Alumni Perspectives

On this page, you'll find a selection of quotes from alumni of Chatham University's Post-Professional Occupational Therapy program. Learn more about what makes our program unique and valuable.

"Phenomenal OTD program."

Prior to starting this program, I observed occupational injustices but did not realize I could do something about them. As a result of Chatham's phenomenal OTD program, I know that I can be a change agent as an occupational therapist at my workplace, in the community, and globally.

—Monica Cainion, OTD '17

"A better set of skills. A more well-rounded practitioner."

When I reflect back on the beginning of the OTD journey in January 2016, if feels like forever ago, yet just yesterday at the same time. The pure elation of graduation did not fully hit me until I picked up my regalia at the bookstore last week and the woman was shouting "Congrats Dr. B!"

I can confidently say I have a better set of skills in order to make me a more well-rounded practitioner. I enhanced my knowledge through a greater focus on evidence-based practice, educational technology and leadership skills. The coursework reminded me of the importance of setting goals for myself in order to accomplish the things I am passionate about both professionally and personally.

My capstone project on the topic of health literacy has affected the way I approach and treat each individualized patient. Having more knowledge in this area has changed my approach when communicating with patients on a daily basis. I am much more aware of health literacy and its overall effects on therapeutic interventions and the health care system in its entirety.

Looking ahead to the future, I would like to assume the role of an adjunct occupational therapy professor. This is the primary reason I set out on this doctoral journey. I would still like to keep up my clinical skills while taking on new roles in education. Education is empowering; it creates a new inspiration for the continued commitment of being a life-long learner.

—Alexa Bevacqua, OTD '17

"Ready to Think Big?"

In 1996, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy and quickly discovered my desire to both learn and teach. I obtained my master’s degree in order to be able to teach in an OT program and greatly enjoyed the experience. 

Ten years later when I became a program director of an occupational therapy assistant program I realized I also wanted a doctorate degree. I determined my interests were in applied research and knew I was looking for a doctorate in occupational therapy program that was broad enough in scope to allow me to advance my skills overall.

When I enrolled at Chatham University, I received a welcome folder in the mail with large print that said, "Ready to Think Big?" I had practiced for nearly 20 years in many settings and I can say that during my time at Chatham University both my professors and my fellow students challenged me to think big.

I had no idea just how big I would begin to think about my own possibilities as a result of the academic experience and encouragement I received. I can assure you that I apply the lessons learned here in my practice with my clients, in my patient safety business, and with my students at the University where I teach part-time. I was well-prepared to think big!

—Steven Eberth, OTD '15

"Chatham had everything that I had been looking for."

I had wanted to earn a doctorate degree for over 20 years but there were no doctoral programs within driving distance that interested me and family responsibilities kept me in a relatively isolated area.

When online occupational therapy programs started opening I looked again, but the cost continued to keep me from applying. As I began spending more time in Ecuador the onsite components of many online programs also made me hesitate because I worried that I couldn't fit the onsite into my schedule.

A postcard in the mail about Chatham's Corporate Partners program nudged me to look at Chatham again. I quickly realized that Chatham had everything that I had been looking for, flexibility to meet my needs as an international practitioner, classes in Evidence-Based Practice and Occupational Science and a Capstone project that I could design around the needs of my nontraditional workplace.

—Elaine Keane, OTD '15

"Took me to places I never imagined I would or could be."

My OTD experience at Chatham University was awesome and took me to places I never imagined I would or could be.

I have learned so much more about the OT profession, such as the occupational therapy practice framework, the Centennial vision, and the evolving profession of occupational science. This journey has equipped me with the tools and resources to explore other avenues as an occupational therapist: I am capable searching and analyzing the literature for evidence-based practice principles; I am comfortable using different types of technology to deliver educational resources that will enhance learning and health literacy; I am cognizant of the need as an occupational therapist to increase my awareness of people who may be occupationally deprived or marginalized, and to find ways of promoting their occupational performance and well-being; I am more aware of the wealth of local and national resources available such as, grants and loans that can be used to expand the reach of occupational therapy services to promote health and wellbeing, and reduce health disparities in the communities; I am driven to think outside of my traditional way of thinking, from an individual to a group service delivery.

I recognize as an occupational therapist my holistic approach to care is a tremendous asset for healthcare as well as non-healthcare organizations, and preventative services can have a positive impact on people's lives.

—Teina Daley, OTD '17

Circle photo of a smiling woman in a graduation cap, on top of a purple slide reading Alumni Profile

Alumna Profile: Jillian Hamilton OTD '18

Jillian Hamilton’s journey through our Occupational Therapy Program started with the encouragement of a friend, and along the way, the camaraderie she felt with her classmates and the mentorship of faculty members saw her through to the finish line. Now, Hamilton is using learnings from her OT capstone project to improve the lives of children with developmental delays.

Circle photo of a smiling Black man, with a backdrop of trees and greenery. The photo is on top of a purple slide that reads Alumni Profile.

Anderston St. Germain, OTD ‘17

“I thought it was very good,” he says “Especially Dr. Jennifer Lape. She was very consistent, very insightful. I even emailed her once to ask how she was able to give such good insight on all of our projects when they were so different! I always felt like her feedback was like ‘Wow, that’s exactly what I needed to hear’ to guide me in what I was doing. The other professors and classes were really good too – very flexible, very helpful, very positive.”