OTA candidates celebrate during pinning ceremony

May 24, 2019
OTA Program

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) candidates celebrated during a traditional pinning ceremony Saturday, May 11, 2019.

The ceremony dates back to the 1860s with Florence Nightingale awarding medals to her brightest students. The pinning ceremony became standard in 1916 for all students entering the medical field.

OTA pin
The Newman University OTA pin is presented to program candidates during a traditional pinning ceremony.

The Newman University OTA program began in the early 1990s and has celebrated its program members with a pinning ceremony since its inception.

The 2019 spring class consisted of 10 students.

Nancy Dahlinger, director of the Newman OTA program, said, “This class really embraces the occupational therapy philosophy of helping people participate in daily occupations that are meaningful to them at whatever level possible.”

The next step for the students is to complete 16 weeks of fieldwork internships in two different types of practice settings. The settings include school systems, hospitals, nursing homes, private practice and low vision clinics.

They will be eligible to graduate and begin employment in December 2019. 

One OTA candidate stated, “Through this profession, I am able to bring light back into my future patients’ lives to be as independent as possible in everyday occupations that are meaningful to them. I have always longed to find a career that would allow me to change individuals’ lives in a positive way.”

OTA 2019
The 2019 Spring OTA Candidates
(Front row, l to r): Dana Wild, Claire Fergen, Allyson Pavlacka, Erica Nola and
OTA Director Nancy Dahlinger.
(Back row, l to r): Lori Bradley-adjunct faculty, Heidi Moore-adjunct faculty, Madison Adams, Jarod Peacock, Cherrianna Meneses, Alexandra Buchanan, Lindsay Wehkamp, Jordan Schiefelbein and Teresa Moritz- adjunct faculty.

The 2019 spring OTA candidates are:

  • Madison Adams
  • Alexandra “Ally” Buchanan
  • Claire Fergen
  • Cherrianna Meneses
  • Erica Nola
  • Allyson Pavlacka
  • Jarod Peacock
  • Jordan Schiefelbein
  • Lindsay Wehkamp
  • Dana Wild