Frieda J. Behlen Scholarship Awardees for 2015 Announced

(From left to right) Precious Herrera, Charlene Woo, Callah Kimble

The NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarships. This year’s awardees are Precious Herrera, Callah Kimble, and Charlene Woo. These three exceptional students will each receive a $3,500 tuition award for their Summer 2015 semester.

Precious Herrera is interested in pursuing a career in the areas of mental health, pediatrics, and neuroscience. Beyond that, she hopes to do work with women education and empowerment, as well as take her career abroad in developing countries. As an officer for the Class of 2016, she helps in the planning of social events and fundraiser opportunities for the department and her classmates, as well as supporting her fellow class officers in establishing connections with other NYU programs such as physical therapy and speech-language pathology (Communicative Sciences and Disorders). By volunteering for a non-profit in the Bronx, she has educated youth on occupational therapy and her experiences in NYU’s program. She hopes to someday be able to establish an OT curriculum at her undergraduate alma mater and eventually return to NYU as an adjunct professor.

Callah Kimble is interested in the emerging practice of sensory integration rooms in psychiatry. Originally from California, she chose to enroll in NYU’s OT program 3,000 miles away from home and has been inspired by the passion and commitment of the NYU OT faculty. She has made a priority out of attending the annual AOTA conference and is her class’ AOTA co-representative, a position that involves helping organize the trip and urging others to attend. Eventually, she wants to work as an OT in an inpatient psychiatric unit and, more specifically, practice as a clinician in an inpatient eating disorder unit/clinic. She also places a strong emphasis on community involvement and, as a result, is a member of the New York State Occupational Therapy Association, the Occupational Therapy Association of California, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Charlene Woo has watched her passion for occupational therapy evolve during her time at NYU. Coming into the program, she wanted to work in outpatient pediatrics, but her fieldwork experiences have led her to develop a connection to geriatrics and palliative care. She is her class’ co-chair, writes for the department’s SpOTlight blog, and attends NYU’s Therapy Collective events where speech language pathologists and physical therapists discuss their respective professions. She represents NYU at events for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, including NAMI Walks, and helps bring participants to their events as well. Whether she establishes a career by opening a private practice or by advocating for additional end-of-life care, she hopes to make a difference in occupational therapy.

The Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarship is an endowed fund created principally by gifts from alumni of the occupational therapy programs at NYU. Income generated by the endowment is awarded annually to students who demonstrate superior academic achievement as well as financial need. With growth in the fund’s balance from new gifts, the amount given out has been able to increase and will continue to do so. The award takes the form of a tuition aid applied toward summer courses. Professional Program second-year students are eligible to apply.

The fund was named to honor the memory of Frieda J. Behlen, founder and longtime chair of NYU’s Department of Occupational Therapy. Ms. Behlen was known for never hesitating to find monies, even if from her own pocketbook, to enable deserving students to complete their studies.

To contribute to this and other Department of Occupational Therapy funds please visit