History Viewed Through a Multi-Perspective Lens

PCHCS 25 years

M.O.T. Program Beginnings

OT Tampa class of 2015
OT Tampa class of 2015

The Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) has evolved since its beginnings with the reorganization and subsequent renaming of the college to the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences (PCHCS). The new image of the Department of Occupational Therapy is a united team of 4 program directors  and 22 faculty members spanning 4 programs and 2 campuses.

Sandee Dunbar started a very long and rewarding journey in the NSU Department of Occupational Therapy in 1995. Suze Dudley, M.S.Ed., OT, FAOTA, and Reba Anderson, Ph.D., OT, FAOTA, former chairs of the department, initiated the Master of Occupational Therapy Program one year earlier. These incredible academic leaders, along with the faculty members, embarked on a journey to change the face of occupational therapy education. They integrated student community engagement and primary care intervention with lifelong learning principles and intense classes on practice areas, with an occupation focus.

Sandra Dunbar
Sandee Dunbar

Dunbar’s personal memories of Anderson include the observation of a force that was unstoppable in creating change and a strong voice in the OT community. Anderson’s annual Great Southern Conference integrated several southern states for professional dialogue, scholarly de-bates, and research presentations. “She taught me to work through tough times and to be adaptive while making the most out of challenging situations,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar’s mentors were many among the occupational therapy leaders who carefully crafted the initial  Occupational Therapy Program at NSU. She offers a collective thank you from all the faculty members  and graduates who benefited from these women of wisdom.

You may read more in the 2018 Perspectives Summer/Fall issue on page 38 and 39 of the other two occupational therapy programs beginnings by visiting healthsciences.nova.edu/studentaffairs/messenger.html.

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