Now Open for Registration! Integrating Yoga, Tai Chi, & Feldenkrais with OT Practices Workshop

As the second event of our Department’s 75th anniversary celebrations, we’re pleased to host:

Integrating Yoga, Tai Chi, and Feldenkrais with OT Practices
How Eastern and Western traditions can be integrated into occupational therapy practice to promote occupational performance throughout the continuum of care.
Presented by alumnus Richard Sabel, MA ’97, MPH, OTR, GCFP and Bill Gallagher, PT, CMY, CYT

Event Details
Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: NYU Kimmel Center, Room 905/907
Address: 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012
Registration Cost: $125 Non-Affiliated Professionals, $100 NYU Affiliated Professionals (Alumni, Faculty, and Staff), $30 Current NYU Students

For more information please visit:

Register Online Here

This event is limited to 50 participants and 3.75 contact hours are available upon completion.

An Interview with OT Blogger Sarah Lyon (’11)

Sarah Lyon

Sarah Lyon is the founder of the well-known OT blog, Potential, and she also writes as the OT expert for In an interview with SpOTlight, Lyon talks about her work with Potential, her time at NYU, and life after graduation.

Where did you get the idea for Potential?
Right after I graduated from NYU, I moved back to Nebraska­– my home state­–and started work at a hospital in a small town. Like NYU had taught me, I sought out a place of employment with a good mentor, and for the first couple months had the opportunity to work alongside an OT that I respected. But due to life circumstances, she had to leave the practice after a couple months. So all of a sudden, I was working by myself in an isolated area. Like any good millennial, I took to the Internet for resources to help me with my practice and simply could not find the information I wanted. Even the AOTA website was an older version and was really hard to access.

I saw a big gap in accessible information for OTs. So I started blogging in 2012. It was something I did in my spare time, off and on, for a couple of years. Then about a year ago, I moved to Chicago and while I was waiting for my license to get approved by the state, I started blogging more regularly and my numbers started ticking up. This made me feel like the information I was sharing was meeting a need. I’ve been blogging regularly ever since.

So, is this your full-time job?
I tell people it’s a part-time job– the hours vary from week to week. I’m not in clinical practice right now, because I’ve been able to generate enough income to make things work and I really enjoy the blogging process.

Is this something you ever saw yourself doing for a living while you were in school?
When I was in school, I was passionate about patient education. I was fascinated by the growing number of avenues for patients to learn about their condition and their treatment options. So I had a passion for sharing quality information, but didn’t know what a good outlet for that would be. I definitely didn’t anticipate myself writing this much.

You’re still young for having been practicing and now starting your own blog. Even with the experience you have, do you think your age has played a role in how people view you as an OT?
Sometimes I wonder if being a younger OT hurts my legitimacy. I certainly haven’t experienced everything. But, at the end of the day, there seems to be a need for quality information, and as long as the writing is solid and the piece is thoughtful and truthful, people seem to be open to hearing from a younger voice.

What do you hope for Potential in the next five years?
One opportunity that I’m particularly excited about is a new section called Rehab Share, which is place on my site where practitioners can post items they’ve created for their practice – anything from daily documentation forms to e-books. An online marketplace like this would have been especially helpful when I began working by myself in a small-town general hospital. I was generating so many items from scratch. It was frustrating because I knew there were OTs around the country who generated similar forms and policies already, but I didn’t know how to access them. I’m hoping that this new marketplace will be a helpful resource for OTs and that it will continue to grow.

What drew you to NYU’s OT program?
During my senior year at St. Olaf College, I decided last minute that I wanted to be an occupational therapist. At the time, I had it in my mind that there were good OT programs and not-so-good OT programs. I definitely wanted to go to a good one, so I looked up the top-10 OT programs and chose to apply to schools in cities where I knew people.

I’m thankful for the education I received at NYU. The quality of the education has given me a lot of confidence in my OT practice. Also, as I’ve begun writing about OT, the network at NYU has been invaluable. Five years out, my classmates are still my first phone call when I have a question.

What has your relationship with your fellow NYU alumni been like?
It’s been fun reconnecting with some of my classmates through the blog. I’ve had the opportunity to interview several of them. It has been fun to see the different routes people have taken. I’ve been really inspired at the success so many of my classmates have had early in their careers – from leading departments to opening their own businesses. I’ve seen a trend of my classmates really excelling.

After having been out of practicing OT for a while now, do you want to go back to it at some point?
Absolutely. Even if I decide to keep focusing on writing about OT, I know I need to experience OT on the ground. I also miss the interactions with patients and would love to at least pick up 1-2 shifts per week. But, for now, I have a toddler and am enjoying spending time with him.

What’s your favorite part about what you do?
One of my favorites is responding to peoples’ comments and interacting with people on social media.  The other highlight is simply putting out good information about OT that’s engaging and easy to read. Writing for consumers is a particularly fun challenge because I have to push myself to describe occupational therapy without all of the industry lingo that we we’ve become entrenched in.

NYU OT’s 75th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Panel

On Friday, October 2, NYU OT welcomed back six distinguished alumni to share their academic and professional experiences with current OT students. The inaugural event got the Department’s 75th anniversary celebrations off to a fantastic start. It provided a great opportunity for alumni to reconnect with the NYU community and interact with current students to share experiences and advice.

The event included remarks from six distinguished alumni, each with their own story behind their success within the field and how they got to where they are now.
The six speakers were:
Anitta B. Fox (’45, ’47): Among the first students at NYU to earn a degree from the Occupational Therapy program
Joan L. Sullivan (’70, ’75): Certified Hand Therapist; Owner of Private Hand Therapy Practice
Danielle N. Butin (’85): Founder and Executive Director of the Afya Foundation; Adjunct Professor at Columbia University
Glen Gillen (’89): Full-time faculty member in the OT program at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons
Suzanne Sanchez (’96): Senior Director of Therapy Services at the New York City Department of Education
Margaret Swarbrick (’96, ’05): Associate Professor at Rutgers University and the Director of the Wellness Institute at Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey

Click here to learn more about the speakers. Thanks to our alumni for coming back to visit!

NYU OT students Volunteer at Maker Faire

NYU OT students Volunteer at Maker FaireThis past September, a group of NYU OT students participated at the World Maker Faire New York 2015. Working with eNable, an organization of volunteers dedicated to the evolution and distribution of prosthetic hands for children in need, the students demonstrated and explained the prosthetic hands on a 3D model. The Maker Faire is a “festival of inventions, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.”

The following students volunteered at the 2015 Maker Faire in New York:
Student game leaders: MarieJoie Tabriri, Matt Welt, Emma Petkofsky, Lindsay Maron, and Val Grinman
2nd year volunteers: Mike Maish, Nylah Lummer, Amy Aragon
1st year volunteers: Danielle Smith and Jessie Warren

Thank you to our volunteers for representing NYU OT at the Maker Faire!