George Washington University Doctoral Student Receives Award from American Occupational Therapy Association

AOTA scholarships aim to develop a well-prepared, diverse workforce
October 27, 2022
Authored by
AOTA Scholarship Recipient

Washington D.C., October 27, 2022 – Pranathi Meda, a first-year graduate student in the Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (eOTD) program, has been awarded the 2022 E.K. Wise Scholarship from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Meda was selected from over 200 candidates for demonstrating leadership and a commitment to community service and the field of Occupational Therapy.
 
“I have served as a bridge between my family and the multicultural society that I grew up in, witnessed people who are physically diverse and neurodiverse experience a decreased quality of life due to social and political circumstances, and completed research on accessibility compliance in public institutions for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said Meda.
 
Meda is a first-generation Southeast Asian who studied public health in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina prior to joining the inaugural eOTD class at GW. 
 
“I am passionate about learning from community voices, working with local organizations to identify emerging roles for occupational therapy, and leading in student organizations,” said Meda.
 
The GW eOTD program pairs students with a community partner to complete their service learning requirement - along with other requirements such as completing fieldwork and a doctoral capstone experience - in order to produce holistic, solution-focused health care professionals who think beyond the clinic, explore diverse settings with various populations, and engage within their communities.
 
“GW is at the epicenter of justice, inclusion, and innovation,” says Meda.“I strive to engage in active learning, discover new treatments and philosophies, and give my patients an equitable and welcoming space for all.”
 
The fund for the E. K. Wise scholarship was established in the 1960s through the generous bequest of Elizabeth K. Wise and supports students pursuing an entry-level occupational therapy (OT) or occupational therapy assistant (OTA) degree from diverse backgrounds.1
 

1 ‘Education AOTA E.K. Wise scholarship’, aota.org, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., 2022, https://www.aota.org/education/find-a-school/aota-ek-wise-scholarship.

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