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Published by otpitt, 2019-11-22 11:57:58

NewsLink Fall 2019

PDF Version

Fall 2019 - Volume 9, Issue 1


Pam Toto, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA

Associate Professor and CScD Program Director
We are excited to announce that the Doctor of Clinical Science in Occupational
Therapy (CScD) Program will be offered online!
Since 2015, our post-professional advanced practice doctorate has been
offered on-campus to bachelor and master’s trained occupational therapists.
By transitioning to a hybrid format starting in Fall 2020, we will be able to
better accommodate the various needs of working clinicians both near and far.
The CScD Program provides occupational therapists with the skills and knowledge to become
successful change agents in bridging the gap between evidence and practice. We will continue to
offer two cognate tracks – Clinical Educator and Master Practitioner – with four areas of
concentration within the Master Practitioner track: Pediatric Practice, Geriatric Practice,
Musculoskeletal Practice, and Neurological Practice.
In conjunction with the transition to online programming, we will now offer an Advanced Practice
Certificate in Implementation of Evidence in Clinical Practice. This certificate can be earned as a
stand-alone certificate or by CScD students as part of the curriculum. This new 12-credit certificate
program is composed of four core courses within the CScD curriculum with content that addresses
implementing best-practice strategies for change, interprofessional communication and
effectiveness, and navigating health systems to implement change.

For more information on the hybrid program and certificate, please
keep an eye out for updates on our website or e-mail [email protected]


Lauren Terhorst, PhD

Associate Professor and Biostatistician, Department of Occupational Therapy

Terhorst leading the Statistical Methods for Health Research course in the Innovation

Dr. Lauren Terhorst serves in a number of different roles - from associate professor to
biostatistician, to task force chair. Read more about her work below and how her research is
making a national impact.
In her role as associate professor, Terhorst teaches four statistical methods courses in the School
of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) PhD Program: Statistical Methods for Rehabilitation
Sciences I and II, Advanced Topics for Rehabilitation Science, and the Prognostic Studies module of
Methods of Inquiry.
Her main research interests include measurement and analytical methods for longitudinal data. This
interest has led Terhorst to author publications that describe statistical methods for analyzing
intensive longitudinal data, which are data collected from individuals over repeated occasions (e.g.,
daily over a few weeks) using sampling techniques such as ecological momentary assessment. For
example, Terhorst analyzed data from a sample of daily and intermittent smokers to examine
environmental and social influences that may lead to smoking events.
Currently, Terhorst chairs the Curriculum Task Force of the American Congress of Rehabilitation
Medicine’s Measurement Networking Group. Her task force is examining the state of measurement
education in rehabilitation science educational programs across the United States as well as other
countries. The goal of the project is to make recommendations for standards of measurement
education within rehabilitation science education curricula. In addition to her teaching and research
activities, Terhorst is the director of Scientific Review and leads the Steering Committee for the
OTD Capstone Projects within the Department of Occupational Therapy.
To learn more about Dr. Terhorst and her work, please visit our website.


LTJG Yocelin Hernandez Rojero, MOT, OTR/L, MSC, USN

Sasebo Branch Officers

The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program at the
University of Pittsburgh gave me a versatile academic
foundation on which to build and prosper. While in the
program, I learned best practices to implement across the
spectrum of occupational therapy and witnessed first-hand
how Pitt OT supports these practices with research.
As occupational therapists, we must constantly be creative
and adapt to the environments in which we are placed. This
is especially true for those in the Armed Forces, as we
frequently work in different locations and settings. I currently
work in the U.S. Navy in Sasebo Japan Educational and
Developmental Intervention Services. My primary
responsibility is to work with students and parents serving
military members overseas. In order to facilitate participation
in everyday occupations in school and home settings, I use
creative games and strategies to teach new skills. I also
support the Sasebo Navy Clinic, as needed.
Working in another country has enabled me to experience
other cultures and understand how occupational therapy is
relevant in other parts of the world. My goal is to
demonstrate how dynamic the profession can be and to
advocate for Navy Occupational Therapy. I am looking
forward to the many opportunities ahead!

Top photo: (2nd from left) Yocelin Hernandez-Rojero, MOT, OTR/L, MSC, USN (Occupational Therapist) with
interprofessional team Nathan Moon, PsyD, ABPP LT, MSC, USN (Clinical Psychologist),

Joe Neil PT, DPT, SCS LCDR, MSC, USN (Physical Therapist), and Lynnea Vis, PsyD LT, MSC, USN (Clinical Psychologist)
Bottom photo: Hernandez-Rojero (2nd from left) and locals from Japan wearing typical graduation ceremony garments


Lia de Lyon

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Student, Class of 2022

Lia De Lyon at her first solo art show

From the moment I was able to draw, art has been a momentous and driving force in my life. As a
high school student, I loved science and art equally, which led me to discover the field of
occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is an avenue that allows me to showcase my creativity
while using science and health care approaches to improve the lives and functional abilities of
patients and OT recipients.
During my sophomore year at the University of Pittsburgh Bradford campus, I decided to officially
start my art as a business (liadelyonart). For the past three years I have dedicated myself to
improving my artistic skillset and business acumen. In that time frame, I have had my art featured
by celebrities, designed album covers for musicians, illustrated a book cover and recently, held my
first solo show. This experience pushed me to develop new competencies that proved to be pivotal
in my journey into the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program here at Pitt.
Though they seem very different, art and occupational therapy are inextricably linked. Both involve
critical thinking, preparation, planning, careful process analysis, and of course, the ability to be
flexible. Every time an OT service or intervention returns independence or improves a patient’s life,
I see the art of occupational therapy at work.


Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
(MS in OT), and Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) students at the
2019 Professional Pledge Ceremony

On November 2nd, students from the MOT Class of 2020, MS in OT Class of 2020, and OTD Classes
of 2020 and 2021 joined with over 400 of their friends, family, peers, and mentors for a
Professional Pledge Ceremony to signify their transition from didactic coursework into the clinic.
The event featured Kristy Yoskey (MOT '06) as Alumni Keynote Speaker, Instructor Jennifer White
(CScD '18) as Faculty Keynote Speaker, and UPSOTA President Jason Amado (OTD '21) as student
speaker. Although the content of these speeches varied, there was one clear message of
encouragement for the journey ahead.
To all of our students, we wish you the best!


Have you recently received an
award or grant, published a
manuscript, given a

presentation, or been appointed
to a leadership position? We
want to know about YOUR

Tell us more by completing
a brief survey


Giving Tuesday is right around the corner! We ask you to join us on December 3 and consider how
your donation can impact the lives of Pitt OT students!

Contributions can be made at

Occupational Therapy Award of Excellence Recipient

"This award helped me to pursue my professional goals and
motivated me to continue to strive for professional excellence

in all my endeavors as a future therapist!"
Abby McKinley, MOT Class of 2019

Caroline Robinson Brayley Award Recipient

"Being given this opportunity to make the most of this special
award not only gives me the chance to make an impact on the
community, but it also speaks to the trust and confidence this

program has in their students."
Joseph Driscoll, OTD Class of 2021

Copyright © 2019 University of Pittsburgh Department of Occupational Therapy, All rights reserved.
University of Pittsburgh

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Occupational Therapy
Bridgeside Point I
100 Technology Drive, Suite 350
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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