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. Rocio Alvarenga is an occupational therapist and educator focused on student-centered and patient-centered approaches to promote overall well-being. She is a native Texan and has practiced in pediatric and adult outpatient and home health, adult inpatient and neurorehabilitation. She has also worked at the El Paso State Supported Living Center, which is an institution for individuals with intellectual disability.
Dr. Alvarenga previously worked as a fieldwork coordinator and a clinical instructor for mental health, psychosocial and task analysis courses. She holds a Master of Occupational Therapy from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from UTEP in 2020.
She has presented at state and national conferences, and her research interests include faculty stress, mindfulness programming, neurofeedback interventions and enhancing pediatric mental health. Dr. Alvarenga joined the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences at the Dallas, TX campus in 2020 as contributing faculty and became the second Doctoral Capstone Coordinator in 2021.