Class of 2020

Congrats to the Class of 2020 for joining the Temple OT family! We are so excited to have you!

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Where In The World: Rachel A

Hi Everyone!

The Class of 2018 is finishing up their second level two’s and are getting closer to becoming licensed/registered OT’s! How exciting! Take a look below to see how Rachel’s fieldwork went for her this summer and what important information she will be taking away from this experience:


Where is your fieldwork (add city/state) and what type of facility (give information on the population served).

My fieldwork site is Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, Maine. The hospital itself is a small regional acute care hospital, but I am primarily working in their outpatient therapy clinic. Most of the clients I see have recently experienced a concussion. Some of the typical symptoms we see in these clients are related to the oculomotor, auditory, vestibular, and nervous systems. We work with clients to develop strategies and interventions to manage these symptoms so that they can better participate in everyday life. Additionally, I have been seeing some clients with orthopedic injuries of the upper extremities sustained in the workplace.

What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?

Depending on the day, I typically see 4-8 clients. Clients are seen in a private room, as opposed to a big open gym, which is especially important for the clients with concussions because we are better able to control the environment based on their needs.

What has been your favorite or the most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?

An exciting part of my fieldwork has been seeing clients all the way through the OT process, from evaluation to discharge, and knowing that the work that we did helped them return to their prior level of function and feel “normal” again. Once I heard a patient say, “Thank you. Coming to see you has really helped me feel like myself again,” I was reminded why I chose OT.

What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?

Since concussion management is an emerging field within OT, there isn’t a great deal of research available, especially when it comes to interventions. I have had to do a lot of exploration within other disciplines, like neuro-optometry, in order to seek out and provide the most effective treatments.

If you could go back and tell yourself something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?

I am grateful to have ended up at this particular fieldwork site because it has provided me with so many learning opportunities that I did not expect going in. I have been able to observe aquatic therapy, pediatric therapy, acute in-patient therapy, Parkinson’s BIG group therapy, manual treatments, telepractice, and I have learned so much more about concussions and concussion management. I have also met really wonderful people here, both clients and staff. Initially, I was just excited to be able to spend the summer in Maine while fulfilling my fieldwork, but this has turned into a meaningful and fulfilling experience overall.

Any advice for future students?

Explore different areas of the country on fieldwork if you have the opportunity, and open yourself up to new opportunities. I had not spent much time up here in Maine before starting my fieldwork, but being in a new place in addition to a new OT setting has been extremely rewarding and refreshing, and opened my eyes to new career opportunities.


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Where In The World Are The Temple M2’s: Genna

Where is your fieldwork and what type of facility?

For my first Level II, I am at a retirement community in Charleston, South Carolina. The unit I primarily work on is skilled nursing / sub-acute rehabilitation

What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?

A typical day at my site consists of treating 6-7 patients and performing 1-2 new patient evaluations. The day begins at 8AM with an ADL session. Throughout the rest of the day, I am scheduled to complete supervisory visits, discharge summaries, therapist progress notes, and care plan meetings.

What has been your favorite or  the most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?

My absolute favorite part of my experience so far has been interacting with my patients and the therapy staff. The patients are adorable, and I have felt so welcomed and supported by my therapy team since day one.

What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?

The most difficult part for me has been seeing patients progress so far and discharge home, only to be readmitted a few weeks with severe functional decline. These are usually patients with severe diagnoses like metastatic cancer, and it is heartbreaking to see them decline so quickly.

If you could go back and tell your self something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?

I would tell myself to go buy some of my own materials to work with because the supplies are limited in the therapy gym to really engage patients in meaningful occupations.

Any advice for future students?

Have confidence, be flexible, take initiative, and ask questions. Extra emphasis on having confidence and taking initiative- your supervisor and patients will notice. Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question- we are all still learning!

Anything else you want to share about your experience?

Every time I walk into a new patient’s room, my goal is to develop some sort of connection with them by the time I leave. And on the days where a patient want nothing to do with you, they still appreciate you. Try not to take anything personal if your patient is having a bad day. Good luck!

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Where In The World Are The Temple M2’s: Nicole

Where is your fieldwork and what type of facility 

I am working in an adult outpatient neurocognitive rehab. We treat around 35-40 patients a week. Everyone that I have worked with faces cognitive barriers to learning as well as motor deficits. This includes CVA, TBI, brain tumors, ALS, MS, and patients with Parkinson’s disease. Their time frame post-accident ranges from 9 months to 4 years.

What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?

We start at 8:00am and finish around 4:30pm. We treat anywhere from 7-10 patients a day. Most of our patients are seen twice a week for 45-minute sessions. Twice a month we travel to Bloomsburg Hospital to host an ALS clinic with SLP, PT, neurology, dietary, respiratory therapy, nursing, social work, and ALS Foundation representatives.

What has been your favorite or most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?

My favorite part is coming up with unique, functional treatment sessions. It is fun to pick activities and think about how it can improve a patient’s deficits. I like to bring things from home that would motivate the patient like UNO Flash, a hand held rotary tool, and a painting set.

 What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?

The most difficult part is getting all the documentation done in a timely manner and understanding the ins and outs of the insurance companies. There are many documents to keep up on. After 8 weeks, we have to do a recertification letter to their insurance company and every 10th session we have to update their G-Code status. It does not sound like a lot, but with 30 patients on a caseload, it adds up.

If you could go back and tell your self something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?

Get your layman’s term for OT down to help efficiently explain what we do to your patients during evals. We know what it is, but putting it into words that your patient will understand is difficult and will vary on your setting.

 Any advice for future students?

Fieldwork is awesome. Don’t be nervous because your supervisor knows your there to learn.

 Anything else you want to share about your experience?

At my fieldwork, I was able to do observation days in several of the Geisinger HealthSouth Clinics such as inpatient in the rehab hospital, peds inpatient and outpatient in the hospital, peds Down syndrome clinic, inpatient in the hospital in the ICU, hand therapy, and lymphedema treatments for OT. Being able to see OT in a variety of settings has helped me get an idea where I want to work.

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Where In The World Are The Temple M2’s

Greetings! It has been a while, but Temple SOTA is back with a new segment titled, “Where in the World Are The Temple M2’s” in which I asked some of our Level 2 students about their fieldwork experience.  Below are Rachel and Emily- come see what they had to say!


Rachel Frick

Where is your fieldwork and what type of facility is it?

I am at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in the inpatient acute care setting for my first Level II Fieldwork. The hospital has around 260 beds. LPCH treats acutely ill, complex pediatric patients and the OT department works with children on a number of different services including: hematology/oncology, stem cell transplant, organ transplant, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, pulmonary, trauma and intensive care.

What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?

Every day is different, but this is what a “typical” day looks like.

8-8:30: Chart review

8:30: Morning huddles with OT, PT and SLP

8:40-9: Chart review, call RN’s, call MD’s, discuss co-treats, set up time for patients

9-12: See patients/document when you can

12-12:30: Lunch

12:30-1: Document

1-4: See patients/document when you can

4-4:30: Document

What has been your favorite or most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?

My favorite part of fieldwork so far has been treating patients! Each week, I gain more independence in being able to treat patients. I will never forget the first session I did completely on my own around week 4. We were chart reviewing before going in to see the patient, and my supervisor said, “You’re going to do this one completely on your own.” I was so nervous but took on the challenge. I ran the entire session from start to finish all on my own like a “real” therapist- it was the best feeling!

What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?

The most challenging part of my fieldwork thus far has been the overall intensity of working in pediatric acute care. At the end of every day, I am EXHAUSTED. Emotionally, mentally, physically… it takes a lot out of you. It is hard to see really sick kids. It has also been challenging to have to work with such a range of patients- my day bounces around from hem/onc to ortho to neuro to organ transplant, etc. While I haven’t had the opportunity to “master” any of these populations, I have had the opportunity to learn and grow in each of these settings and for that, I am really grateful!

If you could go back and tell yourself something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?

You know more than you think you do. At times, fieldwork can be overwhelming, and you often feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. I remember having a “melt down” one day after my second week because I felt like I had no place being in the hospital, but as the weeks have gone on and I’ve gained more confidence and experience, I have realized that I know more than I give myself credit for.

Any advice for future students?

This experience is what you make of it. So, be curious… Ask a lot of questions and be open to both positive and constructive feedback. This is a time to grow and build foundational skills that will help you become the best OT you can be. Hands on experience, in my opinion, is the best way to learn. Jump in during sessions and take initiative! If you don’t know something, don’t pretend that you do. Look things up, reading articles, or ask your supervisor and/or other providers.  Learning is an exciting journey- some days are fast, some days are slow… just enjoy the ride!


Emily Hardy

Where is your fieldwork and what type of facility is it?

My first fieldwork was at CARE for Children in Bradford, PA. This site is a non profit organization that provides early intervention for kids birth-3 and school based OT for children 6-21 years old. Therapists are contracted out to local school districts serving in elementary, middle and high schools. CARE also works with the state to provide in-home therapy to kids 0-3 years old. In the school, the biggest population served includes children with autism, visual motor and visual perceptual difficulties, and attention. Kids are usually referred to early intervention services due to a diagnosis of autism, developmental delay, or prematurity.

What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?

My typical week at fieldwork entails running between schools and homes to provide care. I have two different supervisors, spending my Monday’s and Friday’s in homes providing early intervention care, and Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s in different schools in the county providing school based therapy. My kiddos on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s primarily have visual perceptual difficulties which has been very interesting and provided a different lens to usual school based therapy. On these days, I provide activities that address the different aspects of visual perceptual skills such as visual closure, scanning, visual discrimination, visual motor integration and many more. Wednesday’s focus more on the traditional aspects of school-based therapy, addressing handwriting and fine motor skills. Home visits on Monday’s and Friday’s include providing therapy in the form of play, working on attention, fine motor, core strength, sensory integration, and providing education to parents/guardians.

What has been your favorite or most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?

My favorite part of fieldwork has been the relationships I have made with the kids that I work with. It has been amazing to see the difference between my first week and last week interactions with the students. With limited experience working with children, I lacked the skill of being able to talk and relate the children easily. As time has gone on, I think I have definitely improved with this skill. Another aspect of fieldwork I enjoyed was watching my kids improve throughout therapy sessions.

What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?

The most challenging part of fieldwork has been learning what to say when your kids are getting a little too crazy or are not following directions. When first starting, I didn’t know how to handle it, and there would be times that my supervisor had to jump in. As time has gone on, I have learned how to deal with the challenging kiddos.

If you could go back and tell yourself something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, give your opinion, say what is on your mind. It might seem scary but for the most part, it will pay off in the end.

Any advice for future students?

Jump right in! If your supervisor asks you if you want to treat someone your first or second day, do it, even if you are not confident in your skills or are shy. It will pay off because your supervisor will be happy with the fact that you have the confidence in yourself to try! And the quicker you start, the more you can learn! Also, don’t stress guys, you’ll be fine!


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A Letter to Temple’s MOT Class of 2017


With just six weeks to go in their final Level II fieldwork experience, the students of Temple’s MOT Class of 2017 will soon be on their way to making a difference in the world as occupational therapists. On Friday, May 12th, the students walked across the stage at the College of Public Health’s commencement ceremony, a surreal moment that symbolized all of their hard work and dedication.


To celebrate how far they’ve come, M2 student Jennifer Botto wrote an inspiring letter to her peers. Check it out below!

A Letter to Temple’s MOT Class of 2017…

A wise BrOT once said, “We are a big family of 42+ people, let’s always stay that way”. Since the intensity of our first summer semester together, I have felt incredibly lucky to be part of such a wonderful group of people who will drop anything they’re doing without question to help another person out.

In the last year and half, I’ve been privileged to watch your growth and even more privileged to grow with you. Every single day, I see you all demonstrate compassion, humor, kindness, and intellect – all qualities that assure me you will be amazing OT’s. I say this with 100% confidence because….

  • I’ve watched you bring out the best in others whether it’s in the clinic, the classroom, or the dance floor.
  • You show compassion and comfort to each other during the stress of 50 tests in a row or to clients.
  • You maintain resilient spirits always. No matter how many times we thought we failed that test for sure – You carried on the days and weeks with no less enthusiasm.
  • I admire the way you interact with others personally and professionally.
  • You always make the most out of difficult situations and take everything possible as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • You are the ultimate team players but will step up when the situation requires leadership.

If you take anything from this letter, please remember that you are capable of whatever life throws your way. Believe in yourselves and humankind the way we believe in each other. When you have a hard day, call me and I will do my best to cheer you up. Or just drink some wine, because I’m sure that’s what I’ll be doing haha. When you have a good day and you want someone to share the excitement with, I’ll be around! Use all your resources, we are a team. Creativity is in your blood, don’t let anyone stop you. Love and happiness are powerful traits, keep sharing them and you will continue to change lives. It’s okay to fail, embrace the lesson and let it make you better than the day before. Be thankful for the patients and coworkers that challenge you, you will learn the most from them. You have all been beacons of light, leadership, hope, and humor in our class and I know that will continue as you move into the field.

My Grandpop always used to tell me to be brave, just do what you are most afraid of doing because that’s where you’ll find freedom and confidence. He encouraged me to “keep plugging along” when things were hard with this unwavering belief that I would succeed. I didn’t always master things on the first try, but eventually I would. Every time life is hard, I try to be as brave as he thinks I am. Maybe faking it till ya make it is half the battle. I will carry on that unwavering belief in all of us to succeed moving forward. We got this.

Thank you for an amazing almost-2-years, I can’t wait to see where we go from here. I Love You hOTtiez (this includes the BrOTs, especially Kick hahah).

Your hair petting, massage giving, friendly wino,

Jennifer /Jennicorn

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Meet the Board: POTA Representatives

It’s time for this week’s Meet the Board! Tonight, February 28th, is the next District V POTA Dinner! Today we are featuring our association’s POTA representatives: Justine DiClemente and Nicole Brajdic! Read below to learn all about their views on the value of being a team player as well as their favorite things about OT!

Don’t forget to join our POTA board members TONIGHT in representing our profession at the POTA Dinner! Click HERE to RSVP.

When? TONIGHT, February 28, 2017 at 5:30PM

Where? Shriner’s Hospital- 3551 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia (Right here on Temple’s campus!)

Topic? Current Issues in Pediatric Practice

M1 & M2 POTA Chairs, Justine and Nicole!

M1 POTA Chair: Nicole Brajdic

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I received my BS at California University of Pennsylvania in Early Childhood Services. While attending school to receive my bachelor’s degree I worked a dance teacher, an all-star cheerleading coach and an aide in an outpatient hand therapy clinic. During the year between completing my undergraduate degree and starting the OT program here at Temple, I moved to South Carolina and worked as a preschool teacher. I love spending time with my family, friends and dogs. Additionally, I enjoy traveling, yoga, and outdoor activities.

2. Why did you run for this position?

I ran for this position because I enjoy being involved and collaborating ideas with others. I have an interest in networking and being involved at a state wide level. I look forward to promoting and encouraging others to join POTA!

3. What do you hope to gain from this position in terms of professional development?

By being the POTA rep I look forward to making connections with prominent figures in the PA OT community. Also being involved and promoting occupational therapy within the community at a state wide level. Additionally, gaining and sharing knowledge at conferences and district board meetings.

4. What is the value of working on a team?

I feel that working as a team and the collaboration of ideas and solutions between individual’s attributes to successful outcomes. Having the ability to work as a team can increase the expertise and ideas behind topics or decisions. It gives individuals the opportunity to share their opinions and give feedback.

5. What does being a leader mean to you?

To me being a leader means having the ability to efficiently communicate with others, being a good role model, knowing and admitting your strengths and weaknesses and overall having a positive attitude.

6. What areas of OT are you interested in?

The area of OT that interests me the most is hand therapy.

7. What is your favorite aspect of the OT field?

My favorite aspect of the OT field is having the opportunity to work with a wide age range as well as in a variety of different settings.

8. Can you share 1 piece of advice you’d like to give to future students?

When the going gets tough, take a deep breath, believe in yourself and NEVER give up!

M2 POTA Chair: Justine DiClemente

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi! I’m Justine. I’m 25 years old and grew up in Chester County, PA. I’ve lived in Brewerytown with my sister and our two dogs for the past two years. I LOVE Philly, especially checking out the great food, great music scene and all of the fun thrifting and flea markets. I enjoy binging on Netflix and movies in my spare time and also enjoy fitness, boating, collecting records, eating ice cream and singing! I’m excited to graduate and start working as an OT.

2. Why did you run for this position?

I saw this position as the perfect way to get involved in my state’s professional organization. I value membership in such organizations and view them as a crucial aspect of being an OT student.  Furthermore, I was excited for the professional development opportunities the position would offer and the professional relationships it would allow me to build.  

3. Have you learned anything in this position that you feel you will carry into your professional career ?

The dinner meetings are really great. Each one covers a different topic that directly relates to OT practice.  I always take notes and get contact information from speakers to use as resources in the future. The position has taught me the importance of establishing relationships and networking with those in the field.There is so much to learn from those around you, and knowing your “go to” people for certain questions is an invaluable tool.  The position has also reinforced the importance of joining professional organizations and the benefits of doing so.

4. What does being a leader mean to you?

To me being a leader means going above and beyond for others. A leader provides others with the tools and resources they need to be successful.  Leaders also motivate others to challenge themselves and strive to be their best.

5. What areas of OT are you interested in?

I came into the program interested in pediatrics, especially working with children with special needs. However, after learning more about different areas of OT and being exposed to some really cool practice areas, such as community OT, now I have a variety of interests.

6. What is your favorite aspect of the OT field?

My favorite aspect of OT is the time and effort OTs put into building rapport with their clients and establishing the therapeutic relationship.  I love that OTs get to know each client holistically and that the occupational profile is a part of the OT process.  I think that these components are fundamental in creating the individualized and unique treatments that I find such an awesome part of OT.

7. Can you share 1 piece of advice you’d like to give to future students?

Don’t stress yourself out!  It is so easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information presented, but just be sure to take everything one day at a time.  Remember that everyone around you in the Temple MOT community wants you to succeed!  And most importantly, don’t lose sight of all the wonderful reasons you chose to pursue this profession.  In the end, your hard work will forever pay off!

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Meet the Board: Raisin’ Those Funds

Hello everyone & welcome back to another #FUNctional semester of Temple OT! Earlier this week, our SOTA board kicked things off with the first meeting of 2017. As we went around the room to share our thoughts and ideas about the projects we’ve been working on, I realized that we have so much to be excited about this semester. While M2s have officially flown the nest to embark on their first Level II fieldwork journey, M1s continue to prepare for their first Level I experiences with adults and pediatrics! And before we know it, the entire OT profession will be celebrating its 100th birthday right here in Philadelphia, coincidentally the same year that Temple University celebrates 50 years of OT!

Love this pin? Check out our brand new Etsy shop.

As we plan ahead for a busy couple of months, our SOTA Fundraising Chairs are working extra hard to raise money for our organization. Just a few days ago, Kayla (M1 Chair that you’ll read all about in a few moments) launched an Etsy shop to sell crafts hand-made by our very own MOT students (tell all your friends)! And so for this week’s feature of ‘Meet the Board,’ we’d like to introduce two ladies who put their creative minds together to raise funds for our organization~ Joanna Quigley and Kayla Bender.

Joanna & Kayla #RaisinThoseFunds

M1 Fundraising Chair: Kayla Bender

1. Tell us a little about yourself! 

I moved here from Oregon, although I grew up in New York. I love school and I’ve been a student for what feels like forever; I have my Bachelor’s in Sociology with a concentration in Human Services and minors in Women’s Studies and Studio Art. I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, riding my bike, playing my guitar here and there, and eating unbearably spicy food. I look forward to one day having a bit of land and having kids, and by kids I mean baby goats. They’re adorable.

2. Why did you run for this position?

I ran for this position because I want to put some of my fun and creative ideas into practice. I have some experience grant writing, but thought it would be an excellent experience to learn more about raising funds in different ways. I enjoy representing our student organization and look forward to working with my fellow board members to make this next year a great one!

3. What do you hope to gain from this position in terms of professional development?

I hope to figure out what works and what does not work when it comes to fundraising. I expect to gain a greater understanding overall about what it means to accept a representative role and to be a part of a student organization, both experiences to which I am new.

4. What is the value of working on a team?

Working on a team is valuable because someone will always come up with an idea or give feedback that I never would have though of myself. Although we are all here to achieve of this common goal of becoming OTs, we all took different paths to get here, and we will all continue on different paths when we leave. Our differences make us stronger when we work together. There is so much we can learn from each other.

5. What does being a leader mean to you?

Being a good leader means setting examples, embodying strong morals, and representing the values of the people who follow your lead. A leader is approachable and open to change.

6. What areas of OT are you interested in?

Oh man, I have so many interests. I have a strong interest in community-based OT and working for and within non-profit organizations. The role of OT in a mental health setting is something I definitely want to learn more about. I am interested in sustainable healthcare, and what that might mean for the field of OT. I definitely consider myself an “Adults” person, but I’m open to anything really!

7. What is your favorite aspect of the OT field?

Hands down, the best part of OT is this continued emphasis on client-centered practice. Our current healthcare system is not really set up to provide a very client-centered experience, but the field of OT continuously strives to maintain that, despite the climate. My favorite aspect of OT, though, is the diversity in settings, populations served, and implementation of services; never a dull moment.

8. Can you share 1 piece of advice you’d like to give to future students?

Keep your eye on the prize. Never lose sight of what drew you to this work in the first place and use that as your continued impetus.

M2 Fundraising Chair: Joanna Quigley:

1. Tell us a little about yourself! 

I’m from England, I play guitar and I have an adorable 2 year old son. Before OT school, I tended bar for 10 years.

2. Why did you run for this position?

I am crafty and I have a background in sales.

3. What do you hope to gain from this position in terms of professional development?

I have learned how to get creative and motivate people to participate.

4. What is the value of working on a team?

You can combine strengths and keep each other on task.

5. What does being a leader mean to you?

Encouraging others to do their best.

6. What areas of OT are you interested in?

Acute care, stroke, TBI, SCI…

7. What is your favorite aspect of the OT field?

Giving a person the opportunity to feel whole again.

8. Can you share 1 piece of advice you’d like to give to future students?

Don’t concern yourself with getting a 4.0, concern yourself with becoming a good occupational therapist. (This would have been good advice for my M1 self).

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Guest Post: Generations in the Workplace

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying a relaxing break so far! A few weeks ago, M1s and M2s made their way down to main campus for the College of Public Health’s Leadership Symposium on Generations in the Workplace. Since our program is primarily made up of Millennials and taught by a mixture of GenXers and Baby Boomers, the topic made for an interesting and collaborative discussion. For a more in-depth look, check out this week’s guest blog post courtesy of first-year student, Kayla Bender, as she shares her thoughts about the experience!


I walked into the Leadership Symposium – Generations in the Workplace excited to learn something in a different capacity and setting. C’mon folks, am I the only one that gets a little tired of sitting in our same ol’ classroom? The windows in that room let in so much light, it was fantastic. Also, they fed us and gave us coffee.

But, I will admit that I also walked in with certain expectations. Lets just say that those expectations were not necessarily positive. I mean, it’s hard not to remain on the defense with the constant barrage of generationalism. Millennials are lazy! Entitled! Ill-prepared for the real world! …And nonetheless the event was organized and presented by Baby Boomers, the very people who created us. It felt like a bastardized Star Wars analogy.

I had my guard up. I was prepared to defend myself, already searching for the words I would use and the faces I would make to both stand my ground and express my position tactfully and respectfully. I wracked my brain for ammo. Call me a cynic, but I think of myself more as a realist; five years of studying sociology will strip you of your idealism.

I digress. Dr. Magda Peck began to speak and I was immediately engaged. She just had such a presence; her delivery was so captivating! The panelists were introduced, all of them impressive in their accomplishments, many of them engaged in work to truly affect change.  It became clear that these people did not have ulterior motives, but rather were motivated by education and understanding. So, I let my guard down.

And thus began my journey towards beginning to understand, pragmatically, how the generational context of our lives shapes our motives. As Dr. Gil Hoffer provided us with a background of each generation, I mentally superimposed it onto my own family, imagining my parents being prepared by my grandparents to enter an affluent and sound economy.  Traditionalists had no reason not to follow in the footsteps of generations past, teaching their children to follow directions and avoid errors, marking their accomplishments by their adherence to the rules. Structure and order yielded predictable outcomes, especially in this time of economic tranquility.

Predictability taught the Baby Boomers that age + time + experience = status and salary. Press these buttons, and that will happen. Every time. I am beginning to understand why I can’t convince my father to quit his job and open a restaurant, even though he has always kind of wanted to. For many Boomers the YOLO factor just isn’t there.

This YOLO factor © (lol), as silly as it sounds, defines Millennials. We (a term used colloquially, I know not all MOT students fall into this category) seek meaningful work. We’ve learned that the Boomer formula for success won’t work on us. We’ve been handed a broken system and we want to repair it. Even the GenXers have these adjusted expectations, being the first generation to seek a true work/life balance. Yet, no generation has developed a better grasp of reality than another; one generational lens is no more right or wrong than another, they are just different.

I choose to try to understand the world through an intersectional lens. For those unaware, intersectionality is the study of intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. Our lives are constantly being defined and redefined by our experiences with these biological, social, and cultural categories (gender, race, class, disability, sexual orientation, etc.) through which we form our identities and others identify us. (If anyone wants to know more about intersectionality just let me know and I’ll give you some interesting reading material). While age has always been on my radar, I had never given much thought to the notion of our generational identities having such a bearing on our lives. I will add this knowledge to my toolbox.

The Leadership Symposium was ultimately about leadership. As we learned, a component of leadership is this continuing ability to understand, respect, and leverage differences. As a leader, it is important to meet people where they are. People want to be valued, so keep an open mind and listen. I know we all have the capacity to lead well.  In my efforts to keep an open mind I’ll try not to be so cynical next time 🙂

So moving forward, remember that You are every age that you’ve ever been, you are in every stage that you’ve ever been in. We are more alike than we are different. Age is just a number. Whenever you forget that age is just a number just think of Pharrell Williams:


I’m tired of synthesizing. So here it is straight up. One last thing that Dr. Peck said that really resonated with me:

This is no time to be in each other’s way.

If anyone is interested in watching the Ted Talk about The Golden Circle, here’s the link:

I know this month is a time to relax, but I hope you all will spend some time reconnecting with your “why” over winter break.

Written by Kayla Bender




For more photos, check out Temple’s College of Public Health Facebook page!

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Jared Box Project 2016

On Thursday, January 1, 2016, our first and second year students got together to take part in an event that is becoming a tradition in the Temple OT program– assembling Jared Boxes and delivering them to the boys and girls at Shriners Hospital. Donation collections for the project had been going on throughout the fall semester. It was exciting to finally put the boxes together, as well as to take a break from studying and working on class projects. We were all happy to shift our focus to bringing joy to others! Keep reading for more details about The Jared Box Project from M2 Community Service Chair, Brian Smart!


Temple OT students taking a quick picture with their boxes before delivering them to the children at Shriners Hospital!

Temple OT students posing for a quick picture with their boxes before making the delivery to the children at Shriners Hospital!

For the second year in a row, Temple OT dropped off The Jared Box Project donations to Shriners Hospital in North Philadelphia. The Jared Box Project was started in 2001 by the children at Our Lady of Victory School in State College in honor of their classmate and friend who passed away from a brain stem tumor. For the donations, we filled over 40 shoebox sized plastic containers with different toys, games, craft supplies, and activities for the children at Shriners. Each box has a different note inside written by one of our students. The staff at Shriners are always accommodating and gave us a tour of the hospital from one of their awesome occupational therapists, Justine. We always have a great time assembling and delivering the boxes, and plan to make this a yearly event for Temple OT. Thank you to Temple SOTA, Temple OT professors, Oak Knoll Elementary staff, and all of the students and their families that made donations.

Written by Brian Smart (M2 Community Service Chair)








For more picture, please take a look at our “Jared Box Project 2016” photo album on our Facebook page:

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