Future leader: Ronald Drummond, OTD/S '20

Hometown: New Baden, IL
Undergraduate degree: BA in biopsychology from McKendree University
Leadership: 2019 Assembly of Student Delegates Chairperson, American Occupational Therapy Association

What are your meaningful occupations?
My meaningful occupations include making people laugh; I enjoy nothing more than seeing others smile or laugh. I also find occupations that help me “recharge” meaningful, whether it be through exercise, being outdoors, spending time with friends/family or cheering on the St. Louis Blues. I am a person who feeds off the energy of others, and I love being around people.

What is your definition of OT?
My definition of OT is that occupational therapy helps people gain independence in both the activities that they need to complete on a daily basis, but also the activities that are most meaningful to their lives, the things they do that give them individuality.

Why did you choose the OTD degree?
I chose the OTD degree because I aspire to pursue a career in education, and I believe the additional experiences involved in the program will help me accomplish my goals. I am also interested in exploring policy and government affairs, as it relates to occupational therapy, along with program development as part of my doctoral experiential component.

What are your career goals?
My career goals begin with passing the NBCOT, of course. Upon successful completion of that, I would like to develop an OT program at a local non-profit organization that provides services to the homeless population. I aim to eventually join faculty at a university and complete research related to my interests in the homeless population and community mental health. Another long-term goal of mine is to hold office as the AOTA President; while I aspire to hold several positions within AOTA as I work toward this goal, I would ultimately like to become president.

What WashU experience so far stands out to you?
The experiences that have stood out to me thus far in the Program are the experiences that have been completed through Dr. Quinn Tyminski’s Community Independence Occupational Therapy Clinic, one of four student experiential learning clinics the Program has. Working with individuals experiencing homelessness has been one of the most enlightening and fulfilling experiences not only at WashU, but in my entire life. Providing services to these underserved populations has guided my path toward the development of all my future goals.

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