The Department of Occupational Therapy launched its Dual Degree Occupational Therapy Doctorate - PhD in Health Related Sciences this year. This program allows students in the occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) program to begin working on credits in the PhD program while in the OTD program, saving them time and money toward their PhD. Dr. Stacey Reynolds, the program director and developer of the dual degree program, states, “This is only one of a small handful of OTD-to-PhD programs in the world and our program is proud to be leading the way in the effort to develop and support well-trained rehabilitation scientists.”
Two students were accepted into this new program and began working on their PhD this year. Clair Martin says "I applied to the dual degree OTD/PhD program because a career goal of mine is to conduct research to support human-centered and evidence-based interventions for geriatric individuals. This program has provided me opportunities to work with a variety of professions, including the Department of Gerontology, and will guide and support me in achieving this goal." Caterina LaRocca’s journey to the program was a bit different - "While this is not a track I initially envisioned myself on, I am grateful for the opportunity. With the dual degree I hope to research interventions that can assist chronically ill children in self-advocacy, confidence, and ease in disease management."
The program was part of our department’s strategic plan to increase student interest in research and we are proud that this program will help develop and support a new cadre of occupational therapy researchers who can help grow the evidence-base for our profession.