Kent State at Ashtabula’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Tech Program Presented at Annual Conference

Students from the Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology program presented for the first time at the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association (OOTA) Annual Conference. Two faculty members and three students represented Kent State University at Ashtabula’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology program on Saturday, Oct. 13.


The presenting group included lecturers and occupational therapists Janine Ricketts, OTR/L, and Megan Shumaker, OT/L, along with students Laura Bradford, Alexis Stein and Shannon Wilson, all second-year occupational therapy assistant technology majors.  


The group presented for an hour and a half on a unique program that they piloted in the spring and are also operating this fall. The program promotes positive mental health in school cafeterias and playgrounds during lunchtime and recess. In the spring, they piloted the program at Saint John School in Ashtabula and are currently executing it in other Ashtabula Area City Schools. 


Julie Mirabell, OT/L, academic program director of Kent State Ashtabula’s occupational therapy assistant technology program, is enthusiastic about how valuable the experience is to students. She says she is pleased with the positive feedback and experience the students received from the OOTA Conference.


“Presenting at this conference enabled the students to gain confidence in the skills they developed during the Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology program,” Ms. Mirabell says. “They received much positive feedback from the occupational therapy practitioners who attended the session, which helped them to connect even more strongly to the value of the services they provided to the local school.”


This conference was statewide, giving credit to the students who worked hard to achieve their academic success.


“Kent State Ashtabula prepared students by offering innovative and unique experiential learning opportunities,” Ms. Mirabell says. “Then by involving the students in the process of submitting a conference proposal and preparing for a professional presentation, these students gained valuable experiences to help them in their future careers.”


The occupational therapy assistant technology program at the Ashtabula Campus has been working for results in recent years, as they have worked to involve students in real-world experience.


“The occupational therapy assistant technology program at Kent State University at Ashtabula planned strategically for several years to help students gain the experience of presenting at a conference,” Ms. Mirabell says. “Having three students accepted to poster presentations and an additional three students deliver a session with the faculty is a great success.”


For more information about Kent State Ashtabula's Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology program, visit


POSTED: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 01:43 PM
UPDATED: Saturday, December 03, 2022 01:02 AM
Audra Gormley