USM OT Students Present at National Conference

Five students from USM’s Master in Occupational Therapy (MOT) program recently presented their research at the 93rd Annual American Occupational Therapy National Conference, held in San Diego, California in April.  The conference coincided with National Occupational Therapy Month.

Student presenters included Shane Smith and Dawn Fischer who presented a poster session entitled “Perceptions and Application of Adolescents Using the Alert Program”; Sarah Grinder and Emily Staszak who presented a poster session entitled “Perceptions of Elder Cane Use Following a Cane-Based Tai Chi Chuan Program”; and Anna Guest who presented a poster session entitled “Men’s Role Change Perspectives During the Transition to Retirement.”  In addition to these students, Dr. Roxie Black, Lisa Clark, and Susan Spear, all USM MOT faculty, also presented at this year’s conference.

“Approximately 50% of proposals are accepted for presentation at the national conference and only a very few of these are done by students,” says MOT Director Professor Roxie Black. “The majority of presentations are done by therapists and educators in the field of occupational therapy.  Research is a focus of our program, with students taking a 3-semester sequence where they plan, implement, and analyze an original research project. These projects may provide evidence for effective intervention for others in the field, and the opportunity to disseminate the results of these studies moves students forward in their professional roles.”

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE), of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  The program is an entry-level graduate program that can be completed in two years on a full-time basis. Part time options are also available. Anyone interested in learning more about and/or pursuing a career in occupational therapy is encouraged to contact Luisa Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Programs, at 207-753-6523 or email

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