SOTA Highlights

Student Occupational Therapy Association 

Home           About Us              Get Involved            Events Calendar            SOTA Highlights        Pictures




Fund-raising Efforts are a success! 

Just one month into the new semester, SOTA members were busy with multiple fund-raisers. Members participated in the Health Sciences Phone-a-thon. They had the opportunity to raise funds for the college and to connect with ISU Occupational Therapy alumni.  

Members also pulled together for another effort: The Valentine's Rose Sale. The fund-raiser was a huge success thanks to volunteers who: took orders, collected money, created Valentine cards, packaged each rose, and delivered. Funds collected are donated for members to attend conferences and other educational events. Thank you to everyone who participated!






National Backpack Awareness makes the news

Holy Spirit Catholic School in Pocatello received backpack education from Ivan Hardcastle, MOTS, KC Austin, MOTS, Race Russell MOTS, and Loriann Helgeson, OTR/L during National Backpack Awareness Day celebrated annually on September 20.  Strategies are given to students and parents to prevent serious health problems from overloaded or improperly worn backpacks.  Students of all ages are at risk.

 Some strategies for loading and wearing backpacks are:

  • Backpacks should weigh no more than 15% of body weight (15-pound pack on a 100-pound person)

  • Load heaviest items closest to the persons back

  • Wear both shoulder straps for an evenly balanced load

  • Adjust shoulder and waist straps to distribute the burden more evenly along the person's back

  • Parents of school children may suggest that teachers consider the total weight of each day's assigned class work - not only in content, but in terms of textbook weight.

 Pocatello Mayor bestows proclamation on SOTA (2006) 

SOTA celebrated OT Awareness Month with a mayoral proclamation documenting the contributions OTs and OTAs make to their community.



To prove their statement, SOTA also performed a service activity.  They collected eye glasses for optometry students who perform outreach in the community and conducted public relations activities including informing the public of the role of OT in vision impairments, speaking on radio, submitting press releases to the local media and painting a window at the Student Union.  Way to go SOTA!


SOTA records & aires radio commercial (2007 & 2008)


To promote OT Awareness month in April of 2007 & 2008, SOTA members wrote, recorded, & aired a radio commercial in collaboration with local radio stations KORR 104 and KZBQ 93.7.


     Click here to listen!ISUOCCUPATIONALcommercial.mp3



4 students attend the IOTA conference


Hey Everyone! I just wanted to give a brief summary of the IOTA conference that Heather, Mandy, KC, and I were able to attend in October. The conference kicked off with keynote speaker, Susanne Smith Roley, who is on the faculty at USC. She discussed new changes to the framework that should be submitted for publishing late this spring. She was an excellent speaker and invoked a lot of emotion and passion for the profession of Occupational Therapy. She really energized and excited me. I then attended the DIR/Floortime approach conference which was taught by Rosemary White. She is an incredible speaker with a splendid Australian accent. Her education focused on helping parents connect with their children who have an autism spectrum disorder. She showed several videos and demonstrations to really show the effectiveness of the techniques. The other half of the conference was about hands and the upper extremity, of which I was not a part of. I was also sworn in at the conference as the IOTA Student Representative on the executive board in front of all of the conference attendees. The conference allowed me to get to know a few therapists in our state and talk to them about the profession of Occupational Therapy. I also was able to go to the IOTA executive board meeting the night before the conference commenced. This was a great experience to see the role of IOTA and all the things they are working on. I encourage all to join IOTA! Conference is a great way to get more excited about Occupational Therapy and if you ever have the chance to attend, go for it!         –Sarah Mennear, IOTA Student Representative


Students attend the National AOTA Conference

Attending AOTA’s 86th Annual Conference & Expo in Charlotte, NC was a tremendous experience.  I was able to attend multiple education seminars, roundtable discussions, and workshops that was both informative and energizing.

The opening ceremony and keynote speaker were incredible at infusing this understanding and appreciation for what we do as occupational therapists.   

Occupational therapy is not just about treating the illness or fixing the disability.  It is about an individual’s abilities not just their disabilities or diagnosis.  OT helps people be independent and productive in spite of disability or illness.  And often what we do just isn’t the most popular in our society, but in the lives of individuals who benefit from OT it makes all the difference.  

Attending conference gave me a strong desire to seek continuing education and future advancement once I become a clinician.  Also, you come away from conference with a great sense of pride in your profession as an occupational therapist.  


SOTA minutes


Contact Us