Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy students Alli Little, Cassie Fraser-Ball, Kendyl Cole, Sarah Ginter, and Serenity Kingsbury completed a fieldwork experience in Bucaramanga, Colombia in March 2019. Sue Coppola and Ryan Lavalley led the trip, which the Universidad de Santander (UDES) hosted.

During the trip, students and faculty learned about occupational therapy and the beauty of Colombian culture and geography. Students observed in both a jail and psychiatric hospital. They also hosted classroom sessions and visited occupational therapy practices and community gathering places around Burcaramanga. Occupational therapy in Colombia is based primarily in communities and is known for innovative work with survivors of the civil war.

Two students at UDES coordinated the division’s homestay. Laura Rodriguez and Maria Carmenza Gamboa served as faculty hosts.

Susan Coppola, OTD, OT/L, is a professor in the division, which is housed in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Allied Health Sciences.

Ryan Lavalley, PhD, is a graduate of the PhD program in occupational science and is a post-doctoral fellow with the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the Partnership in Aging program, an initiative of the Office of the Provost at UNC-Chapel Hill.