Member Engagement Opportunities

Members are encouraged to select one or more of the projects listed below and contact the designated chairperson to become involved!! Alternatively, members may use the Engagement Form which has been mailed to them to indicate their interest. Electronic interest may be submitted to



Rita Fleming-Castaldy, Chairperson; Board Oversight provided by Patti LaVesser and Ruth Schemm

This project has two components: Oral History and Historical Artifacts

The Oral History Project collects, documents, organizes, and disseminates the personal stories of our living (or recently deceased) leaders and their influence on the growth of the profession.

  • Work is accomplished by collaborating with national, state, and local occupational therapy organizations.
  • During 2016-17, OT L&LS Society members facilitated the collection of stories from 87 occupational therapy legends. The approach of each interview varied according to the format of the project in that area and/or the preference of the interviewee.
  • Society members are engaged with projects in New York, California, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Nebraska as well as nationally in conjunction with the AOTA Centennial Archives project.

The Historical Artifacts Project identifies and develops a collection of artifacts that reflect the roots and development of the profession and disseminates that information in documents and media. Members are participating by helping to collect and document the significance of the artifacts to the profession and the greater society. This approach contributes to the profession by assuring that our rich history is preserved and available for historians, students, academics, and leaders who seek to gain insight and inspiration from history.

During 2016-18, members focused on 3 inter-related projects:

  • Exploration and establishment of a scholarly historical website that will be populated with easy accessible short papers
    • initial efforts focused on establishing a website in conjunction with the Temple University campus library and OT Program.
  • Development of short history briefs that will be posted on the above history website
    • six papers have been completed. Of particular note are two papers that focus on the use of social capital by OTs in the 1930's and 1940's. All papers include digitized representations of physical artifacts.
  • Creation of an artifact exhibit
    • OT artifacts from 1910-1970 are on view at the Ginsburg Medical Library on the Health Sciences campus of Temple University.

The Society encourages members who have an interest in preserving OT history, who possess important OT historical artifacts, or who wish to participate by sharing their own stories and/or helping to collect and document the stories of other members of the profession.are encouraged to contact the Chairperson through the "contact us" function on the website.


Teri Black, Chairperson

OTA Honor Society Alpha Omega Tau (AΩT): Julie Kalahar, Chairperson and Kathy Eberhardt, National Coordinator of the Honor Societies. Board Oversight provided by Teri Black

This project is responsible for advocating for recognition of the distinct value of occupational therapy assistants as well as planning and inaugurating an occupational therapy academic honor society that will recognize and engage occupational therapy assistant leaders.

During 2016-18, 22 Society members accomplished the following:

  • Explored national honor society umbrella organizations to determine a good fit for our profession
  • Developed a draft mission statement for the OTA honor society with a dual focus on academics and service
  • Surveyed 197 OTA Program Directors to determine interest in participation in proposed honor society
    • 50% response rate; 90% positive interest
  • 2017 and 2018 reported progress to OTA Program Directors during AOTA Annual Conference
  • Developed organizational structure for OTA Honor Society effort
    • OTA Honor Society Chairperson: Julie Kalahar
    • OTA Honor Society Co-Chairperson: Booker Johnson
    • Board Oversight: Teri Black
  • Identified 9 pilot OTL&LS OTA Honor Societies

Society members are encouraged to contact Teri Black with questions or to join this project. Teri can be reached through the Contact Us function of this website or at


Ellen Kolodner and Shirley Wells, Co-Chairpersons

  • Membership Committee Co-Chairpersons: Lisa Kurtz and Kurt Hubbard
    • Board Oversight: Ellen Kolodner

The Society Sustainability project includes three sub-committees: Governance; Public Awareness and Member Communication; and Membership. This group will be responsible for clarifying the duties and responsibilities of members, officers, and directors, refining Society Standard Operating Procedures, refining the vetting process for new members, developing a process for the proposal of new Society projects and spearheading efforts to identify individuals who should be encouraged to apply for membership. This group of members will work closely with the Society Collaborations project.

Some of the accomplishments of this Project during 2016-18 include:

  • Incorporated Society as a 501(c)6
  • Obtained Federal non-profit status
  • Refined Society mission and vision statements
  • Refined application form-new form uploaded to website April, 2018
  • Renamed Nominations and Recruitment Committee as Membership Committee (May, 2018)
  • Developed process for members to propose new projects (See RFP form below)
  • Established Society website
    • enabled electronic application to Society
  • Established Society Facebook Group (May, 2018)
    • FB Administrators: Barbara Kornblau, Sandy Hanebrink and Ellen Kolodner
  • Collaborated with AOTA
    • Secured meeting space for use during 2017 and 2018 AOTA conference (NOTE: 2018 meeting announcement posted on front page of website Dec-April)
    • Secured and populated 5 spots for OT L&LS members in AOTA Story BoOTh during 2017 conference
    • Facilitated and supported appointment of several Society members to OT Centennial Archive Editorial Board
      • Society member, Dr. Rita P. Fleming-Castaldy

Members are encouraged to contact Ellen Kolodner to support any aspect of this project. Ellen can be reached through the "Contact us" function of this website.