by Michele Berhorst • April 30, 2021
We are pleased to announce the 2021 honorees of the Program in Occupational Therapy's Outstanding Alumni Award. The awards recognize alumni for their individual achievements in or contributions to the field of occupational therapy in research, education, leadership, professional development, community participation and/or by supporting the Program. The awards were presented virtually at the 13th Annual OT Scholarship Day on April 30.
Gloria Levin, MA, BSOT ’67
Gloria Levin, Class of 1967, worked as a pediatric occupational therapist for more than 50 years in a variety of settings and through her community-based private practice. She is recognized for her trailblazing professional career, personal integrity, advocacy for children and their families, and her sustained support of the Program in Occupational Therapy.
Levin’s passion for helping others began at an early age when she cared for people with dementia in the occupational therapy department of a long-term care facility. The experience led her to earn a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in 1967 and a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago in 1974. For the next decade, she worked in hospital settings and as a private consultant and staff therapist in school districts. After seeing the issues children faced outside of the scope of school system services and inspired to fill that gap for children and their families, Levin became one of the first occupational therapists to start their own private practice in 1985.
For more than 30 years, Levin helped each child in her care become a competent, secure and well-balanced individual who could function and thrive to the best of their abilities. Later in her career, she worked with young adults facing similar challenges that were not addressed through earlier intervention so they could become independent adults.
Levin has volunteered and participated in her local and professional communities her entire life. She served in leadership roles for community-based organizations and boards including the League of Women Voters and her local synagogue in Chicago. She has presented numerous lectures and seminars to professionals and parents on occupational therapy utilizing a sensory integrative framework. Levin’s professional affiliations include the International Dyslexia Association, the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders, and the Learning Disabilities Association. She is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association.
Levin has given generously to the Program in Occupational Therapy over the years, both as a donor and as an alumni ambassador. Through her support, Levin wants to make educational experiences available to future occupational therapy students and encourage them to pursue impactful careers of their own. Levin is the niece of an occupational therapist and is very proud of her daughter and niece, who are practicing occupational therapists.
For her pioneering leadership in the occupational therapy profession, dedication to her community and support of our Program and students, we are pleased to present the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award to Gloria Levin.
Linda Struckmeyer, PhD, BSOT ’82, OTR/L
Dr. Linda Struckmeyer is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida. She earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in 1982 and master’s and doctoral degrees in occupational therapy from Texas Women’s University in 2004 and 2016. Dr. Struckmeyer has more than 30 years of clinical experience. Throughout her career, she has worked in home health care, school districts, Head Start, skilled nursing facilities, acute care, psychology and assistive technology. Dr. Struckmeyer currently serves as capstone coordinator for the Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree. Her research is primarily in the area of aging in place and home modifications.
As a student in the Program, Dr. Struckmeyer served as president of the Washington University Student Occupational Therapy Association and carried the leadership skills she gained to be the faculty advisor for the University of Florida Student Occupational Therapy Association as well as leadership in the Florida Occupational Therapy Association and service on national occupational therapy committees. She credits many of the opportunities she had at Washington University for guiding her into academic education, research and the leadership roles in which she currently engages.
In addition to her work, Dr. Struckmeyer enjoys serving and giving back in her community. She supervises students at the Occupational Therapy Equal Access Clinic, volunteers with Rebuilding Together, teaches Sunday school at her church and has completed several international mission trips. On a state level, Dr. Struckmeyer serves as chair of the Florida Occupational Therapy Education Consortium. Her occupations include going to the beach, reading and quilting. She looks forward to adding spending time with her new granddaughter to this list starting in September 2021.
For dedicating her career to educational, leadership and community initiatives in the occupational therapy profession and beyond, we are pleased to present the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award to Linda Struckmeyer.
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