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OTAC Student Representatives 

Creighton University Student Representative

Name: Michelle Wanek, COTA/L, OTS
Email: michellewanek@creighton.edu

What do you love about OT?
I love being a part of a profession that truly is a mix of creativity and science. OT is unique to me because we focus on the holistic needs of each client, and we can really use our creativity when designing interventions focused on meaningful and valued occupations for the individual. I love OT because I get the opportunity to help people to live a more independent and fulfilled life, and I love to see clients progress through their goals!

How did you choose this profession?
I stumbled upon this profession shortly after completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology, as I was working closely with a variety of other healthcare professions as a Care Coordinator. I instantly fell in love with the profession and our unique perspective on engagement in occupations, promotion of health and wellness, and holistic needs of clients. I became a COTA shortly after in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida and since then have been reminded daily that it was the best decision I could have made for a career.

Why did you choose to become an OTAC student representative?
I chose to become an OTAC student representative because I have seen first-hand how impactful state legislation is on the daily workflow of OT’s and COTA’s. I want to inspire others to become more involved and serve as a liaison between my peers at Creighton University, OTAC, and the community. I look forward to advocating for our profession and becoming more involved in initiatives that will impact us in the future.   

    What's your favorite thing to do in Colorado?
    I have really embraced everything Colorado has to offer since moving here in 2018. I love to go hiking, mountain biking, camping, snowboarding, kayaking, and taking any opportunity I can to explore this beautiful state!


    Colorado State University Student Representative


    Name: Scott Beckett, OTS
    Email: Scott.Beckett@colostate.edu

    What do you love about OT?
    I have a saying that “OT makes people more awesome.” I hear it from professors and mentors all the time that people refer to occupational therapists as magic. In learning about OT I am beginning to see the profession as filling the negative space between medical and rehabilitation professions. OT fills an unquantifiable need and that make us a powerful force for health and change. Should be fun.

    How did you choose this profession?

    My first career was working with 4th -12th grade students in outdoor settings, environmental education and sailing school vessels. It’s hard to explain but there are many similarities between what I did and OT and I did not want to throw out all my experience but I did want to move in a new direction

    Why did you choose to become an OTAC student representative?

    My father is very involved in civic matters, and I have always admired his efforts. It’s a role that I have never done before, and I am curious about how the organizational body works.
            
     What's your favorite thing to do in Colorado?

    I am definitely a skier and I am just back from ten years living in the south so it will be great to take some turns. I have a lot of river boating experience from my youth and I am looking to take on some float trips.
     

    Pima Medical Institute Student Representative


    Name: Mackenzie Kinney, OTAS
    Email: 
      mkinney7240@my.pmi.edu

    What do you love about OT?
    I love OT because it looks at every aspect of someone's well-being, whether it be emotional, physical, or psychological in order to help them improve their quality of life. It is one of the most holistic and client-centered professions I could choose, and I'm so happy to have chosen this as a career path. 

    How did you choose this profession?
    It took me years to find a career path that I was passionate about. I knew I was very interested in health and wellness and was set on Physical Therapy. I wanted to interact one on one with people and loved the idea of being a key role in someone's goals. Then, I met an OT. She opened the world of OT to me, and I just knew that from what she was describing, would be a way better fit for the type of person I am. I set out to obtain observation hours under a licensed pediatric OT, and ever since I have never been so set on one day being able to implement my services as an OT professional. 

    Why did you choose to become an OTAC student representative?
    Heather Noonan was my school's student representative before she passed the torch to me. When I first met her, I was so inspired by the role and knew I wanted to learn more. I knew I was destined for great things in the world of OT, and I was naturally drawn to take on a role like this. I wanted to learn and experience as many things as possible in the OT professional world, and I am so excited to see what it has in store for me. 

    What's your favorite thing to do in Colorado?
    It's hard to pick just one thing that I love to do in Colorado! In the summer, I enjoy hiking, mountain biking, camping, and rock climbing. In the winter, I love snowboarding! Thankful to live in such an adventurous state! 

    I would love to work in a rehab setting for people with brain and spinal cord injuries, or somewhere in the mental health field. I am also interested in traveling and implementing my services to multiple states, or globally through disaster response!

    Pueblo Community College Student Representative 

    Name: OPEN


    ABOUT OTAC

    OTAC is the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado. It is a non-profit organization that strives to increase the quality of care and level of professionalism to the practice of OT in Colorado.

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