The UNM Occupational Therapy faculty recently honored four individuals as Friends of Occupational Therapy for their outstanding contributions to the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program.

This award symbolizes the lifelong learning motif of the Occupational Therapy curriculum design: a partially woven basket. The basket represents the "weaving" or becoming an occupational therapist beginning with academic study, then developed through professional practice, professional growth and development, and professional communication. Each award winner received a hand woven Native American basket for their contributions.

Linda Easley, director of the UNM Health Science Center Budget Officer, received an award for being a loyal advocate related to assisting the educational program to receive both state and university funds. "Linda has been a creative problem solver during times of restrictive funds. She is a professional with exceptional communication ability, strategic thinking and vision," said Terry Crowe, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, professor and director of the Occupational Therapy Program.

Ginny Laadt, OTRL was one of the five community occupational therapists that served on a Program Advisory Board task force that assisted in the creation of the UNM Occupational Therapy Program. "Ginny has been a consistent contributor to the program over the past 10 years. She is an international expert in neonatal medicine, a wonderful teacher and an outstanding mentor to many of the Occupational Therapy students," said Crowe.

Carla Cay Williams, OTR/L is the founder of Kidpower, a rehabilitation facility in Albuquerque dedicated to the therapy needs of children. Carla's clinical expertise and practical approach to teaching has been an inspiration for the students since the inception of the UNM Occupational Therapy Program. Likewise, families who receive her therapy services consider her as a key factor in the changes they see in their children. She was recognized for her "willingness to share her knowledge, mentorship and her energetic, positive approach to therapy intervention," said Crowe.

Gordon Smith was the Occupational Therapy Program administrative assistant for five years. "Students entering the program knew they had a friend in Gordon even before they started their first course. Gordon helped prepare the initial documents for the transition from a bachelor program to a master's program," said Crowe. Gordon was recognized for his dedication to the Occupational Therapy Program.

These four individuals have assisted the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program to be rated as one of the top programs in the country, said Crowe.


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322