coming as a result of lost fieldwork placements, transition to online learning, and canceled graduations. Just know that you are not alone and that we will all make it out of this on the other end stronger than ever as OTs/OTAs. I hope that this message finds you all well and if you are experiencing challenges, I invite you to reach out to FOTA for support regarding any concerns you have regarding the current situation. FOTA has made it a priority to keep its members updated on how COVID-19 is affecting our profession, our OTs/OTAs, and our students, so please feel free to reach out and know that FOTA is here for you. You can always check the main FOTA page for important updates as well!

My goal is that we use this platform as a way to open a discussion about our feelings regarding the impact that COVID-19 has had on OT/OTA students. I hope that we can come up with solutions, talk through our concerns, and support each other during these challenging times. I hope that this message reaches students throughout the state so that we can communicate and support each other. As always, FOTA and myself are always available at any time to discuss and be there for students in any way possible. Happy OT Month!

If you have a little extra time on your hands and would like to contribute to the FOTA Student Resource page or have a story to share, please email me at [email protected] or [email protected] and we can chat. I would love to showcase what students are doing to cope with COVID-19 and its impacts on students around the state. 

Please stay safe and healthy,
Sue Ram


Stepping up in Unprecedented Times
By Sue Ram, OTD

None of us could have expected that our lives would be thrown into a frenzy of sudden canceled plans, online classes, and staying at home having to decide how to consume our time. The effects of COVID-19 have impacted each and every one of us in ways we could not have imagined. As students and new grads, we may have faced many challenges and may be at a loss for what we can do to really help out. Over the last few weeks, I found myself thinking of what my role is in this situation? I am not currently working, so I am not on the frontlines of the situation like many OTs and OTAs I know who are out in the field. I have found that although many students and new graduates may feel helpless, there are ways we can leave a positive impact during these times to help others. I will share a few ideas that I have come up with that allow us to use our unique skills as students to help others in a time of need.

  1. Put your technology skills to use. Many educators and parents are having difficulties transitioning to online learning platforms. Many students are equipped with the knowledge on apps, websites, and social media. Offer to help someone who might be struggling with this transition if you feel confident in using platforms such as Zoom, Youtube, etc.                                                                        
  2. Pick up a useful hobby.Many of my friends have been left with a lot of free time on their hands. I have seen friends who are 
    making hand sanitizers and lotions to send to friends and family. Many people are making cloth masks to donate to healthcare workers. Use your free time in a positive way to give back to others who are working overtime to keep us safe. There are many templates on the internet. The CDC website is a great place to start.                                                                          
  3. Advocate for OT. This is the perfect time to step up to the plate and write letters to legislators to know how important we are during this time. Take a few minutes each day to dedicate to filling out letters that not only support OT, but support our profession and what we can do during a global pandemic. Another way to advocate for OT, especially during OT month is to share stories with others on how amazing the profession is. Some OT/OTA students have been posting a daily photo challenge on Instagram while others are making OT-related Tik Toks to share with the world. 
  4. Educate others. As healthcare professionals, we have a duty to ensure that the public is receiving accurate and reliable information. Always guide your friends and family to the evidence. We are great at finding the best evidence and sharing it with others. We also know the importance of sharing information from sources such as the CDC and WHO. Now is the time to educate others on health promotion. 

Although these were just a few suggestions, I encourage you to use those creativity skills and think of other ways OT/OTA students and new grads can step up to the plate during a pandemic. I would love to hear your stories about how you have been making a difference during these unprecedented times.

Sue Ram



Your FOTA  Membership dollars are at work! The FOTA board is pleased to announce a partnership with AOTA 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. AOTF reported this month that over 1,000 students began the process and over two hundred students submitted their applications. The Scholarship Selection Committee reviews applications on a yearly basis. Your Association Board and future
recipients of this scholarship thank you for your membership! For more information visit:
AOTF Scholarships Overview
AOTF Scholarships Available
AOTF Scholarships -- How to apply
AOTA Scholarship Info page

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About Student Resources: 
Sue Ram, OTD/S, Student Resource Editor                 

My name is Sue Ram and I am a second year OTD student at Gannon University! I am a native of the wonderful Tampa Bay area and I am excited to contribute my writing and editing skills to FOTA as the Student Resource Coordinator. I graduated from the University of South Florida where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Health Communication. I also received a minor in Behavioral Healthcare and another in Criminology. 

A hobby for  writing and a passion for occupational therapy is what brought me to this point of writing for our state OT association. I believe that writing is a powerful means of advocating for our profession, especially in technologically advanced times. My OT area of interest is in early intervention and mental health, so I will be writing about topics ranging from advocacy and hot topics in those areas. My goal is to encourage higher student membership with FOTA in hopes to motivate students to explore the importance of communication and advocacy in our profession. Feel free to email me if you have any article suggestions or have a cool story to share about your school or SOTA group (I would love to interview you!). I look forward to connecting with all Florida MOT, OTD,  and OTA students, so please don’t hesitate to contact me at anytime.

 Jai-Lisa Rodriguez, OTA/S, Student Writer 

 My name is Jai-Lisa Rodriguez. I am an OTA student at Keiser University-Tampa   with ambitions of obtaining my masters in OT. I am originally from NYC and moved   to Florida to pursue my education and career in OT. I obtained my first in-field job at   Select Physical Therapy as patient service specialist to kick start my long term   goals. Fun facts about me include: I have over 15 years of experience in mambo/salsa dance and martial arts including my black belt in Taekwon-do. In my free time I love crafting and woodworking! I also love writing, public speaking, and being part of a team!

I am extremely excited to be working with FOTA and grateful for this opportunity to share my love and passion for occupational therapy with others. This is an amazing field with so many opportunities. My goals are to help expand and advance the field in new areas, encourage new thought, promote positive thought, and inspire others to do the same. I look at each day as an opportunity, and each opportunity as a stepping stone toward my goals. Please feel free to contact me with ideas, questions, or with any concerns you may have as a new student.

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