Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program welcomes largest cohort in program history during annual white coat ceremony

Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program welcomes largest cohort in program history during annual white coat ceremony

Cohort 4 white coat recipients in the PC OTD program.

Cohort 4 White Coat recipients in the PC Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program.

The largest cohort in Presbyterian College Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program history entered the next stage of their professional development Sunday at the fourth annual white coat ceremony.

Thirty-four new occupational therapy students received their white coats and words of welcome and wisdom at the annual ceremony in Belk Auditorium.

PC’s 20th president, Dr. Anita Gustafson, welcomed the incoming class with news that the OTD program reached full accreditation status from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education with no areas of non-compliance.

Gustafson told students they came to the right school to prepare them for careers in service to others.

“The work you will train for fits right into PC’s motto, ‘While We Live, We Serve,’” she said. “The work you do will change lives. Your service to others will help people become more independent, or it will help them remain independent longer. Your work is a calling – a calling to make a difference. A calling to do good and important work.

“We look forward to watching you grow and learn and become professionals who will make exceptional impacts in the daily lives of the first patients you will serve.”

Dr. Cindy Erb, the OTD’s interim program director and associate professor, addressed the new cohort with a brief lesson on the importance of the occasion they celebrated – as a particular moment in time.

“Everything is time – our breaths, our steps, our everything,” she said. “Over time, we have tried to control time. We invented the clock and the calendar, attended time management classes, bought time-released aging cream to try to cover the effects of time.”

Erb shared a quote from Bil Keane – “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”

OT students should cherish not only the milestones but the moments throughout their educational journey that will shape them into skilled, caring clinicians, Erb said.

“Cherish the moments – the moments that make up a day like today,” she said. “Marking the beginning of a lot of time you will spend learning, growing, and realizing the importance of time within our program.”

Erb told future therapists that, in time, they will develop ways to help their patients and clients discover their own essential moments.

“I am honored to be part of that journey with you,” she said. “And it will start tomorrow with us.”

The program also inducted new members of the Pi Theta Epsilon honor society for occupational therapy, including:

  • Madie Degennaro
  • Jenna Hare
  • Angela Karasev
  • Brooke Lyerly
  • Claudia Newsom
  • Emily Ouyang
  • Graceanna Sessions

Members of Cohort 4 receiving their white coats:

  • Jordan Addis
  • Emmy Bentley-Gottel
  • Keeley Bowman-Pitts
  • Amy Clark
  • Courtney Coffy
  • Sheyla Cortes-Leyva
  • Anna (Crump) Lawton
  • Edi Cummings
  • Sean Duncan
  • Grace Durham
  • Annelise Few
  • Shelbi Frederick
  • Cristina Gonzalez
  • Demetria (Dee) Graves
  • Jenna Green
  • Madison Howard
  • Grace Howell
  • Imani Hunt
  • Madeline Johnson
  • Sandra Johnson
  • Zoe Johnson
  • Heather Loftis
  • Kylie Magnum
  • Stephanie Martinez
  • Ivy Massey
  • Brianna McCalla
  • Jessica Pea
  • Jada Perry
  • Emily Robinson-McCall
  • Ashlynn (Schieberl) Clary
  • Ja’la Setzer
  • Maggie (Wannamaker) Cooper
  • Emma Wilford
  • Grace (Madeline) Wilder
Cohort 3 inductees into the Pi Theta Epsilon honor society for occupational therapy

Cohort 3 inductees into the Pi Theta Epsilon Honor Society for Occupational Therapy.