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

  • September: Welcome Back Buddy Day
    Social activities to promote connections between first and second year students and welcome new students to the occupational therapy (OT) program.
  • October: Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) Annual Conference
    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.
  • November: Veterans Day
    SOTA hosted the first of hopefully many annual Veterans Day celebrations in honor of Occupational Therapy's historical roots with the military. On this day, we not only honor Samuel Merritt University's very own men and women of the United States Armed Forces, but all service men and women who dedicated their time to protecting our freedom.
  • March: Friends and Family Day
    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.
  • April:
    • Occupational Therapy Month
      Throughout the month of April, events are held on campus as well as in the community to promote the occupational therapy profession.
    • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Conference
      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.

Community Outreach

  • December: Adopt-A-Family
    Every year SOTA works with Brighter Beginnings to adopt two families during the holiday season. Each cohort adopts one family and helps raise money or buy gifts on their Christmas wish list. Additional SOTA funds are donated to help ensure that all needs are meet. SOTA hosts a celebratory gift-wrapping party where both cohorts wrap their adopted families’ holiday gifts.
  • Year Round: ReCares
    SOTA has partnered with ReCares, a non-profit organization that encourages reuse, to help with the collection and redistribution of donated gently-used and new durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies for our Oakland community.
  • Summer: Camp Winning Hands
    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  Alondra Ammon, John Hutton, Lori Kabalaman
Secretary Madeline Lee
Treasurer Brady Armes
Vice Treasurer Sandy Kuoch
Fundraising Committee Susan Henley
Professional Development Kristy Multon
Student Body Association Representatives Sandy Kuoch
Student Faculty Liaisons Tara Burrows  
Assembly of Student Delegates Francis Gadayan, Lesa Stevens, Liz Zuniga
Community Outreach Committee Atchie Bernstein, Julie Formica, Alina Lareybi, Liz Zuniga
Social Committee Nicole Lux
Media Relations Committee Brittani Cormier, Mae Sarol
Historians Leslie Brunner, Mae Sarol


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.



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