• Kalamazoo SOTA Walk to End Alzheimer's

  • Grand Rapids Shakes for SOTA Fundraiser

  • Kalamazoo SOTA Gull Meadow Farms Social Event

  • Grand Rapids SOTA Walk to End Alzheimer's

Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA)

The Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) is offered at both campuses, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, with every occupational therapy student encouraged to join their corresponding association by attending one meeting per month. Joining SOTA has many benefits for students and surrounding communities. Benefits to joining include, but are not limited to: 

  • Build leadership skills in the field of OT
  • Make connections with other students, faculty, and local organizations
  • Give back to the community through volunteer opportunities 
  • Learn to advocate for our profession
  • Apply skills learned in classes to use in a safe learning environment
  • Gain knowledge by attending guest presentations
  • Participate in fun social events with your fellow SOTA members! 


  • Events

    Previous volunteer events:

    • Walk to End Alzheimer's: fundraising and socially-distanced 5k walk 
    • Partners in Housing: volunteer outreach program opportunity 
    • Shakes with SOTA: partner with local organization to donate a portion of shake sales to SOTA. Proceeds were used to make information packets about disabilities and sent to Somos Hijos del Lago in Guatemala for children and families 
    • Virtual fundraisers: Mel Trotter Ministries and American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (AOTPAC) 
    • Kids Food Basket: decorate bags and collect items to prepare packed lunches 
    • Guest speaker: Meeting OT needs for for teens and young adults in the LGBTQIA+ community

    Upcoming events:

    • Virtual learning event: NBCOT preparation 
    • Diversity and inclusion guest speakers
    • My Very Own Blanket: virtual event to make blankets for children in foster care  
    • More to come!
  • Kalamazoo SOTA Board

    President: Megan Koren

    My name is Megan Koren, I am in my 5th semester of the 4+1 program. I was the Volunteer/Event Coordinator for SOTA last year. I have really enjoyed being a part of SOTA because I have been able to participate in so many great volunteer experiences and meet lots of students who are just as passionate about OT as I am. I was fortunate enough to have my first Level I Fieldwork at the Center for Disability Services and my second one was Student Occupations for Academic Readiness. A little bit about me, I love to visit new places and spend time outside. I cherish quality time with friends and family. Lastly, I am looking forward to Level II Fieldwork as I have one placement with patients with neurological conditions and the other is in pediatrics.


    Vice President: Cassandra Barlow  

    My name is Cassandra Barlow, I am currently in my 5th semester of the 4+1 occupational therapy program. I completed my Level I Fieldwork at Unified Pediatric Clinics and Student Occupations for Academic Readiness (SOAR). I have worked at the Center for Disability Services (CDS) day program for almost two years and love it! For fun, I enjoy being outdoors with my dog, shopping, and rollerblading. After graduation, I hope to be a pediatric therapist working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and developmental delays. 


    Secretary: Jessica Nyberg

    Hi my name is Jessica Nyberg and I am in my 4th semester of the 4+1 occupational therapy program. For Level I Fieldwork, I was at Unified Clinics for Adult Neuro clinic and am currently working with school-age kids through telehealth. I am thankful for the volunteer opportunities and friends that I have gained from this program and from SOTA! I enjoy traveling to new places and spending time with my friends and family. I look forward to learning and growing as a future OT. 


    Volunteer Coordinator: Shayla Friker 

    Hi my name is Shayla, and I am in my 4th semester of the accelerated master OT program. I have always loved people and knew a helping profession would be the perfect fit for me. I love that OT fits into the side of healthcare that really helps people get back on their feet and live a higher quality of life. My passion for kids started from a young age and knowing that I will get to help kids during crucial development times makes me so excited to become a pediatric OT. I have loved this program and being on the SOTA e-board because I've gotten to meet a lot of new friends and help advocate for OT as a profession. My hope is to encourage more incoming freshman to look into OT and see if it is a perfect fit for you!


    Treasurer: Madison Charlton

    This is my 3rd semester in the OT program, and I will be graduating with my Master's in December of 2022! I am still undecided on which setting I am interested in, but pediatrics and orthopedics currently catch my attention. Also, I love colorguard - I have competed in 12 seasons and have been a coach at a high school for three seasons!


    WSA Representative: Laura Tataille 

    My mission on SOTA's e-board is to continue the fight for Black lives and create spaces to amplify the voices of BIPOC in healthcare. OT is critical when it comes to engaging others in the things that bring their life meaning and as a future OT, my hope is to make this happen for all of the clients that I work with!


  • Grand Rapids SOTA Board

    President: Aly Schwartz

    Hello! My name is Aly Schwartz and I serve as the President of Western Michigan University’s Student Occupational Therapy Association. In 2020 I received my Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience at Aquinas College. When I’m not studying, I enjoy running, biking, eating baked goods, and spending time with family and friends. I am incredibly passionate about empowering others to reach their potential and celebrate their differences. As the president of SOTA, I am grateful to have the opportunity to advocate for the profession, serve the community, and learn from my exceptional peers. 


    Vice President: Lexi Superson

    Hi everyone! My name is Lexi Superson and I am the Vice President of Western Michigan University’s Student Occupational Therapy Association. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Integrative Holistic Medicine from Oakland University. I chose to further my education in the field of Occupational Therapy because I have a passion for advocating, collaborating and engaging with patients to regain their wellness and purpose for an overall meaningful life.


    Secretary: Domonique Chambers

    Hello everyone! my name is Dom and I am privileged to be GR SOTA Secretary for the 2021 year. I completed my undergraduate degree at Grand Valley State University graduating with my Bachelors of Art and Science in 2019. I was first drawn to occupational therapy as an evidence-based science that used creativity to assist people back to what is the most meaningful to them. As a professional dancer, I am an advocate of the arts and how impactful they can be on a person's life. Occupational therapy combines the creativity of the arts with the evidence and foundation of science to enhance people's lives. I am humbled to be able to represent this profession as well as WMU as GR SOTA Secretary and cannot wait to advocate for the GR community in this role. 

    Event Coordinator: Caitlin Cornish

    Hello everyone! My name is Caitlin Cornish, and I am the Event Coordinator for Western Michigan University's Student Occupational Therapy Association. I completed my BS in Kinesiology at Michigan State University in 2020, with a Minor in Health Promotion and Cognate in Exercise Physiology. I chose to pursue Occupational Therapy because I am passionate about advocacy and ensuring each person has equal opportunities in their life, regardless of who they are! 


    Treasurer: Amanda Fox

    Hello! My name is Amanda and I am serving as the GR SOTA Treasurer for 2021. I graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2018 with my BS in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Health and Fitness Instruction. I was drawn to pursue OT because I love working with others and helping them achieve their full potential. I believe working in OT will allow me to share my strengths and passions with others. I’m excited and honored to have the opportunity to work with my classmates to create a more fulfilling program for us students, and to become further involved in the Grand Rapids community in this upcoming year. 


    Public Relations: Alex Field

    Hi everyone! My name is Alex Field, and I am the Public Relations board member for Western Michigan University’s Student Occupational Therapy Association for Grand Rapids. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in the field of Clinical Exercise Science in 2018. I chose to continue my education into the field of occupational therapy because I love the holistic viewpoint of this profession as well as the wide range of practice areas it has to offer, allowing you to treat the entire lifespan and an array of diagnoses!