Future Leader: Rose Greenblatt, OTD/S ’21

Hometown: Voorhees, NJ
Undergraduate degree: BS in exercise science and sports studies from Rutgers University
Leadership: NJ COVID-19 Disability Action Committee Administrator/Facilitator. Former executive board member of the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity, Washington University Chapter (WU-COTAD) and former Washington University Student Occupational Therapy Association (WUSOTA) Cultural Committee Co-Chair. Also served as a Holocaust Memorial Lecture Committee Graduate Professional Council Representative.

What are your meaningful occupations?
My meaningful occupations include spending time outdoors, tending to my plants, cooking, baking and observing Jewish holidays. I also enjoy watching TV shows, listening to music and podcasts, and reading local news. In general, I enjoy supporting public amenities such as parks and libraries, as well as local businesses such as shops and restaurants. I also find a lot of meaning in self-care activities such as personal hygiene and grooming and household maintenance.

What is your definition of occupational therapy?
I define occupational therapy (OT) as a health-care practice that helps clients do what they want to do. We accomplish this through our unique understanding of how internal and external factors influence engagement. One of my favorite things about OT is that we view persons, groups and populations as clients. This allows us to expand the impact of our interventions and help more people by making structural changes within organizations and societies.

Why did you choose the OTD degree?
I chose the OTD degree because I wanted the opportunity to examine the components of occupational performance and participation more closely. I also knew prior to entering graduate school that I wanted to pursue emerging practice areas within the field, and I believe the additional experience and mentorship provided by the degree will support me in achieving this goal.

What are your career goals?
I hope to develop a meaningful practice within my community that serves my neighbors. I’m very passionate about community participation and supporting local businesses. As a result, I would love to create programs that promote equity, reduce occupational deprivation, and encourage accessible participation in local government and the economy. I would also like to create programs that support survivors and reduce the prevalence of sexual violence.

What WashU experience so far stands out to you?
I am extremely grateful for the quality mentorship and guidance I received while pursuing different professional and extracurricular experiences while at WashU OT. I quickly realized that if I started naming names, most of the faculty and staff would be listed. However, I am especially grateful for having had the opportunity to work with Dr. Stacy Smallfield in the Innovations in Education laboratory. Dr. Smallfield’s support and honest feedback have been instrumental in shaping me into the young professional I am today. It has been inspiring to learn from such a competent, motivated and effective leader.


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