Press Release


Chapel Hill, NC – The Health Sciences Library (HSL), in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (DOSOT), is hosting an exhibition from October 20, 2010 through February, 2011, celebrating the 30th anniversary of occupational therapy education at UNC-Chapel Hill. The “Occupation Matters” exhibit honors the work of occupational therapists and occupational scientists, and features historical photos as well as contemporary images of a number of therapists who are graduates of the Masters of Science (M.S.) in occupational therapy program in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“The Health Sciences Library has been an invaluable resource for the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and we are pleased to have the profession of occupational therapy highlighted in their wonderful entry display area,” said Dr. Virginia Dickie, Program Director of the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. “This installation portrays the importance of occupation, the focus of both our science and practice.”

The exhibit includes an overview and history of the Division, as well as providing a historical context for occupational therapy as a profession. The M.S. program in occupational therapy was one of the first post-baccalaureate level programs in this field in the United States and graduated its first class in 1980. Among the highlights of the exhibit are banners featuring the work of graduates of UNC’s occupational therapy program as clinicians, faculty members, program developers, and researchers. The first textbook published in occupational therapy is also on display.

“Occupation Matters” speaks to the concept of occupations as everyday activities that exist in specific contexts (e.g., times and places), connect us socially, have personal and cultural meanings, and become part of our identities. The exhibit offers insights into occupation through the use of photographs and quotes, and provides a deeper understanding of how essential occupation is to our everyday lives.  The benefits and necessity of occupational therapy become clear when considering the difficulties faced by those who have had their occupations interrupted by disadvantage, illness or injury.

The exhibit is on display in the South Columbia Street entrance foyer of the HSL. A companion blog version of the exhibit ( will complement the physical exhibit and become the permanent online exhibit. It will ultimately include videotaped interviews, links to related resources, and a place for alumni and other viewers to share their experiences with the exhibit and the library.  Both exhibits are a collaborative effort of HSL staff and the DOSOT faculty.

The DOSOT is internationally recognized for excellence in education, research, and professional service. It is one of seven divisions in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, UNC School of Medicine. The Division’s academic degree programs include a M.S. degree in occupational therapy and a Ph.D. in Occupational Science. The Occupational Therapy program at UNC has consistently been ranked among the top five programs in the nation in U.S. News and World Report.

For Additional Information Please Contact

Virginia Dickie, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
Program Director, UNC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Department of Allied Health Sciences
(919) 966-2451

Barbara Rochen Renner, PhD
Allied Health Sciences Library Liaison
Health Sciences Library
(919) 843-7249

Kyle Gray
Director of Development
Department of Allied Health
(919) 966-3352

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