On The air
List of Episodes
You can listen to On The air using your preferred podcasting service including iTunes and Stitcher by searching by the title or via this site by clicking on the desired episode below.
Helen Valencia is an occupational therapist who was born in Colombia and migrated to the U.S. at age 7. Helen grew up in Queens, NY, and earned an undergraduate degree from Queens College. She worked in advertisement sales for A&E TV and then worked for the United Nations as a staff assistant in two different offices, the last one being the office of the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
Dissatisfied with what she calls "the office life," Helen began a journey of self-discovery to help her figure out what was next in her career path. After a year of self-reflection, she learned about OT and, as she says, the rest is history.
Helen graduated from OT school at Stony Brook University. She co-founded a non-profit called Project InReach which funded self-development/leadership workshops given to adults in Colombia. She also worked as a translator in Suffolk county at IEP meetings during OT school. Helen recently moved with her husband to New Hampshire and is here in the studio today to talk about leading as an introvert, making a career switch as an adult, mindfulness and motivation.
Connect with Helen:
Kripa Sundar, PhD, is an independent researcher and a learning detective. As a cognitive scientist and leader in the field of education and educational research, Kripa earned her doctorate in educational psychology with an emphasis on instructional strategies, with and without multimedia. She managed the Course of Mind project from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) as their Learning Science Specialist, following which she did a stint as an adjunct professor at Washington State University. Currently, her focus is geared towards getting her own initiative - Learning Incognito - up and going.
On this episode, Kripa discusses the research she and her colleagues have conducted as well as research done in the field of cognitive science over the past 30+ years. We talk about how the strategies uncovered in her work can be used by OT students, practitioners, and educators to aid in the teaching and learning process.
Meghan Fox, MS, OTR/L, is the lead occupational therapist in a school district in Southern California where she lives with her with husband, two sons, and dog. A Midwest transplant, Meghan attended the University of Illinois-Champaign for her undergraduate educate where she earned a Bachelors of Science in kinesiology before moving to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California for her Masters in Occupational Therapy. Meghan and her family like parks and beaches and enjoy going to Disneyland, and she and her husband have aspirations for their sons to see the world.
On this episode, Meghan introduces her product WooTape which she developed as a result of her work as an OT. She discusses her drive for achievement that led to her quest for entrepreneurship and shares tips for people interested in following a similar path.
Connect with Meghan:
Sara Mae Welsh, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist specializing in forensics, recovery, and trauma. Sara graduated with a M.S. in occupational therapy from Spalding University in Louisville, KY. She works with individuals who are incarcerated, fighting addiction, and learning to cope with trauma. Her goal is to provide coping skills and aid in rational thought through meaningful occupations to assist in forgiveness, self-acceptance, and courage needed to live day-by-day. Sara says, "Breaking stigma and reintegrating this population back into society will benefit us all by making functional adults who want to live independent lives yet just do not know how." To find out more about occupational therapy or to see how to connect with Sara, visit the podcast website at www.ontheair.us
Nicole Julia, OTR/L, OTD - the mastermind behind the social media sensation, the Able Fables - holds a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy from Belmont Univ. in Nashville, TN. In addition to being an OT, Nicole is a self-described lover of people and a believer in a more inclusive, universally designed world - and now she's a book author as well.
She has started an inclusive movement and a children’s picture book series telling stories, through fables, of love and ability. Through the series she named The Able Fables, she embarked on a beautiful, non-traditional OT journey that highlights the benefits of the community-based practice aspect of occupational therapy! Nicole currently live in Nashville with her husband, Jordan - she just got married last week!
On this episode, Nicole discusses how and why she started The Able Fables and how she gives back through her work. She talks about the first book in the series, Gary's Gigantic Dream, shares about her own gigantic dreams! Nicole's website and her book both launched on Nov. 24, 2019.
Connect with Nicole:
Hoang ("Wong") Tran - a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) and the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and the online community of practice CHT Secrets - has been practicing as an OT for about 20 years. She started Hands-on Therapy Services about 6 years ago in an effort to help more people with hand and arm injuries be more active and pain free while avoiding pills, injections, and surgery. As a CHT, she also helps a lot of people after surgery get the best possible outcome.
Hoang has always been in education in one form or another; when she started her private practice, she saw a need to create a community for OT's that want to specialize in hand therapy. Through the community she has established since through CHT Secrets, she seeks to provide coaching and mentorship for others who want to navigate the specialty practice area of hand therapy.
Resources & recommendations from this episode:
If you choose to go on a journey in your career as an OT practitioner and you see [professional development] as building your career, you're going to have a lot more fulfillment and a lot more joy and not suffer burn-out." ~Hoang Tran, OT/L, CHT
Cheryl Crow is an occupational therapist who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for 16 years. In 2019 she created a video and social media channel called Arthritis Life to educate, empower and inspire patients with arthritis and their providers. On Arthritis Life, she shares life hacks from the OT perspective, patient stories, provider interviews, and product reviews in a fun, talk show-style format.
Cheryl has volunteered for the Arthritis Foundation in numerous educational and advocacy events, including speaking at the Juvenile Arthritis Conference, KAT-FISH camp for kids and families with arthritis, and many adult-focused arthritis events. While attending many arthritis focused events, in addition to participating in social media groups focused on rheumatoid arthritis, she observed a huge unmet need for patients to have help in navigating simple daily activities.
She performed independent qualitative research on the discussion content of disease-specific Facebook groups, which showed that patients were spending the most time talking about IADLs (instrumental activities of daily living) and mental health/coping skills in these groups. She presented this research at the WFOT conference as well as the national rheumatology conference in 2015.
Arthritis Life was born out of her interest in finding fun, creative ways to address the unmet needs of patients with arthritis and related rheumatic conditions.
Cheryl graduated with her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA in 2012. For the following 8 years she focused her professional work on pediatric developmental disabilities in outpatient and school settings in the greater Seattle, WA area as well as Shanghai, China. She started teaching as an adjunct faculty member at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology's OTA program in 2016 and she greatly enjoys educating the future workforce of OT practitioners.
Connect with Cheryl:
Resources mentioned on this episode:
Polly Benson, OTR/L, is a licensed occupational therapist with 28 years of experience treating patients in multiple settings. She currently works for Comprehensive Therapy Consultants in Atlanta, GA as a school based OT. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University. Polly has extensive experience in technology apps and strategies designed to assist clients for achieving therapy goals. She is a distinguished therapist and seasoned continuing education instructor. She volunteers at her local high school as the theater troupe Booster Club President, and at her church as a high school small group leader.
Recently Polly invented a new product called the Legi-Liner to help students with improving their handwriting. On this episode, she talks about how she got the idea for that innovation and gives tips to others who may also be interested in product creation and development.
Polly's product can be purchased via her website, www.Legiliner.com.
Connect with Polly:
David Puder, MD, is a physician who practices medicine as a psychiatrist. David hosts a podcast called the Psychiatry & Psychotherapy Podcast and has an interest in helping students overcome test anxiety. He has also spoken on the topic of test anxiety on Session 337 of The PreMed Years podcast.
On this episode, David talks about how test anxiety can serve as a barrier for people who are trying to get into occupational therapy (OT) school as well as for those in OT school and OT students who are preparing to take the certification exam and strategies that have been found effective in addressing text anxiety.
Maureen Warden has been an occupational therapist for 23 years. After earning a bachelor's degree in health science from SUNY Cortland in central New York, she completed a master's in occupational therapy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Her early career was in a general hospital setting, working primarily within the inpatient and stroke population. As part of that hospital position, she was sent to the Intermediary Unit near the hospital in which she worked to provide school based services. From that point on, Maureen's focus has been school-based therapy services. She is a veteran member of an interdisciplinary team in a program for children with hearing loss. On a personal front, her life is busy with an active family of five; she and her husband of 25 years have raised our three now-adult children in rural northwest New Jersey and the whole family enjoys all things outdoors.
On this episode, Maureen discusses her work as an OT in a school for deaf children.
The host of the On The Air podcast, I have practiced as an occupational therapist for over 25 years and am an OT educator specializing in ed tech and instructional design.