Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA)

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.


Members of SOTA 2014


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 (TBD): 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.

SOTA Officers

Co-Presidents Rachel Eakin, Kris Meadows & Kristina Tufts
TreasurerMark Borbe
Vice TreasurerTiffany Wong
Student Faculty LiaisonsAna Adam + Josh Stoudt 
Media Relations Committee 
NewsletterMichael Gong 
HistoriansKristina Tufts + Desiree Cruz + Kristina Veasley
Public RelationsCharlene Iroanya 
Fundraising CommitteeZoya Hadi + Anamaria Adam
Social CommitteeJoanna Williams & Jackie Wineholt, Joanna Pluhowski, Antonia S.
Community Outreach CommitteeMaggie Tatevosyan & Cristina Pompa, Brenna Taunton, Laura Trimble
Professional DevelopmentMelodie Thompson & Jen Hsu, Kristina Tufts, Vi Canio & Bianca Codilla
Student Body Association RepresentativesKamran Husain + Stephanie Hendson


SOTA Newsletter

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.