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Over the course of the 2023 AOTA Inspire conference in Kansas City, Missouri, Pitt OT was a consistent presence in the expo hall, during multiple presentations, and on stage. 

A booth in the expo hall provided the perfect venue for alumni and friends to stop by and catch up with Pitt OT faculty as well as a chance for us to talk about our degree programs, research and student experiences. 

People holding I heart Pitt OT signs standing together for a photo

Pitt OT students and faculty at the Pitt booth in the Expo Hall

Throughout the conference, Pitt OT faculty, students and alumni had 14 presentations on the program. This included multiple posters, a short course, workshops and a session at the pre-conference institute. A complete listing of the presentations by our faculty, students and alumni is available here.

On the stage, Pitt OT’s Director of Research Operations Laura Waterstram was presented with the AOTA Recognition of Achievement Award. This award recognizes occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants who have made notable contributions to the profession and its consumers in a focused area of occupational therapy practice. After working clinically as an occupational therapist, Waterstram joined Professor Elizabeth Skidmore's research laboratory as a laboratory manager in 2013. Her expertise in research operations and processes soon began to influence the research infrastructure across the department and she then became director of Research Operations for the entire Department of Occupational Therapy.

Alyson Stover, AOTA President, presenting award to Laura Waterstram

Laura Waterstram receives the Recognition of Achievement Award from AOTA President and Pitt OT Associate Professor Alyson Stover

In her role, Waterstram invests in the success of scientists within and outside the department. She supports them in their adherence to regulatory procedures, development of projects that can be conducted with efficiency, and encourages the next generation of scientists in their research. The influence that Waterstram has had on the success of the research that is disseminated from the Department of Occupational Therapy isn't easily quantified but it's deeply felt by all. Waterstram was presented with the award prior to the AOTA Presidential Address by AOTA President and Pitt OT Associate Professor Alyson Stover

Group of people who gathered to surprise Laura and celebrate her award

Pitt OT faculty and staff and the TiDe Executive Committee surprised Laura with a celebratory reception


Stover was on stage throughout the conference. Her presidential address, “Perfecting Connecting,” provided much enthusiasm and inspiration to all conference attendees. She shared inspiring stories from her recent Presidential Cross-Country Connecting Tour and what she learned about slowing down to truly connect with diverse members to uncover how occupational therapy is changing the world.                                     Alyson Stover, AOTA President on stage

Alyson Stover, AOTA President on stage delivering Presidential Address during 2023 AOTA Inspire Conference