Frieda J. Behlen Scholarship Awardees for 2016 Announced

(From left to right: Brandi Stovall, Marisa Davison, and Elisabeth Bahr)

The NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarships. This year’s awardees are Elisabeth Bahr, Brandi Stovall, and Marisa Davison. These three exceptional students will each receive a $3,000 tuition award for their Summer 2016 semester.

Congratulations to all three award recipients!

Elisabeth Bahr is interested in continuing her education with an OTD, as well as developing her newfound interest in research. She has a passion for holistic health and aims to conduct research on how yoga and mindfulness can blend with the holistic vision of occupational therapy. In addition to writing articles — her first of which was accepted in AOTA’s Student Pulse, “Benefits of Mindfulness for Students” — and doing research, she’s also interested in writing books for children, specifically in exploring disability and coping mechanisms in fiction and nonfiction works. Following research she did this semester, she has a newfound interest in different ways to provide disaster relief and global health intervention services, which she thinks could become a long-term focus.



Brandi Stovall is interested in working with infants and young children — something she’s been passionate about since she was first introduced to occupational therapy at a HeadStart program several years ago. Through her experiences and time spent with her grandmother, as well as her coursework in Heath Advisory, Geriatrics, Mental Health and Activity Group Processing, she believes she would also enjoy part-time work running groups in a community setting with older adults. Aside from work inside the classroom, she also closely monitors the current mental health issues facing the country, specifically incarceration, and has been closely following the upcoming election and how the profession will be impacted by the results.


Marisa Davison has been interested in pediatrics since beginning the OT program. However, during her coursework while in the program and volunteer observation in the inpatient geriatric psychiatric unit at Mount Sinai Hospital, her interest in mental health has blossomed. She hopes to combine her two interests in an effort to create a new perspective and approach to pediatric mental health that emphasizes the importance of social connections and capitalizes on clients’ individual strengths. She hopes to eventually pursue a doctorate degree and maintains the goal of teaching, in addition to staying well connected with the NYU OT program throughout her career.


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