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Student Paper

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to gather information about the history and evolution of occupational therapy (OT) practice in North Dakota and Wyoming through life histories of individuals who have been influential in developing OT in these two states. This study focused on the life history of Tammy Olson, and her involvement and experiences in the evolution of OT practice. A face-to-face semi-standardized interview which lasted approximately one hour, along with the participant’s curriculum vitae (CV), was used to gather information. The interview was transcribed verbatim and analyzed to develop themes that reflected influential events, opportunities, and challenges throughout Tammy’s personal and professional life. Tammy Olson has been influential in rural practice due to her commitment and passion for enhancing and promoting functional independence in the lives of others. Her experiences throughout her career have empowered her to become an educator and advocate for the certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) profession.