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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