Caitlin is a third-year student in Drake's Occupational Therpay Doctorate (OTD) program and will graduate in 2023! In her last year of the OTD program, Caitlin has had the opportunity to complete a doctoral capstone experience at the University of Northern Iowa Student-Athlete Academic Services in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
I completed my capstone project at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) working with student-athlete academic service staff. The focus for my capstone was program development and advocacy for student-athlete mental health and well-being. My goal was to create programming and resources to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase overall self-care skills to benefit meaningful and purposeful occupations, roles, and routines for student-athletes. While at UNI, I was able to work with student athletic organizations to provide OT-based mental health services and create events to educate and advocate for mental well-being. My responsibilities included developing and implementing OT-based mental health resources, planning for different events that we had, and assisting my preceptors with a variety of other tasks.
My favorite thing about the Doctoral Capstone is that we can expand upon our personal interests within the scope of occupational therapy, even if that means pursuing an area that lacks our presence but will benefit from our services.
As an individual, I wanted an OTD program that had high educational expectations and provided the highest level of education to match the development of the field of occupational therapy.
Drake has helped me develop as an advocate and leader by building my individual skills in accountability, creativity, adaptability, and competency in occupational therapy.
My career goals are to work in the physical rehabilitation and mental health side of occupational therapy, enhance the presence of OT in mental health, and continue to advocate that all individuals should have equal opportunities for independence and a good quality of life no matter their abilities.
Memorize your elevator speech! Many people are going to ask what occupational therapy does. We play a vital role in the healthcare system and more specifically, the therapy team, therefore it is important to educate and advocate for our services!
Return to the OTD Capstone Spotlight home page here.