Student Occupational Therapy Association


The mission of the Student Occupational Therapy Association, SOTA, is to promote the value of occupational therapy services to the public and other healthcare professionals and enhance the quality of the students’ educational experience through local and national advocacy, community service and professional development.

The SOTA is a very active organization. We participate in a wide variety of activities to serve the local community, advocate for occupational therapy, and raise funds to support occupational therapy research and continuing education. Below are some of SOTA’s recent activities:

  • Health Professionals Job Fair: Each year, SOTA hosts the Rush University Health Professionals Job Fair. The fair provides a rare opportunity to connect with Rush University College of Health Sciences students with prospective employers. Professions presented at the fair include occupational therapy, audiology, medical laboratory science, respiratory care, speech and language pathology, health systems management, clinical nutrition, and nursing. SOTA donates proceeds to occupational therapy research and continuing education.

       For registration information, please contact Lauren Little.  

  • Adopt-a-Family: Each year SOTA participates in Rush University Medical Centers Adopt a Family Program. The class of 2020 choose to support a single mother and her two adopted sons with special needs.  They were able to spread holiday cheer to this family though over $1,000 in donations.
  • AOTA Membership Circle: AOTA’s Student Membership Circle is a three-tier plan that supports academic program student membership initiatives — Gold Level, Silver Level, and Bronze Level.  Student Membership Circle recipients are determined based on the number of enrolled students that are also current active members of AOTA.  The class of 2016 reached silver status, and the class of 2017 reached gold status.  We are excited that the students recognize and embrace the enormous benefits of being an AOTA member and are proud that they are already becoming lifelong learners.
  • St. Catherine’s Challenge: The St. Catherine Challenge is a student-led initiative to build the profession of occupational therapy through raising funds for Intervention Research Grants in support of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s mission.  Schools of occupational therapy across the nation take on the challenge, create their own fundraisers, engage their communities in the effort, and come together at the annual AOTA conference to cheer the cause.  Each year, Rush University joins the St. Catherine’s challenge.  

Contact Information

President: Megan Westendorf
Vice President: Natasha Irani
Secretary: Obi Morton
Treasurer: Theresa Guzaldo
Public Relations: Hannah Hartz