OT Major To Participate In National Conference


Jamie Van Dillen will get a glimpse of her professional future in April when she serves as a page for the Representative Assembly of the American Occupational Therapy Association at the AOTA’s annual conference in St. Louis.

“I was so excited when they called me with the news,” said Van Dillen of St. Charles, a third-year occupational therapy student at Maryville University. Maryville’s occupational therapy faculty nominated Van Dillen for the distinction and she was then selected from a pool of nominated students. “This is quite an honor for Jamie. We know she will represent Maryville well,” said Paula Bohr, Ph.D., director of the University’s OT program. The AOTA conference will be held April 20-23 at the America’s Center.

The AOTA’s Representative Assembly is the Association’s policy making body and functions similarly to a legislative body like the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives, said Bob Cunningham, assistant professor of occupational therapy at Maryville and a former Representative Assembly member. Cunningham said Van Dillen and the other pages will keep busy with their various duties while learning valuable information in the process.

“They are typically the first to arrive and the last to leave each day,” Cunningham said. “The best part of their job is that they are present for all the business that takes place over the course of the meetings.”

Van Dillen has some experience in organizational leadership as she serves as vice president of Maryville University’s Student Occupational Therapy Association. She also is a member of the Maryville chapter of Pi Theta, the international occupational therapy honor society. Van Dillen chose occupational therapy as a major because it fits her career goal of helping others. “I wanted to find a career where I could make a difference in people’s lives and OT is such a career,” she said.

Maryville University, founded in 1872, is a private, coeducational institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,300 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers by offering programs that integrate liberal arts with professional studies. Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.