Meet the Board: SOTA Secretaries

It’s time for this week’s Meet the Board! Today we’re featuring our student association secretaries: first year student, Ali Bennet and second year student, Melissa Miller. Get to know them a little better by reading about their views on the value of being a team player as well as their favorite things about OT!

Melissa & Ali carefully choosing the best memes to include in the weekly reminders

M1 Secretary: Ali Bennett

1. Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Ali Bennett. I am originally from Michigan but moved to Delaware in 2010. I am 25 years old. I currently love yoga! I am addicted to several TV shows: Greys Anatomy, The Walking Dead, Parks and Rec, The Office, and Friends.

Fun facts: I can solve a Rubiks cube, I was a national ranked Scottish dancer when I was 13, I used to be a preschool teacher, and I’m getting married in 2018!

2. Why did you run for this position?
I wanted to run for a position and felt that the secretary position was the most applicable to my strengths and abilities of organization and communication.

3. What do you hope to gain from this position in terms of professional development?
I hope to learn how to communicate and synthesize information better. I also hope to learn more about SOTA & AOTA events. I also want to learn how to develop better leadership skills to utilize for my future.

4. What is the value of working on a team?
The value of working on a team is the opportunity to incorporate everyones ideas and to learn from others. Collaboration is key!

5. What does being a leader mean to you?
Being a leader means being a person that is trustworthy, a good listener, and open minded. I believe that utilizing information learned from past situations (both good and bad) is incredibly helpful in becoming a leader.

6. What areas of OT are you interested in?
I am interested in peds currently, however I’m open to anything!

7. What is your favorite aspect of the OT field?
I love that there is so much variation in the field and that you can chose almost an area of interest and be able to work there. I also enjoy that OT has so much freedom for creativity!

8. Can you share 1 piece of advice you’d share with future students?
My one piece of advice is get organized early because it can be difficult to go back later and try to reorganize. PREPARE and you will succeed!


M2 Secretary: Melissa Miller

1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m 26 years old, I”m from Lancaster County, PA but currently live in Washington Square West, I worked as a TSS for 3 years before starting grad school, and I’m currently binging Parks & Rec on Netflix!

2. Why did you run for this position?
Honestly because you nominated me Christina, and I would probably do anything you tell me to haha. For real though. I wasn’t really too involved in any clubs/organizations in undergrad, and I figured if I just took the plunge and run for a position that might help me to be more involved in organizations in the program and in my professional career. I’ve always been kind of insane with organization and making lists, etc so I figured I could probably make a decent secretary!

3. Have you learned anything in this position that you feel you will carry into your professional career (M2 only)?
Yes I’ve definitely learned some skills that I will use as a future practitioner. Being able to take accurate and succinct notes, but mostly that it takes a lot of organization and collaboration to be the main communicator between the board and the general membership. So this amount of communication and collaboration will be good experience for any setting I work in, to communicate with clients, family members, supervisors, OTAs, and professionals from other disciplines. It’s all about getting every member of the team on the same page and up to date on the progress of a client, just like keeping every member of SOTA up to date with the weekly reminders!

4. What is the value of working on a team?
I think the most important part is getting exposure to new or different ideas that you might not have come up with on your own. With everyone working together, but also having their own little area of expertise, we can really run a successful organization.

5. What does being a leader mean to you?
I think being a leader is all about inspiring the people around you to work hard and accomplish great things. And it’s all about leading by example.

6. What areas of OT are you interested in?
Too many different ones… neurorehab, home care with older adults, young adults with autism…. or who knows maybe I’ll end up back in the school setting!

7. What is your favorite aspect of the OT field?
Probably just the simple fact that we get to help individuals get their life back. People seek out OT because they’re unable to do something they wish that they could, and we get to be creative and figure out how they can do it. Who wouldn’t love doing that every day?

8. Can you share 1 piece of advice you’d like to give to future students?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, to share your unique ideas, to try something new and maybe fail. Every new experience or challenge is valuable, and will help to build your character and your future professional identity. At my first OT shadowing setting before I started the program, there was an inspirational quote poster (corny right?) on the wall and I never forgot it: Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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