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Student News


2018 Student Awards

Community Service
Erin McGrady, MS, OT

Leadership
Kristen Morgus, MS, OT

Outstanding Fieldwork Performance
Lauren Ducey, MS, OT

Professional Development                                                                                                                                                                                                              Joelle Ruggeri, BS

Scholarship
Quinn Tattersall, MS, OT

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Dean's Awards

2017 - MEREDITH KARAVOLIS - Outstanding Student in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Meredith earned a 4.0 GPA in the professional phase of the Occupational Therapy Program and graduated Summa Cum Laude. In addition to the rigorous curriculum, Meredith also worked as a graduate assistant in the Occupational Therapy Department where she helped search and analyze evidence for a variety of scholarly products. Meredith is a budding practice scholar. The research poster and presentation she and her research team delivered at Duquesne's Undergraduate Research Scholarship Symposium (URSS) won her team the RSHS Award. Locally, she presented a poster on telehealth and mobile health at the URSS at the University of Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Institute Research day. She also co-presented on these topics at the POTA and AOTA Annual Conference s in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Her research mentor, research team and she have submitted a manuscript for publication entitled, "A Qualitative Exploration of Client and Caregiver Needs for Self-Management using mHealth Applications" to a peer reviewed journal. In addition to her scholarly role, Meredith embraced the role of servant leader. She was a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma. In addition to organizing and providing 100+ hours of service to Pittsburgh non-profit organizations she also served as fundraising chair for this organization. As co-president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) she was an active and visible leader who led by example and with enthusiasm. Her many accomplishments included implementing a student mentor group program designed to connect underclassmen with upperclassmen and encourage engagement and participation in SOTA events. In collaboration with other SOTA officers she organized and implemented multiple OT-related volunteer opportunities within the Pittsburgh area for SOTA members, coordinated guest speaker events for organization meetings and presented an interactive OT Journal Club session to promote evidence-based practice to peers and underclassmen. Also, she was a committee member that helped plan the first student run Collaborative Care Conference at Duquesne to educate students on the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork in clinical practice. Meredith also had the technical skills to help with the RSHS 25th anniversary video. Meredith routinely demonstrates strong organizational and time management skills. She inspires others by setting a strong example of engagement in her profession, her community, the RSHS and the occupational therapy department

2016 - KATHLEEN T. BOYLE - Outstanding Student in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Katie has been an exemplary student researcher, servant leader and emerging practice-scholar who earned an overall 3.8 GPA in the professional phase of the Occupational Therapy Program. In addition to the rigorous curriculum, Katie also voluntarily committed to add a three semester Research Project sequence to her program of studies. Her success in practice scholarship led her and her research partner to present a research poster at the 2015 AOTA Annual Conference titled "Using "Apps" to Support Vocational and Self-Management Skills in Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities". She is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. Although Katie embraced the role of a scholar during her time at Duquesne it has been the role of Servant Leader that has been a central part of her life. Her volunteer work includes a role as a camp worker for the past 6 years at Camp Dost which is part of the Ronald McDonald House. To extend her support of the Ronald McDonald House, Katie recently became a member of the "Red Shoe Crew" which is a service group for young professionals aiming to raise money and awareness of the Ronald McDonald House. As a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma (GSS) National Service Sorority, Katie held the role as the philanthropy chair where she led the efforts to raise money for an orphanage in Cali, Columbia. Katie was an active member of the DU Student Occupational Therapy Association where she served in the role of fundraising chair. In addition, Katie was an Occupational Therapy Department Student Ambassador representing the OT department at various university functions. During her time here at Duquesne Katie has been an enthusiastic and tireless servant leader. She gives her time freely and enthusiastically to improve the lives of others. She is not one who seeks the spotlight, but one who leads through her actions and who is always ready to serve those in need.

2015- NICOLE MARIE WHISTON - Outstanding Student in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Nicole has been an exemplary student researcher, servant leader and emerging practice-scholar who earned an overall 3.98 GPA in the pre-professional phase and a perfect 4.0 GPA in the professional phase of the Occupational Therapy program. Nicole graduated Summa Cum Laude while challenging herself to not only complete a minor in Psychology and Special Education and study abroad at the National University of Ireland in Galway, but also voluntarily committed to add a three semester Research Project sequence to her program of studies. Her success in practice scholarship led her and her research partner to present a progress poster at the 2014 AOTA Annual Conference, Rivers of Pain: The Impact of Environment of Self-Management of RND. In order to design this study she worked collaboratively with her team and with a local practitioner at the Children's Institute. Nicole assisted with the IRB application process, completed evidenced-based literature review on reflex neurovascular dystrophy and modified existing evaluation processes to be more context focused. Nicole served as a student member of the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Board Committee, a member and Vice President of Pi Theta Epsilon, member of the Student Occupational Therapy Association and chapter President for the Best Buddies program. During her tenure as President of Best Buddies, she led the effort to put together the "Spread the Word to End the Word" concert. This concert aimed to promote inclusion, respect and awareness for people with disabilities in the Pittsburgh community. The concert was so successful that the organization received the 2014 Outstanding Student Organization of the Year and Nicole received the Outstanding Student Leader of the Year Award. Through her involvement in these organizations, Nicole has demonstrated her ability to model the way and inspire a shared vision.

2014 - LAUREN PATRICIA GRABOWSKI - Outstanding Student in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Dean's Award for Excellence Recipient. Lauren has been an exemplary professional student researcher, servant leader and emerging practice-scholar who earned an overall 3.84 GPA in the pre-professional phase and a perfect 4.0 GPA in the professional phase of the Occupational Therapy Program. Lauren graduated Magna Cum Laude while challenging herself to not only completed a minor in Special Education, but also voluntarily committing to add a three semester Research Project sequence to her program of studies. Her success in practice scholarship has led to two national research poster presentations, one state research paper presentation and a research poster presentation at the Duquesne University Undergraduate Research Symposium. She also served as a research apprentice and graduate assistant on two additional studies that were related but separate from her own research project. Lauren has served in multiple organizations, honor societies, sororities and student organizations. Her commitment to engage in activities that support the Mission of Duquesne University across campus are apparent through her membership and active participation in the Golden Key International Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Residence Hall Council, Community Engaged Scholars and SPIRIT Emerging Leaders. It is a challenge to calculate the total number of community service hours Lauren has completed at the Children's Institute, Children's Hospital and Gama Sigma Sigma Community Engaged Scholar Program. Her contributions have been measured by others and deemed worthy of acknowledgment, which was attested to by her recognition as the 2012 Duquesne University Homecoming Queen, the Dr. Michael Cahill Outstanding Individual Community Service Award and the American Gold Star Mother's White Rose Queen Nominee by the Sigma Nu Fraternity. Her work consistently exemplifies the Department's ideal as an exemplar student servant leader, researcher and entry-level practice-scholar.

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