OT Building with leafy tree in front

Occupational Therapy Newsletter
Spring 2022 Recap

The Occupational Therapy newsletter publishes twice per year, in January and June.

From the Department Head Anita Bundy

Outdoor portrait of Anita Bundy

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Occupations, the newsletter for Colorado State University’s Department of Occupational Therapy. Spring 2022 was a semester of celebrations – of faculty, students, and friends of the department and the College. In this spring recap newsletter, you will read stories of several of these individuals. Here’s a sneak peek of some and other highlights not yet featured in full-length articles.

Faculty members Andy Persch and Matt Malcolm received promotions to associate professor and professor, respectively. Their promotions reflect years of creative thought and hard work. And, speaking of blood, sweat, and tears, two faculty members obtained funding for their innovative research: Jaclyn Stephens was one of eight Colorado-based scholars to receive a prestigious Boettcher Foundation Award. Working with Arlene Schmid, Stephens will investigate the neural basis for changes resulting from yoga. Jennifer Weaver received an American Occupational Therapy Foundation Implementation Research Grant to facilitate adoption of a recovery ruler in clinical practice with comatose patients. And Patti Davies received a Fulbright award to support her research with Danish collaborators.

CSU-OT had a great showing at the American Occupational Therapy Association conference. Alison Herman received a Choosing Wisely Recognition Award for transforming practice in a nursing home to an occupation base. Matt Malcolm became a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, “For extraordinary research examining occupational therapy utilization outcomes.” And, I received the Virginia Scardina Award for Contributions to Sensory Integration Theory and Practice.

In two ceremonies in April, the 20th Annual OT Knowledge Exchange and the College of Health and Human Sciences All-College Awards, we celebrated five amazing individuals:

  • Teresa Boynton (’73, ’89), OT’s Outstanding Alumni
  • Gayna Jobe (’95), OT’s Outstanding Fieldwork Educator
  • Jodie Hanzlik, former department head, was named Friend of OT
  • Student Kimberly Rousseau-Simmons earned the College’s Graduate Student. Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award
  • Marilyn Schock (’85, ’01) was honored with a Friend of the College Award

I am also pleased to celebrate the launch of the new OTD program. We are welcoming the first cohort of students, including one international student who will begin from Hong Kong. And, our partners in the Department of Health and Exercise Science are launching a pre-OT track to help prepare their undergraduate students to pursue a graduate degree.

Amid many celebrations, we bid a fond farewell to Matt Malcolm. After 13 years at CSU, Matt has taken the position of director of the OTD Program at Rocky Mountain University.

As always, I enjoy hearing from you. I also invite you to send your personal and professional updates. And, I encourage you to connect with us on our new LinkedIn page and follow our Twitter account to find student and alumni news, research and faculty updates, and event information. While you’re on social media, follow the student-run CSU Diverse OT account on Instagram to be a part of advancing the cultural climate within our field. You are always welcome to visit us in person here on the Oval at CSU-OT. Please take me up on it.

Go Rams!

Anita Bundy, Department Head


OT outstanding graduate Katy Owens transfers advocacy into action

From making coffee to service in the Coast Guard, the first-generation college graduate’s core leadership and advocacy drive her OT achievement.

Student-veteran gets help from New Start program

Veteran Loni Graham-Ashby came to CSU with a passion for natural resources and a determination to earn her bachelor’s degree.

OT outstanding graduate Nikki Casey overcame personal obstacles

Casey maintained optimism for the future and never stopped pushing herself as far as possible, no matter the insurmountable challenges she faced.

Faculty Research

Andy Persch supports people with intellectual disabilities to find meaningful employment.

Persch is part of a research team that built a free website to match people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to provide more than a paycheck with meaningful employment.

Patti Davies will travel to Aalborg, Denmark with her Fulbright Scholar Award

Davies will collaborate with faculty at Aalborg University in Denmark to study sensory processing challenges in children, adding a cross-cultural perspective to her research.

Patti Davies joined the Health and Human Science Matters podcast to discuss her research

Davies discussed her research on children with neurodevelopmental disorders and music therapy in an episode of the second season of Health and Human Science Matters podcast.

Leading Accessibility and Inclusion

Kimberly Rousseau-Simmons honored for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Last year, Kim helped to found and lead the CSU chapter of Diverse-OT, a student club that actively aims to advance the cultural climate at CSU.

CSU team designs innovative custom classroom podium that’s accessible for everyone

A cross-campus collaboration, including OT’s Assistive Technology Resource Center, resulted in the creation of a podium accessible for everyone.

Online class teaches CSU staff how to make electronic content more inclusive

The Assistive Technology Resource Center  is offering a new class to help instructors and staff at CSU make their electronic materials more inclusive.


Friend of the College: Marilyn Schock, ’85, ’01

Schock is a double alumna of Colorado State University and the current President of UCHealth Greeley Hospital. Her leadership in healthcare and support of OT earned her college recognition.

Alumni give back through scholarship, mentorship

This summer Emily Fawaz (’18) will mentor OT students at the CSU Early Childhood Center benefiting from the Jody Werner (’70) OT Clinical Education Scholarship.

Young Alumni Q&A: Hayley O’Shields, ’16

O’Shields graduated from CSU with a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Today, she provides case management to Afghan refugees at the African Community Center in Denver.

Alumni and friends make our Rams Family strong! Whether you join us for a day at the annual OT Knowledge Exchange or for a lifetime as a donor, your time, talent, treasure, and testimony shape our shared future.


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