Gannon University Professor Serves on Keynote Panel

Posted: December 27, 2017

Gannon University Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy Bernadette Hattjar recently served on a keynote panel at the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association's annual conference.

Hattjar was one of four occupational therapists invited to sit on the panel, "Our History, Our Present, and Our Future," at the Harrisburg conference.

"It was really quite an honor," to be asked to participate in the panel, said Hattjar, Dr OT, M.Ed., OTR/L. The panel is one of the featured events at the annual gathering of occupational therapists, which typically draws 700 or more attendees each year, Hattjar said.

Hattjar said she spoke of challenges she's faced, and how those challenges have given her new perspective and shaped her into a better clinician and teacher.

"It's a matter of making lemonade out of lemons," she said later. "A lot of things … have changed the way I perceive things for myself. I think that also translates into how you work and gain appreciation for other people, other opportunities and other things that happen in your life."

She urges students and early-career occupational therapists to learn from every experience, positive or negative, and apply those lessons to their work.

"Everything that happens to you, you learn something from," she said. "How do you translate that into who you are, both professionally and personally?"