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Students and Alumni Stories

Our students and alumni talk about their experience in the program and how it has affected their lives.

Katie Everson G'21  OTD, OTR/L

DeAn Sellmann G'19 OTD, OT

Ellen Cullen G'22, OTD, OTR/L

Kimberly Hilliard-Bangura, G'22, OTD, OT/L

Like the Psalmist who declared, “And, now Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you" (Psalm 39:17), my trust was in the advisors and professors in the OTD program to take me, a person who had not formally studied OT for almost 30 years, and to bring me up to date and into 2022 with academic writing, as well as new OT concepts and theories.

Drs. Watson, Smith, Compton, and Martin did just that, working with me through the devastating family tragedy that threatened to derail my ability to get through the OTD program.

I speak of hope primarily because of its role in helping me remain committed to the goal and motivated to act towards achieving it. But for the grace of God and the well-assembled team of professors at Bay Path, I may not have made it. I continue to practice in a school system in Georgia.

I know that the big reward of having gone through this OTD program is the personal pride, the legacy that I leave for my children and family, and that I am able to provide much better OT service to the teachers, students, parents, and the administrative teams that rely on me. For that, I am grateful and forever appreciative of the opportunity that was extended to me by Bay Path University.

Erica Patusco, MS, OTR, CKTP, G'22

Erica has been an OT for over ten years. She has worked with all populations over the years and has recently settled into the role of school OT in a public high school for special needs students in New York. She has a strong foundation in disease management, sports injury, corrective movement, and adult/geriatric wellness care, with a strong focus on diet, exercise, and disease management and prevention. She is certified in the kinesiotaping method and John Barnes myofascial release and believes in treating each case from a holistic approach.

Erica enjoys advocating and educating students, mentoring new graduates, and supporting potential OTs. She is currently helping to create a Boy Scouts program with teachers for students with disabilities. She has always had a great desire to empower children to be anything they want to be!

Her primary purpose in earning her doctorate is to educate new students and share her passion for OT. Her favorite thing about Bay Path is the passionate professors and their ability to keep students moving forward toward their goals.

Erica is graduated in May! The advice she would give to students in the program is: "When things get tough, reach out and ask for support from professors and colleagues."

Amanda Lizotte, OTD, MOT, OTR, G'21

Since earning her OTD at Bay Path, Dr. Amanda Lizotte has taken on the role of Director of Clinical Education and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for the MOT programs at BPU: "I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work closely with our students as they complete fieldwork and move one step closer to officially joining our amazing profession!"

The advice she would give to students in the program is to take it one step at a time and one day at a time and to always reach out to your course instructors if you feel like you need some extra support: "Being a working professional in a doctoral-level program is hard work, but I always felt so supported by the OTD faculty members when life inevitably happened, and I needed some extra flexibility!"

Dr. Lizotte's favorite motto or quote is from poet Amanda Gorman: "For there is always light-- if only we're brave enough to see it, if only we're brave enough to be it."

"My first virtual class with Julie Watson will always be with me. Dr. Watson personalized and tailored the class to meet students’ needs, even polling us to determine what day and time would be convenient for us. During the class, she was aware of every student, their names and locations, and greeted each of us personally. This stuck with me, as I was so nervous being back in school after such a huge gap. Dr. Watson made me feel comfortable, and more importantly, made me excited to learn." - Laura Bradley