Dr. Nathan Short, assistant professor of occupational therapy at HU, received the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) International Service Award at the 100th AOTA National Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The conference took place on April 1. This new award was created to recognize occupational therapy practitioners who have made a global impact through service and global advancement of the profession.
“It is truly humbling to have received the International Service Award and my sincere hope is that it will lend credibility and increase international opportunities for the occupational therapy doctorate program (OTD) at Huntington University.” Short goes on to say that “the award really belongs to our department as a whole, as well as the many students who trained, raised support, and traveled to serve individuals with disabilities.”
Short joined Huntington University in 2014 and has been an integral part of the growth and success of the OTD program. Short has served with Wheels for the World in Romania, Haiti, and Guatemala.
“The ultimate goal of a Wheels for the World team is to share the hope of the Gospel message with individuals with disabilities – that they are known and loved by God – as well as provide custom seating devices to allow improved functional mobility and participation in their community,” stated Short.
Since August of 2014, HU’s OTD program has established international experiences in three countries with over 50 students serving globally.
Short was nominated for the International Service Award by Dr. Ruth Ford, associate dean of Health Sciences and OTD director at HU, for his collaboration with Wheels for the World, which has established cross-cultural service learning opportunities for HU’s OTD students.
“Dr. Short’s implementation of the international J-term experiences to Haiti and Guatemala aligns with the service-learning and hands-on experiences that the doctorate of occupational therapy students value highly,” said Ford. “The service projects of working with mobility issues in a third world country address not only cultural competency but also working with others through creative adaptation of medical durable equipment.”
Huntington University’s OTD program began in 2014 and has been ranked #1 out of 450 OT schools in the United States by GraduatePrograms.com. HU’s doctoral program in occupational therapy promotes students’ development in faith, health, leadership skills, advanced practice, research and professional service. Students complete clinical experiences in Indiana, across the country and internationally.