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.
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.
- Featured on Samuel Merritt University’s Newsroom: Student OT Club Hosts Veterans Appreciation Bash
- 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.
- 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.
- Occupational Therapy Month
- 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.
|Co-Presidents||Alondra Ammon, John Hutton, Lori Kabalaman|
|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|
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.