Walsh Celebrates First Occupational Therapy Class with Pinning Ceremony


School News

August 23, 2019

Graduates in Walsh University’s first class of the Master of Occupational Therapy program were celebrated with a special pinning ceremony on Friday, August 9. In total, 31 graduates were honored marking Walsh’s first Occupational Therapy alumni.

"Being the first class of a newly established program brings a set of unique challenges. We are so proud of these students for stepping up to the challenge and exceeding our expectations," said Occupational Therapy Program Director, Clinical Assistant Professor Stephanie Bachman OTD, OTR/L, CHT, CLA. "Each one of them worked hard for this and they deserve to be honored for their determination and the growth they demonstrated over the last two years. They will always have a special place in my heart and I’m excited to be able to call each one of them my colleague."

During the reception, three students were honored for their achievements in service, academic excellence and leadership.

  • Outstanding Service Award: Kendra Zbinovec
  • Academic Excellence Award: Kayla Kayatin
  • Leadership Peer Recognition Award: Lana Hoffert

"Before the reception, we spent the day together conducting focus groups to obtain feedback for program development and improvement," said Bachman. "The students took a practice certification exam and enjoyed lunch together one last time as a class. The students had their MOT degrees conferred with a date of August 19, 2019, and will return in December to formally walk in the graduation ceremony."

The dinner included a keynote address by Walsh Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Alan Digianantonio, Ed.D. In addition to the pinning ceremony, the graduates recited an OT Oath, written by the Walsh faculty, to commit themselves to serving others as occupational therapists by continuing to live the Walsh mission.

Launched in fall 2017, Walsh University's Master of Occupational Therapy program allows students to pursue a career in one of the nation's emerging fields. Occupational therapy was cited as a Top 25 job for 2017 by U.S. News and World Report. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field of OT to grow by 27 percent between 2014 to 2024.  The Walsh University Occupational Therapy Program has earned national accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE) for a full five year cycle.

Walsh also offers a Pre-Occupational Therapy Psychology major for undergraduate students. This pre-professional program provides a strong background in behaviorally based techniques for interacting with clients and a solid foundation in coursework for graduate studies. 

 For more information about this program, contact Walsh Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions Patty Merrell at 330.490.7586 or visit