Future Leader: Hannah “Han” Isenman, OTD/S ’24

Name: Hannah “Han” Isenman, OTD/S ’24
Hometown: Arnold, MO
Undergraduate degree: BS in Health Management: Exercise Science from Southeast Missouri State University
President and Vice President of WU-COTAD, EquiOT Co-Lead, National COTAD Chapters Committee Logistics Manager, peer mentor, doctoral lab student

What are your meaningful occupations?
My most meaningful occupations are sleep and self-care! They both make me feel ready to tackle anything that comes my way. Another meaningful occupation is hanging out with my friends, especially if we are spending time outside hiking or camping. Lastly, I love tumbling rocks and taking care of plants as hobbies.

What is your definition of occupational therapy?
To me, occupational therapy (OT) is a unique profession that takes people on a holistic journey to live their lives however they please. It empowers people to be involved/participate in occupations that make them feel whole. And when an obstacle impacts their meaningful occupations, we are here to problem-solve the best solutions with the person.

Why did you choose the OTD degree?
I first chose the OTD degree because I was interested in growing as a leader and teaching at some point in my career. But as I continued the program, I also learned that I enjoy research! I have learned this about myself through a doctoral lab with Dr. Quinn Tyminski at a local homeless shelter while leading OT group sessions and working on my project exploring the occupations of LGBTQ+ individuals experiencing homelessness.

What are your career goals?
I have so many thoughts when I think about my career goals! I want to start working with transgender and nonbinary patients with their gender expression and establish what OT looks like for gender-affirming top surgery recovery. I am also interested in mental health OT. I want to focus on mental and physical health equity for marginalized communities. Then I want to go into academia and/or research after I have had more clinical experience.

What WashU experience stands out to you?
Being able to lead WU-COTAD since I started at WashU has been the most memorable experience. Beginning as the first-year vice president was a great way to immerse myself in OT with a justice, equity, diversity and inclusion lens. I was lucky to serve alongside many talented peers who challenged how I thought and cared about diversity in OT and St. Louis. After two years of leading projects, planning and fun, my time as president ended in May. The COTAD organization is so important to me, and leading our WashU chapter inspired me to run for and win a position on the COTAD Chapters Committee.

Anything else you would like us to know?
I wanted to thank my parents for allowing me to crash at their house for 3+ years while in school. Also, a big thanks to the WU-COTAD team, my classmates, professors, friends and my cat, Juice. Also, please remember to do your part in protecting marginalized groups from inequities!



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