[Posted on:24 April 2014]
Innovator/Visionary. Scholar/Explorer. Leader. Integrator. Mentor. These are weighty terms, yet embodying these attributes is the charge that faces every would-be scholar of occupation. To that end, my mission is to contribute not only the survival of Occupational Therapy into the next generation, but to assist it and help it flourish by embracing each of these characteristics as my own. As Wendy Krupnick, PhD, OTR/L, chair and program director of Occupational Therapy at Philadelphia University\'s program noted, the Occupational Therapy field becomes stronger when the professionals have the tools needed for educating and socializing others.
Given that there is a small percentage of occupational therapists who work in mental health settings, there is currently a dearth of educators comfortable with, capable of, and interested in teaching curriculum in this area of practice, relative to the number of occupational therapy students and programs seeking someone with this skill set . Consequently, I believe that I can best contribute to the achievement of AOTA\'s Centennial Vision by obtaining my doctorate in Occupational Therapy, in order to more fully develop the skills needed to better guide my students in their quest to become qualified entry-level practitioners.
My interest in pursuing expertise in Occupational Therapy scholarship and teaching has grown steadily since I began teaching at AIC in 2006. As I gained teaching experience, I put forth considerable effort in determining not only what content I should be teaching to students, but also how best to convey this information. First as a faculty adjunct, and now as a novice full-time faculty member, I have consistently addressed these matters seriously, and with great attention to ACOTE standards. In all of my courses, I encourage students to become critical thinkers, ethical decision-makers, and efficient managers of time. My ongoing goal is not only to promote their comprehension of various clinical activities; but also to help them become more effective providers of quality health care services, and compelling advocates for the communities, organizations, and individuals they will serve.
In reference to the roles and attributes outlined by AOTA, I have defined a clear set of goals for myself that I will refer to as I complete my doctoral education, and beyond. As an Innovator and Visionary, I look forward to assisting with the development of new learning processes that will enhance learning opportunities and support continue proficiency that emerges through investigation. As a Scholar/Explorer, I will contribute by effectively critiquing and participating in creating new research literature and materials that will promote critical thinking, evidence-based practice, and lifelong learning in preparing future practitioners. Finally, as a Leader, Integrator, and Mentor, I foresee myself developing plans for ongoing competency, continuing strategic professional development, and identifying a variety of tangible and intangible resources that can enhance my professional growth and that of others as well.
As a result of my experience and dedication to the field, the effort to achieve each of these roles and attributes has become second nature to me. I look forward to continuing to fulfill these goals as a means of excelling in this field. I feel I owe it to my students, the program for which I work, as well as to the profession that has given me such joy and satisfaction, to fully develop my professional self by engaging in this course of action at this time.
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