Celebrating 100 Years of Providing Care to the Community

When a really big anniversary comes around, it’s traditional to celebrate with a dinner or a party. Gannon’s occupational therapy (OT) students and faculty in both Erie and Ruskin did both this April for the 100th anniversary of their discipline.

The party, sponsored by Gannon’s OT department and District 7 of the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association (POTA), included tables showcasing POTA, Gannon’s Student OT Association and Pi Theta National OT Honor Society, with games, music, activities, research posters and other academic presentations.

At the Ruskin, Florida campus, the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) marked the anniversary by raising more than $500 for the Stay In Step initiative that assists those with spinal cord injury in their recovery. 

In Erie, several OT students collaborated with community partners at the spring portion of the eighth annual Purposeful Movement and Wellness Program for people with Parkinson’s disease in conjunction with Parkinson Partners of Northwest PA and at Erie Homes for Children and Adults’ MOVE Program. 

In service to their discipline, Gannon students and faculty were invited to present at the AOTA conference in Philadelphia. Five students and four faculty members from the Erie campus presented at the conference as did five students from the Ruskin Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program.

View the celebration for the occupational therapy 100th anniversary.

Which brings us to that dinner, a singular event called Dining in the Dark, where more than 80 guests dined with their vision blocked by blindfolds. Sponsored by the Gannon University chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon honor society for occupational therapy, the event dramatized the challenges faced by individuals with vision loss with all proceeds benefiting the Sight Center of Northwest Pennsylvania.

Occupational therapy is one of the largest majors at Gannon with 234 students enrolled in master’s-level and OTD programs across Gannon’s two campuses. As professional practitioners, they will focus on helping clients perform everyday activities to their highest potential.