Member Highlights

Member Highlights

We will periodically feature a NCOTA member from around the state on this page.

 

Meet our May 2019 NCOTA Member Highlight
Caryn Ellis, MS, OTR/L
Ms. Ellis attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she obtained her Master's Degree and began her career as an Occupational Therapist, two and a half years ago.  Caryn has practiced in school and home based Occupational Therapy settings.  Caryn is currently employed by Orange County Schools and Children's Therapy Associates and resides in Durham, N.C.
Since entering the Occupational Therapy Profession, Caryn has received the Lara Jane Parker Award for Excellence, April 2018;  has been recognized with the Emerging Leaders Development Program, September 2018 and is currently a member of the 2018-2019 cohort of the Emerging Leaders Development Program and a part of the first cohort engaging in Mentoring Circles.
"I have been a member of the NCOTA since 2017.  NCOTA has offered me the chance to network and engage with other Occupational Therapy Professionals and gain CEU's!  Recently I became the co-chair of the pediatrics special interest section, which is providing me the opportunity to support more professional engagement and networking opportunities to pediatric therapists in North Carolina."
Favorite Memory/Experience
"I work in an elementary school and my caseload ranges from preschool to fifth grade.  I have been working with one student on my caseload since they entered preschool, and now this year they are in kindergarten.   After attending a training last spring on assistive technology I was able to return to work with new tools and ideas to support this student's engagement in the classroom.  This past year I was able to adapt scissors, a name stamp, and a cuff for this student in order to increase their participation in the classroom. This student is now able to engage in occupations with classmates that they weren't previously able to do.  Seeing this student use scissors for the first time and stamp their name, just like their peers, has been incredibly rewarding!"  
Why Occupational Therapy?
"I have always wanted to help people and prior to becoming an Occupational Therapist I worked for a non-profit, supervising a group home for adults with intellectual disabilities.  While supervising the group home two of the women I supported began receiving Occupational Therapy and that's when I knew I had found my calling.  There are very few careers where you can engage someone in "doing" and see such positive outcomes.  I love coming to work everyday knowing that I am helping my clients live their lives to the fullest and engage in valued occupations. I also love that Occupational Therapy has afforded me the chance to be creative in my daily life and build connections not just with my clients, but with their families and other professionals."
THAT'S WHY I'M AN O.T.!
Meet our March 2019 NCOTA Member Highlight
 
Samantha Ryan, COTA/L
 
 Ms. Ryan attended Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC where she obtained an Associates Degree and began her career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Samantha has gained experience in Skilled Nursing, CCRC, Home Health, Adult Out Patient, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Pediatric Out Patient settings. Samantha is currently employed by Developmental Therapy Associates in Durham and Cary - OP Pediatric Clinics and resides in Cary, NC.
 
Since entering the Occupational Therapy Profession, Samantha has been active serving as Former Public Relations Chair for the SC Occupational Therapy Association; AOTA Emerging Leaders Program Participant and Presenter/Speaker at AOTA National Conference in 2018. Samantha currently serves as Pediatric SIS Co-Chair for NCOTA and has ongoing projects "targeting advocacy for the distinct value of Occupational Therapy Assistants and Member engagement."
 
"I've been a member of the NCOTA for less than a year (I got here as quickly as I could). Being a NCOTA member connects me to other OT practitioners outside of my daily work. Having that connection helps me to "fill up my cup" by hearing the perspectives and experiences of other OT professionals. I often find that the natural collaboration that occurs when OT practitioners get together is inspiring and energizing."
 
Favorite Memory/Experience
 "One of the most profound experiences in my career came after a colleague and I presented on Impostor Phenomenon at the AOTA National Conference in 2018. The number of audience members who shared their stories and told us how our topic resonated with them was astounding. These members described feeling more connected and hopeful after our presentation. It was powerful and humbling to hear how our short presentation could have such a positive impact."
 
Why Occupational Therapy?
 
"Occupational Therapy allows me the freedom to help people across their lifespan in a myriad of ways. I get to help people work towards their goals and sometimes even dreams at any age! How cool is that? When becoming an OT Practitioner was still just a dream, I was the parent of a child with a disability who had been frustrated with the disconnection between home, school, and the various therapies he received. I wanted to change that for other families. As an Occupational Therapy Assistant, I can advocate for my clients in all areas of their life, promote an interdisciplinary team
 approach, and provide client-centered OT that affirms their needs and goals."