Nancy Bagatell, Director of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science
Nancy Bagatell, Director of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science

Dear alumni and friends,

This academic year has been one of transition and much excitement. As the new division director, I am learning new things every day and am consistently energized by our cohesive community of dedicated and talented faculty, students, alumni and friends of the Division. We are excited by our new projects such as the renovation of the OT Lab. The room has been transformed into a “maker’s space,” a place where students and faculty can imagine, create, and construct! Here we can facilitate hands-on learning and critical thinking skills. Students have the space to use a 3-D printer to make adaptive equipment, fabricate a splint, or learn to knit! It is through your kind donations that we are able to provide these and other hands-on opportunities for our students.

We are also hard at work tackling new initiatives including planning for the transition to the occupational therapy doctorate, increasing our outreach to under-served populations, and addressing diversity and inclusion within the division and profession. An additional initiative focuses on interprofessional education, research, and practice. In this issue, we highlight some of our efforts. Interprofessional collaboration is essential in ever-changing healthcare and educational environments. The issues individuals, communities, and populations experience are complex and are best addressed by working collaboratively to achieve optimal outcomes. Therefore, faculty are working closely with others from the Department of Allied Health Sciences, across the university and community partners to provide meaningful interprofessional learning experiences for students, to provide innovative intervention, and to design research studies to address the needs of those we serve.

UNC’s legacy of preparing occupational therapists and occupational scientists for innovative practice, teaching, and research continues with these initiatives. Be on the lookout for more information about our initiatives on our new website which will launch soon! And be sure to save the date when we announce the division’s 40th anniversary celebration in 2020.

Nancy Bagatell, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Division Director