Occupational Therapy receives President's Award

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

School of Medicine & Health Sciences


The University of North Dakota’s Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) Kappa Chapter was the 2016 corecipient of the President’s Award, which is a national award given by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation to a PTE chapter that organizes and implements an exceptional scholarly activity designed to contribute to the advancement of the occupational therapy profession. The PTE Kappa Chapter and Beta Pi Chapters (University of Mary) were awarded based on their efforts with the North Dakota Occupational Therapy Student Conference.

The annual North Dakota Occupational Therapy Student Conference began in the spring of 2007 when students and faculty from the University of North Dakota, University of Mary, North Dakota State School of Science, and Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks, gathered in Jamestown for a one-day conference. Although the numbers were small the first year, they were convinced that the purpose and format met a need for occupational therapy students across the state to gather and learn together. And now, plans are underway for what will be the 10th annual conference this spring. In recent years, the conference has been held in Fargo. The 2016 conference numbers exceeded expectations with over 100 students in attendance!

The conference is organized and run jointly by two Pi Theta Epsilon chapters in the state—the University of North Dakota Kappa Chapter and the University of Mary Beta Pi Chapter. Topics and speakers are selected based on their ability to contribute to the students’ growing knowledge base without duplicating curriculum content. Speakers are local occupational therapists, usually graduates of one of the organizing programs, who are willing to share their expertise and practice. Typically, four therapists are asked to speak, recent topics have included contributions of OT to aquatic therapy, neonatal intensive care units, prosthetic practice, as well as “career-building” topics like traveling therapists, the first-year experience, and evaluating a benefit package. Between sessions, OT and occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students are able to network and connect with other students and practitioners. The conference supports OT and OTA students in becoming authentic practitioners and leaders, encouraging high-quality care in the workplace and encouraging them to be consumers of research.

Sydney Larson

President, Kappa Chapter Pi Theta Epsilon

University of North Dakota Occupational Therapy



Denis F. MacLeod

Assistant Director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations

University of North Dakota

School of Medicine and Health Sciences

1301 N Columbia Road, Stop 9037 | Room W103 | Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037

701.777.2733 direct | 218.779.3107 cell