Occupational Therapy shows off its latest renovations

The Colorado State University Department of Occupational Therapy has some new spaces – all benefiting students.

The department recently renovated three areas for graduate students in the program. These new amenities include the newly remodeled Wanda Mayberry Student Lounge, the modified classroom lab and the repurposed Occupational Therapy Research Annex.

Wanda Mayberry Student Lounge

The Wanda Mayberry Student Lounge is located on the first floor of the Occupational Therapy Building. The space was recently expanded and new lounge chairs and tables were purchased to provide a larger and more usable common space for graduate students in the program.  Artwork was hung on the walls displaying Mayberry’s love for different cultures including paintings that she brought home from some of her travels across the world.Students work and mingle in the renovated Wanda Mayberry Student Lounge

“It’s a great space to work on group projects, study independently and be social between classes,” said Erika Cooley, a second-year OT master’s student.

As the name suggests, the lounge is named after the late Wanda Mayberry. Mayberry passed away on December 18, 2012, after battling cancer.  During her years in the OT Department, she served as acting department head, associate professor and graduate coordinator. She was passionate about occupational therapy and conveyed it through her teaching and advising. Even after retirement she continued to provide opportunities for students to pursue professional development.

Mayberry was honored as part of the College of Health and Human Sciences Legacies Project. Read more about her and watch a video here.

Classroom Lab

Located beside the student lounge is the remodeled lab space in one of the classrooms. This area is designed as a living lab space with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room. Here students are able to gain valuable hands-on experience of evaluating and adapting an individual’s home environment to promote their safety and independence.Occupational Therapy's classroom lab.

“The living lab space is used to challenge students in designing interventions that both respect their client’s preferences and allow for reasonable modifications to promote safety and independence with daily living tasks,” Assistant Professor Lisa Fyffe said. “Throughout the semester, the students are exposed to case simulations involving clients affected by a range of health conditions, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and total joint replacement. Each of these clients will need specific and individualized modifications for them to be safe and independent at home.”

Occupational Therapy Research Annex

An Occupational Therapy Ph.D student works in her cubicle in the Occupational Therapy Research Annex. The Occupational Therapy Research Annex lies just east of the Occupational Therapy Building. According to History Colorado, a nonprofit state historical society, the OTRA originally served as a campus bathhouse from 1902 until 1910. Shortly thereafter, the building was renovated and became the original home of the Department of Zoology and Entomology from 1910 until 1937.

The OTRA was a research area for faculty in the occupational therapy department for several years. With the development of the new Occupation and Rehabilitation Science Ph.D. program in 2013, the OTRA was remodeled to serve as an allocated work space for the Ph.D. students. Inside the annex is a quiet, shared space with cubicles for students to study and work on their research.

The Department of Occupational Therapy is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.