Temple Occupational Therapy is a proud community of practitioners, educators and researchers. We are alumni, current and former faculty, and students. Our influence is felt across the field of occupational therapy, and in the lives of countless individuals across the Philadelphia region and beyond.
Here you'll find the stories of those who make Temple OT a remarkable program.
"Temple embodies the idea of community practice...of rolling up your sleeves and getting out to where the patients are--which is the heart of the profession," says Ruth Schemm, distinguished professor of occupational therapy.
"When you look at leaders in occupational therapy education, research and practice--and that's nationally and regionally--you'll see that a lot of them are Temple-made," says Donna Weiss, professor emeritus of occupational therapy at Temple.
"You get a sense that Temple is very much embedded in the city," says alumna Jessica Kilpatrick (MSOT '13). "The community engagement focus really taught me a lot."
Professor Amy Lynch is using occupational therapy in innovative ways to unpack the complexity of adoption, especially for children with complex trauma and their adoptive families.
You could say it’s been Beth Pfeiffer’s year. In addition to teaching courses and maintaining a clinical pediatric practice, the associate professor is involved in several funded research projects and recently received one of the highest honors in her field. Her latest project: a program to get more young adults with autism on the move.
"Going to Temple afforded me a lot of the opportunities that have happened over my career, and that I benefit from today," says Deb Humpl, outpatient occupational therapy supervisor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "I'm fortunate being an alumna, and having been afforded opportunities that you don't get just by having clinical knowledge."
"I feel great in enabling people to feel good about themselves," says Beverly Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Real OT Solutions. She says the mentorship from her professors at Temple OT helped her realize her career dreams, and inspired her to help others do the same. "I try and pay it forward. I'm so grateful for how encouraging the faculty were that I choose to mentor people."
"Temple students are not afraid," says alumna Kristie Koenig, associate professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at New York University. "They hit the ground running. They’ve been given the skills they need so they’re ready to practice – and they also develop an attitude toward their practice that makes them ready to keep learning."
Temple OT Alumna Marianne Dahl is program director for the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Philadelphia University. She says the education she got at Temple was formative for her own teaching: "It's a very active learning and teaching style, and to this day I use that in formulating experiences for my own students."
"We have students involved in organizations and sites all over the city," says Sheila Moyle, instructor in rehabilitation sciences and the academic coordinator of fieldwork education at Temple’s occupational therapy program. Moyle places more than 80 students at nearly 350 fieldwork sites each year.
"We all have a personal mission that drives us, and mine is to help others," says John Kirby, who graduated from Temple's Occupational Therapy program in 1992. He is now Associate Executive Director of Operations at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
"Temple OT students are dynamic, flexible, organized, and creative," says Assistant Professor Kim Gargin. We talked with her about being on the team designing Temple OT’s new curriculum and what’s unique about Temple’s fieldwork experience.
"Temple opened my eyes to many things," says Anne Dickerson, who graduated from Temple's occupational therapy program in 1977. She is now professor of occupational therapy at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and editor of the journal Occupational Therapy in Health Care.
"I was taught by leaders in the field," says Roseann Schaaf, who graduated from Temple's occupational therapy program in 1977. She is now chair of the occupational therapy department and professor of OT at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Kim Furphy is an assistive technology specialist and is the program director of the master of science in occupational therapy program at Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey. "Temple had everything that I was looking for," she says. "It just seemed like the best fit for me."
Associate Professor Beth Pfeiffer has been awarded the A. Jean Ayres Award by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, and has been elected as a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Congratulations, Beth!
Assistant Professor of Instruction Rochelle Mendonca is improving rehabilitation technology and helping to address the critical shortage of practitioners in her field.
Roger Ideishi, associate professor of occupational therapy and director of the college's occupational therapy program, is helping arts organizations around the country become more inclusive—and now he’s taking his expertise to one city that has a special need for it.