Student Occupational Therapy Association
The Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) is a non-profit student-run organization that promotes professional development and public awareness of occupational therapy. SOTA achieves these goals through participating in community outreach, providing leadership opportunities, networking, engaging in advocacy, fund raising and promoting social activities that encourage leisure and connections among students.
(From left to right) Back row: Dan Pezel, Sasha Wang, Melissa Husband, Mary Naughton, Morgan Inouye, Claire Bonde, Maribeth Walsh-Villa, Don Hogue, Lloyd Galang. Front row: Leslie Marsden, Milena Milenkovic, Vanessa Jeong, Julia Gray, Nancy Ou, Ashley Valenzuela, Tina Sidhu, Karen Sommers, Tina Nguyen. Not pictured: Melissa Lohr.
Annual SOTA Events
- MOT Welcome Back BBQ and Buddy Pizza Party (August): Social activities to promote connections between first and second year students and welcome new students to the MOT program.
- OTAC Annual Conference (October): An advocacy opportunity to promote occupational therapy and foster connections between current students and policymakers, practicing occupational therapists, faculty, and other students and professionals. Usually held in either Northern or Southern California each year.
- Friends and Family Day (February 9, 2013): A public awareness and fund raising event that includes presentations by OT faculty, a silent auction, information about the OT program, and tours of the Samuel Merritt University campus.
- Occupational Therapy Month (April): Throughout the month of April, various events are held on campus as well as in the community to promote the occupational therapy profession, including Backpack Awareness Day.
- AOTA Conference (April): An educational opportunity to connect to professionals and students from around the country and learn about issues of national importance. SOTA sends one representative to attend the Assembly of Student Delegates meeting.
- Camp Bennett (July): SMU students are welcomed as volunteers at this summer camp for children who have weakness of one side of the body due to brain injury. The camp employs the Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy model, which encourages children to use their weak hand.
- Camp Winning Hands (August): This camp provides children with congenital hand and upper limb differences an opportunity to connect and play, and also provides educational opportunities for families and caregivers. Funds raised by SOTA are donated to this camp, run by SMU professor Ginny Gibson, every year.
|Co-Presidents||Morgan Inouye and Tina Sidhu, MOT2|
|Vice-President||Dan Pezel, MOT1|
|Recording Secretary||Claire Bonde, MOT1|
|Corresponding Secretary||Vanessa Jeong, MOT1|
|Treasurer||Nancy Ou, MOT2|
|Vice Treasurer||Tina Nguyen, MOT1|
|Student-Faculty Liaison||Maribeth Walsh-Villa, MOT2|
|Student-Faculty Liaison||Sasha Wang, MOT1|
|Student Body Representative||Melissa Husband, MOT1|
|SOTA Representative||Karen Sommers, MOT2|
|SOTA Representative||Melissa Lohr, MOT1|
|Community Outreach Chair||Leslie Marsden, MOT2|
|Public Relations Chair||Don Hogue, MOT2|
|Newsletter Editor/Historian||Lloyd Galang, MOT2|
|OTAC Representative||Mary Naughton, MOT1|
|Assembly of the Student Delegate||Julia Gray, MOT1|
|Social Activities Chairs||Ashley Valenzuela and Milena Milenkovic, MOT2|
|Faculty Advisor||Chi-Kwan Shea, Faculty|
Meeting Times and Locations
1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. Location to be announced via e-mail to current students. All students are welcome and encouraged to attend SOTA meetings and events.