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. Nichel Brunder is an innovative occupational therapist with a passion for education and fostering relationships. She began her career in 2013 in an outpatient hand clinic treating a variety of post-surgical patients. As a staff occupational therapist with Orlando Health, Dr. Brunder found her passion, working with individuals with lymphedema and lymphedema-related symptoms. Through interventions and community outreach, she has fostered relationships with healthcare professionals, members of the community and patients allowing the establishment of community-based programs focused on education for underserved populations.
Dr. Brunder holds a specialization in lymphedema and assists in the certification of lymphedema therapists, plays an active role in an Orlando-based special interest group and serves as a mentor. She has experience in treating in a variety of settings, including acute inpatient rehab, outpatient adult rehab, home health, hospice and skilled nursing settings. After working as an outpatient therapist for five years, Dr. Brunder decided to obtain a post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy to demonstrate her passion and commitment to furthering the profession and to show other health care professionals the distinct value of occupational therapy.
Dr. Brunder volunteers regularly with oncology-related causes and youth groups. She joined the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2021.