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TWU occupational therapy student Amanda Drefus receives Newsom Award


Photo credit: Karen Martin

Cutline: Shown at TWU’s Mary Joyce Newsom Lecture and Celebration are, from left: Dr. Patricia Bowyer, associate director of the TWU School of Occupational Therapy; Amanda Drefus, recipient of the Newsom Award; Jude LeMaire, TIRR recruitment consultant; and Harriett Davidson, TWU occupational therapy associate professor who funded the Newsom endowed lectureship with her husband, Dr. Donald Davidson.

HOUSTON — Texas Woman’s University master’s of occupational therapy student Amanda Drefus received the 2010 Mary Joyce Newsom award during the 18th Annual Mary Joyce Newsom Lecture and Celebration held April 14 at the TWU Institute of Health Sciences-Houston Center.

The TWU School of Occupational Therapy presents the Newsom Award during its annual Newsom Lecture and Celebration, which honors TWU occupational therapy alumna Mary Joyce Newsom. Prior to her death in 1982, Ms. Newsom served for 20 years as the director of occupational therapy for the Memorial Hermann Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR). TIRR sponsored the 2010 Newsom Lecture and Celebration.

Ms. Drefus, who is from Pottsboro, N.Y., will graduate from TWU in May and plans to conduct fieldwork at the Mayo Clinic this summer. Continuing a long Newsom Lecture tradition, Ms. Drefus will give the 2011 Newsom Lecture and report on her work at the Mayo Clinic.

Mary Joyce Newsom received both her bachelor degree and master’s degree in occupational therapy from TWU. After Ms. Newsom’s death, Harriett Davidson, TWU associate professor of occupational therapy, and her husband, Dr. Donald Davidson, established the Newsom Award Fund in 1982. This fund was transferred to the Mary Joyce Newsom Endowment Fund for Occupational Therapy in 1994. The Newsom Award was first given at the Houston Center in 1982, at the time of a recognition ceremony for students leaving the center to go to their Level II fieldwork experiences. A separate ceremony started in 1994, with awardees from the prior year returning to TWU to present a lecture to current students. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to the lecture, which is followed by a reception for honoree.

Criteria for the award are based on Ms. Newsom’s concept of the ideal occupational therapist. Specifically, these include scholarship, professional and community service, and personal characteristics including an ability to see things in perspective, a genuine sense of humor, a commitment to finding better ways to do things, a commitment to the theoretical base of occupational therapy and a genuine interest in and concern for people.

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page updated 11/12/2015 5:12 PM