During the month of April, Gannon University celebrates
Occupational Therapy Month and the more than 185,000 occupational
therapists, occupational therapy assistants and students who work
nationwide to help people to do the things they want and need to do
through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations).
On April 11, the Gannon University chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon
(PTE), a national honor society for occupational therapy students
and alumni will host the third annual Inclusion Dance at Gannon's
Morosky Academic Center. The dance is a social event for young
persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This
year's theme is Lights, Action Red Carpet. The students were
inspired by "Spread the Word to End the Word," an ongoing campaign
by Special Olympics and Best Buddies to inspire respect and
acceptance through raising the consciousness of society about the
effect of hurtful words and disrespect. Last year, more than 70
people with intellectual and developmental disabilities attended
This month, PTE members conducted an assessment of Goodwill
Garden, Gannon University's community garden, with the goal of
making it more accessible and usable to persons with disabilities.
As part of other community outreach initiatives, OT students will
host an event at LifeWorks Erie, 406 Peach Street, called "A
Sensory Experience For Your Hands." The activity, which employs
sugar scrubs to get rid of dry, winter skin, is designed to
highlight the way in which senses are used to navigate the world.
On April 24 junior occupational therapy students will conduct an
ergonomic assessment of Wayside Presbyterian Church in Millcreek
Township. The students will examine the accessibility of the church
and the effects of lighting and acoustics.
Bernadette Hattjar, Dr.OT., associate professor of occupational
therapy, was elected to the Leaders & Legacies Society of the
American Occupational Therapy Foundation. The society identifies
and honors occupational therapy professionals who have demonstrated
leadership abilities and skills through service in a variety of
civic and professional organizations. She will be inducted on April
17, in Nashville, Tennessee during the annual Conference of the
American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA). Gannon
Assistant Professor Amy Brzuz, OTD will present a poster entitled
"Driving Cessation: To Drive or Ride" at the conference.
Additionally, Lynne Oberle, Ph.D. and her 2014 graduate thesis
group are presenting the poster, "Program Evaluation Regarding
Domestic Versus International Service Learning." AOTA's 50,000
members include occupational therapists, occupational therapy
assistants and occupational therapy students in all 50 states, the
District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and worldwide.
This year, Gannon University will welcome an initial class of
about 30 graduate students to the occupational therapy doctoral
program at Gannon's new campus in Ruskin, Florida. The campus is an
innovative response to the increasing demand for high-quality
graduate education in disciplines that serve the rapidly expanding
health care sector of the Florida economy. The additional campus
increases the opportunity for Gannon University students,
prospective students and faculty to help meet the need for health
professionals in a state where the population of both older persons
and school-age persons is growing.
At the Erie campus, more than 200 students are enrolled in
Gannon's five-year, direct-entry BS/MS program. The program is one
of largest academic programs in terms of enrollment in the
University and one of the few in the nation to offer fifth- year
financial aid for graduate studies. Gannon occupational therapy
graduates achieved a pass rate of 98 percent on the 2014 national
board examination for certification in occupational
To learn more about Gannon University's occupational therapy
programs, click here.