Student Spotlight: Kelly Taylor, OTD/S '16

Kelly Taylor, OTD/S '16, Murray, KY

What advantages does WUOT offer you that other programs don’t offer?
WUOT has developed an invaluable network of practitioners, resources, and opportunities that students are able to tap in to, and gain unique volunteer and professional development skills.

Why did you choose WUOT?
WUOT is an innovative and progressive program, focused on providing students and clients with the cutting edge education and treatment. This program not only offered outstanding clinical education from experts in the field, but also an exceptional opportunity to conduct novel research and contribute to the future of OT.

Why did you choose the degree program you did? (MSOT, OTD, etc.)
I have always had a passion for academia and teaching in a higher education setting, so I chose to pursue the OTD degree. The OTD will afford me the opportunity to not only gain skills to practice clinically, but I will also be qualified to educate future undergraduates and OT students. The OTD degree also allows a third year to hone your skills with a community or national organization to gain more specialized experience with a particular population.

What can you say about the quality of education you are receiving?
The best thing about the education provided at WUOT is that learning does not end when you leave the classroom for the day. The student-lead projects, research proposals, and volunteer opportunities are all strategic learning opportunities that supplement content that is covered in the classroom. WUOT also strives to bring in the “best of the best” in areas of research and clinical practice in OT and other disciplines.

What is the learning atmosphere like? (people, resources provided, attitudes of faculty and staff, approach to teaching, quality of mentorship relationships, etc.)
Discussion and interaction is highly encouraged in the classroom. Rarely do faculty members and guest lectures simply stand in front of the students and simply lecture. While lecture-style courses are frequent, questions and opportunities for group discussion are very frequent. WUOT faculty members view students as colleagues rather than subordinates. Mentorship relationships are dynamic and allow the student to drive and mold their education and research experiences.

What do you like best about your classmates?
My classmates make up the most diverse group of individuals that I have ever worked with. My class is comprised of students from 26 different states, different ethnicities, various experience and interests, and the list goes on. While the experts on our faculty provide advanced knowledge in OT, my fellow classmates provide life experiences and memories that cannot be found in a classroom.

What do you think of living in St. Louis?
I see St. Louis as a big “melting pot” of activities and people. There are numerous events and attractions that are FREE, including the St. Louis Zoo, art and history museums, concerts, and many others. There is also some fantastic food to be had in St. Louis that represents just about any ethnicity or national delicacy you crave!

What do you plan to do after graduation?
Upon graduation, I plan to work in an acute care hospital or inpatient rehab facility hopefully with patients with spinal cord injury and/or traumatic brain injury. Along with clinical experience, I hope to continue my research career and eventually return to academia.

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We are excited that you are considering applying to the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University. Please join us for a Zoom Information Session for either our entry-level MSOT or OTD degrees or our online post-professional OTD. Current faculty members will discuss the degree program and answer any question you may have. We are offering these sessions on the following days and times. The content is the same for each one, so you only need to sign up for one.

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