Hands of Change is the Alumni Association of San Jose State University Department of Occupational Therapy. Its mission is to provide a bridge between its members and the department, promote a sense of unity, and provide opportunities for networking and mentoring while acting as a resource to enhance knowledge and growth.

photo collage of OT distinguished alumni

Purposes of the Alumni Association

  • Provide guidance and support to the members
  • Serve as a resource to its members
  • Networking
  • Provide mentoring to students of SJSU's Department of Occupational Therapy
  • Visit and keep track of friends and faculty
  • Promote ongoing communication with the SJSU's Department of Occupational Therapy
  • Support the department
  • Support curriculum revision
  • Support research
  • Provide recognition of significant events and people

Goals of the Alumni Association

  • To maintain an updated database
  • To establish membership dues and donations
  • To hold Alumni Reception events at the annual OTAC Conference
  • To develop an alumni contact list
  • To raise funds for scholarships to students
  • To raise funds for Department upgrading
  • To receive funds/support from vendors


If you believe that San Jose State University and the Occupational Therapy Department contributed to, or were instrumental in your professional development and ultimate financial success, please help us now with a generous financial contribution. There is no more important time to give than now and there is no more important investment you could be making in your profession than to give back to the school and program of which you can be proud. Consider making a gift to the department in honor today.


Give now to the OT Department


Have more questions? Contact the Alumni Association at 408-924-3070.

2022 Alumni Donation Letter Request [pdf]

Recognition of the Amazing Donors to the SJSU Occupational Therapy Department

The faculty, staff and students of the Department of Occupational Therapy at San Jose State University wish to thank and recognize all of our esteemed alumni and donor friends who have contributed over the past year! We are grateful for your support and commitment. Your donations directly enrich and impact our department’s innovative programs of excellence in education, research and practice in occupational therapy and has been instrumental in continuing the academic excellence that is the San Jose State University Occupational Therapy Department.

List of endowed scholarships [pdf] 
Testimonials of Student Scholarship Recipients [pdf]

Our Endowed “Diamond” Donors:

These donors have made a large endowed donation to support the OT department on an ongoing basis – this provides continuous support!

2021/22 Donors

We would also like to recognize each designated donor level from alums and supporters this year (2020/21).

Diamond Donors with a donation of over $500

Ms. Ann R. Coopersmith
Dr. Donald and Mrs. Donna Friedrich
Teri Jetter (Sensory Solutions)
Lela A. Llorens, PhD
Dr. Heidi M. Pendleton

Gold Donors with a donation of $300 to $499

Ruth Anne Humphry
Ms. Shiela Reno
Mr. Kermit and Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn
Bruce H Wauke
Mr. Steven and Ms. Grace Wong-Leung 

Silver Donors with a donation of $200 to $299

Patricia A. Herrmann
Lela A. Llorens, PhD
Thomas E Peters
Cara Shinagawa
Henry Herrera and Nancy W. Tam

Bronze Donors with a donation of $150 to $199

Tracy Candiotti
Mr. Nolan Mcdonnell and Ms. Kathleen Parker

Past Donors

Alumni Highlight

Alumni in the News

  • Alumna Dr. Susan Robertson received the 2020 OTAC Award of Appreciation for long standing support to the profession! This is a great honor to see our very generous alum receive this award!
  • Alumnus Dr. Shawn Phipps (SJSU Post-professional MSOT program) was chosen as the Honored Lecturer at the CFOT Awards Luncheon and Symposium's 38th anniversary in October 2019.
  • Alumna Dr. Gigi Smith (SJSU Post-professional MSOT program) was chosen as the Honored Lecturer at the CFOT Awards Luncheon and Symposium's 37th anniversary in October 2018.
  • Alumna Beth Ching (BS in OT, 1985) is an Assistant Professor in the OTD program at Samuel Merritt and has received the Interprofessional Collaboration Award at the 2017 AOTA Annual Conference. Her award will acknowledge her skills: Making Space for Everyone at the Table.
  • Congratulations to Lecturer Alison George, graduate of SJSU with a masters of science degree from the OT Dept., who received the Provost Award for recognition of supporting the OT Department in working on the Departmental Writing Standards.    
  • A graduate from the SJSU Distance MSOT program, alumna Apple Sepulveda, received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant to work with health professionals in the Philippines. Dr. Pamela Richardson worked with this student on her graduate project and would be able to provide additional information about this grant.

In Memoriam

photo of Susan J. Harris
Susan J. Harris, an esteemed colleague and SJSU Alum, passed away on January 20, 2020.

For those who have not heard of Sue Harris, she was one of the first OTs to start an OT company and it grew into an amazing company. She was a big advocate for OTs having a voice in the political arena and always supported the OTACPAC. She was also named the 2008 SJSU OT Dept. Distinguished Alumni and was one of our Diamond Level Donors. And in 2018 at the OTAC Conference, Susan Harris was the honoree for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Here's Susan J. Harris Obituary.

Keep in Touch!

Let us know how you are doing and Keep in Touch [pdf].
And don't forget to like us on Facebook to continue growing with us and keep abreast with the latest news, accolades and events at our department!

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