November 20, 2013
University of Mary faculty member Carol Olson, PhD, and U-Mary graduate student Grant Hillestad have received occupational therapy awards for 2013.
An occupational therapy faculty member at U-Mary, Olson was named 2013 Occupational Therapist of the Year by the North Dakota Occupational Therapy Association.
The NDOTA group selected Hillestad as 2013 Occupational Therapy Student of the Year.
Olson earned her bachelor's degree from the University of North Dakota, a master's degree from Moorhead State University, and a PhD from UND. Active in her profession in the areas of legislation, insurance issues, administration, licensure and advocacy, Olson served the North Dakota Occupational Therapy Association as vice president of legislation and practice and, most recently, as president; she now serves on the group's board of management. She also works on professional research and presentations for both the state group and the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Hillestad, from Breckenridge, Minn., is a founder of the U-Mary group Students Today, Leaders Forever, and helped organized the first U-Mary Pay it Forward Tour in 2011. Hillestad was president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association in 2012 and has been a member of the North Dakota Occupational Therapy Association for two years.
During a service trip to Guatemala this summer, he helped provide occupational therapy services to orphans, malnourished children and nursing home residents. The awards are based on work experience, communication and organizational activities, offices and committee memberships, participation that benefits the American Occupational Therapy Association, and community service.