Dr. Amanda Balser was recently named Eastern Kentucky University’s 2022 outstanding post-professional occupational therapy doctoral student.
This award recognizes a graduating post-professional doctoral student who has distinguished themselves while in the occupational therapy program by advancing the post-professional OTD outcomes.
During her time in the program, Dr. Balser published two peer-reviewed articles as first author. Her first paper postulated that occupational therapists have an important role as advocates to promote access and inclusion, particularly during public health emergencies for those with disabilities who may need services but are unable to access them.
Her second article focused on individuals’ complex power wheelchair delivery experiences.
Both articles show her ability to meet the needs of diverse client populations ethically and responsibly by addressing issues related to health disparity and policy at the national level.
Her capstone research centered on occupation and time use for an individual with tetraplegia, an essential and understudied area. This research will certainly have a positive impact on the future of the profession and the quality of occupational therapy services provided to that population.
While a student in the program, she engaged in 60 hours of continuing education, which included courses such as the AOTA Lifestyle Redesign Series, a 20-hour Rehabilitation Research Bootcamp by Medbridge, and multiple courses on seating and positioning. These courses demonstrated her ability to use advanced thinking and engage in evidence-based practice.
A Leader of Change
Dr. Balser served on the AOTA Physical Rehabilitation Job Analysis Committee and was a manuscript reviewer for OTJR and JOTE. These activities demonstrate her ability to serve as a leader of change at the state and national levels. She holds Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation and is an Assistive Technology Professional/Seating and Mobility Specialist.
Outstanding Post-Professional OTD Student Award Criteria:
- Engage in occupation-based practice as a method of change to positively impact the future of the profession and the quality of occupational therapy services.
- Ethically and responsibly meet the needs of diverse client populations by addressing issues related to health disparity, policy and legislation at local, state, and national levels.
- Serve as leader of change at local, state, and national levels using tools such as program development, research, client education, and evidence-based practice.
- Use advanced critical thinking and reasoning skills to provide ethical occupational therapy services.
Interested in a post-professional occupational therapy doctoral degree?
Earn your OTD from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for over 15 years. Our flexible, online format provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.
Complete the form to learn more about how EKU’s Online OTD program can help advance your career.