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Student Occupational Therapy Association


The Student Occupational Therapy Association, SOTA, is a national organization for graduate students pursuing a career in occupational therapy. The mission of 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.

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 represented 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 vendor registration information, please contact Molly Bathje (

  • Adopt-a-Family: Each year SOTA participates in Rush University Medical Centers Adopt a Family Program. The class of 2021 choose to support two families this past holiday season. They were able to spread holiday cheer to these families by raising over $2,000 in donations.

  • 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. Occupational therapy schools 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 on the cause. Each year, Rush University joins the St. Catherine’s challenge.

  • Bunco Fundraising Night: Each fall, SOTA organizes a night full of fun and games at a local restaurant to host a Bunco tournament. All of the proceeds raised benefit the various organizations that SOTA supports.

  • Fitness Classes: Our students have a number of talents to share and our fitness classes allow some of our students to let those talents show! Fitness classes are held on campus, led by OT students who are certified personal trainers or yoga instructors, and are open to students from any program!

Contact Information

President: Kate Moran
Vice President: Lauren Schuler

Advisor: Laura VanPuymbrouck, PhD, OTR/L - Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy