By: Breanna Chycinski, OTD, OTRL
The choice to apply to Eastern Kentucky University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program was an easy one. When researching and reviewing this program’s curriculum, I knew it would be a good fit for me. As an academic fieldwork coordinator and assistant faculty member of a master’s level OT program, I needed a degree that would allow me to advance my skills and knowledge in the areas of leadership, research, education, and advocacy. My experience has been nothing short of amazing and this program exceeded my expectations in every way! From the start, I felt supported by EKU’s faculty and staff, and immediately developed relationships with my peers, which will last a lifetime. Additionally, the faculty were extremely knowledgeable, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and provided the feedback that I needed in order to experience growth.
One of the greatest changes I have noticed is an increase in my own confidence. I also had the opportunity to put my work on display. With the guidance and encouragement from Dr. Camille Skubik-Peplaski, I submitted the critically appraised paper from OTS 912- Evidence-Based Practice for OT, to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) national conference in 2020, which was accepted as a poster presentation. I also expanded my skills as an OT educator, gaining the ability to design a course in which the objectives, learning activities, and assignments are all in alignment. Additionally, with direction from my capstone mentor, Dr. Casey Humphrey, my skills and confidence as a researcher have blossomed as well. It is because of this that I felt compelled and prepared to enter into EKU’s 3-Minute Thesis competition, which took place during Scholars Week 2021. Amazingly, I received the People’s Choice Award!
I am proud of all that I have accomplished since starting in this program. It was a challenging journey, but looking back, I am thankful that I chose EKU. The successes that I have experienced are in large part due to the knowledge I have gained from obtaining my OTD. I will forever be grateful to the faculty and to my peers that supported me along the way.