The Graduate Professional Excellence Award is given to a graduate student who will be an excellent representative of the program in the professional community of occupational therapy, through clinical work, research, interdisciplinary projects, experiential learning, or work in the profession or local community.
Hannah E. Thomas
Graduate Professional Excellence Award
Growing up in Santa Clarita, CA, I was always drawn to experiences and opportunities outside of my comfort zone. When the time came to decide on a college, I was drawn to Ithaca College for its commitment to fostering community among faculty, staff, and students, the well-respected occupational therapy program, and the “gorges” location in the town of Ithaca. Making a cross-country move at 18 years old was daunting at first, but the strong friendships and connections I made over the last five years quickly turned Ithaca into a home away from home!
Looking back at all of the learning and growth the Department of Occupational Therapy has brought me over the years, I’ll always be grateful for the many opportunities I had for experiential learning in clinics on campus and within the community. Working in the pediatric and adult clinics, the Center for Life Skills at Longview, and the Ithaca Free Clinic allowed me to develop my skills as an occupational therapist under the instruction of expert faculty. I was able to put what I was learning in class into practice with clients and was able to develop a greater understanding of the occupational therapy process. These experiences, along with the many hours spent honing skills in the classroom, made me feel well prepared to join such an incredible profession!
Academic Achievements and Personal Highlights
- Summa Cum Laude
- Dean’s List
- Pi Theta Epsilon Honor Society
- Study Abroad, Ithaca College London Center (England)
- James J. Whalen Academic Symposium Award Winner, poster (2018, 2019)
- American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference presentation
- CASE Affiliated Student Advancement Programs District II Conference presentation
- American Occupational Therapy Association member
- Ithaca College Project Generations, Co-Event Coordinator
- Students Today Alumni Tomorrow, Spirit Week Committee