At a key transition point in their studies, occupational therapy students across all USAHS campuses participate in a meaningful ritual, witnessed by family and friends. The OT pinning ceremony marks the end of the classroom portion of their studies and the beginning of their fieldwork. For Residential MOT and OTD students, this happens in their fourth term, and for Flex, in the seventh term. A longstanding tradition in OT practice, the pin celebrates the diversity of practice areas, the client-centered nature of our practice and the values of our profession. “It’s an opportunity for faculty to acknowledge our students’ transition from classroom learning to clinical learning,” says Mary Zadnik, ScD, MEd, OTR/L, director of the entry-level OT programs on Read more
Dr. Boguslawa Syrotiak is a licensed occupational therapist, researcher and educator focused on increasing visibility of occupational therapy at the community level. She is actively working on promoting occupational therapy’s role in retirement preparation and adjustment among first responders. In 2008, Dr. Syrotiak began her career in acute care at Providence St. Joseph Hospital Orange and hand therapy in an outpatient private clinic. Two years later, she started working for Preferred Healthcare Registry and was presented with work opportunities in a variety of conventional healthcare settings such as acute rehab and skilled nursing facilities. She also worked for multiple home health companies, where she applied her previously gained clinical experience with patients in their familiar home surroundings.
In 2010, Dr. Syrotiak volunteered with Projects Abroad in a horseback-riding program in Argentina. Later, she applied those skills as a consultant for Adapt Movement Inc. to assist persons with multiple sclerosis. In 2014, Dr. Syrotiak accepted a role of a director of rehab at AHMC Anaheim Regional Medical Center, where she led a team of occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathology therapists for six years. The highlight of her leadership was a considerable growth in occupational therapy and speech-language pathology staffing. In 2016, she entered a doctorate program under the mentorship of Dr. Noralyn Pickens at Texas Woman’s University. She completed the program and earned her PhD in 2021.
Her clinical and research interests center around increasing the visibility of occupational therapy in the field of health and wellness promotion at a community level. Her dissertation research demonstrated the potential of occupational therapy to become leaders in retirement programming for different professional groupings. Dr. Syrotiak joined the core faculty at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences at the San Marcos, CA campus in December 2021. Her teaching philosophy centers around active and experiential teaching.