2011 Emerging Leaders Attend Leadership Training
By Stephanie Yamkovenko
AOTA’s Emerging Leaders Development Program kicked off its second year with a 2-day leadership training program in Bethesda, MD, from January 14 to 15, 2011. The 17 participants in the class of 2011 are new practitioners with 5 or fewer years of experience or students in their last year of school. AOTA had planned to select only 15 participants, but the quality of applicants was so strong that they accepted 17, said Debi Hinerfeld, OTR/L, chair of the 2011 Emerging Leaders Development Group.
At the training program, the participants learned about leadership and how to identify their strengths and weaknesses. “It’s nice that [the trainers] focus on such a unique view of leadership,” says participant Rachel Dargatz, OTD. “I’ve done a lot of leadership training in the past, but this was different. We were talking about negotiation, how to encounter problems, and how to move forward.”
The group of participants is very diverse, spanning generations, genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Each participant had a unique reason why he or she chose to apply for the Emerging Leaders program.
“I am new to occupational therapy, but I am a baby boomer,” says Nancy Dubuar, MOT, OTR/L. “I am working with a lot of people from another generation, and I was hoping the program would help me bridge that divide. I am very passionate about OT, and I want that passion to rub off on my colleagues, but not to be obnoxious about it.”
Ganesh Babulal, MOT, OTR/L, said he wanted to participate because he wanted to connect with the established and emerging leaders in occupational therapy. Stacy Wilson, MS, OTR/L, is a new graduate and has big plans for his future. “I want to have a role in AOTA and hospital administration one day,” he says. “And I saw this program as one of the steps I need to take to get me there.”
Picture above: Nancy Dubuar and Amy Shows. Shows is looking to learn more about community-based practice and sees the mentoring program as a way to bridge the gap and learn more about this area of practice.
Following the leadership training, the participants in the 2011 program will complete a 12-month mentorship program with established leaders in the profession, such as someone on AOTA’s Commission on Education or Commission on Practice, or a Special Interest Section Standing Committee member, to name a few examples.
Jaclyn Tarloff, chairperson of the Assembly of Student Delegates (ASD), said she believes the program’s mentoring relationship is crucial to her career and is interested in developing and maintaining the leadership skills she has acquired through ASD.
Kimberly Walker, OTD, OTR/L, has leadership experience from another occupational field, but wanted to participate in a program where she could learn about leadership within occupational therapy. “I’ve been practicing for just a few years, so I kind of got my feet wet within the profession and now I feel like I can network and get connected,” says Walker. “It’s really important to keep up with leadership growth and to seek out new opportunities to learn.”
Stephanie Yamkovenko is AOTA’s staff writer.
AOTA congratulates the current emerging leaders: Ganesh Babulal, Ashley Brock, Matthew Cappetta, Rachel Dargatz, Nancy Dubuar, Nadine Kwebetchou, Brenda Lewis, Nicole Sawyer, Abbey Sipp, Amy Shows, Stephanie Stephenson, Jessica Sweeney, Jaclyn Tarloff, Rosalie Thede, Charles Tressler, Kimberly Walker, and Stacy Wilson