University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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News and Events
News and Events

USC Occupational Science Symposium

Thank you for your interest in the 25th USC Occupational Science Symposium, entitled “Behavior Change: Theories Informing Occupational Science,” which was hosted September 23, 2016, at the Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Midtown at USC. Speakers included:

  • Edward L. Deci PhD, Professor of Psychology and Gowen Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Rochester
  • Judith Hibbard DrPH, Professor Emerita and Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research and Innovation at the University of Oregon
  • Wendy Wood PhD, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California

and featured the 2016 Wilma West Lecturer

  • Mary Vining Radomski PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Clinical Scientist at Sister Kenny Research Center (Minneapolis)

Visit our Photo Gallery covering the day’s activities, and bookmark this page for future information about the 26th USC Occupational Science Symposium!

About the USC Occupational Science Symposium

The USC Occupational Science Symposium is the USC Chan Division’s premier academic event at which scholars, leaders and practitioners from various health, medical and social science professions and disciplines gather to enhance the scholarship of the occupational science. Established at the University of Southern California in 1988 as a forum to disseminate and celebrate the then-emerging academic discipline of occupational science, the Symposium is the Chan Division’s longest-running academic event.

Notable past speakers at the USC Occupational Science Symposium include former USC and National Football League quarterback, author and advocate for persons with autism spectrum disorders Rodney Peete, primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, and neuroscientist and scientific philosopher Antonio Damasio.

Wilma West Lecture

At the USC Occupational Science Symposium, the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy recognizes a scholar’s distinguished contributions to occupational therapy and occupational science with the Wilma West Lecture Award.

Wilma West MA ’48 was an undisputed leader in the profession of occupational therapy. During the Second World War she held the senior rank of Major in the Army Medical Specialist Corps. In 1948 at USC she became the first person in the country to receive a graduate degree focused on occupational therapy, with her thesis entitled “A Proposed Kinesiology Syllabus for Occupational Therapy Based on an Analysis of Requirements of the Profession.” After graduating from USC, she became the first occupational therapist to be executive director of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in 1948 and held the position until 1951. From 1961 to 1964 she served as AOTA President. In 1967, she received the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship, AOTA’s highest academic award, and delivered her lecture entitled “Professional Responsibility in Times of Change.” She was a founder of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and its President from 1972 to 1982.

The Wilma L. West Library, the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s (AOTF) extensive collection of resources including monographs, journals, dissertations, theses, conference proceedings and multimedia, is named in her honor. The AOTA and AOTF Presidents’ Commendation in Honor of Wilma L. West, established jointly by the organizations’ governing boards, is a rarefied award named in her honor given to respected leaders of the profession who have made sustained lifetime contributions to the profession.

Previous Symposia

XXIV. Sensory Integration at the Crossroads: Diverse Perspectives in Occupational Therapy Research
  November 7, 2013
  Wilma West Lecturer: Ellen S. Cohn

XXIII. Autism in Everyday Life: Interdisciplinary Research Perspectives at USC
  March 9, 2012
  Keynote Speaker: Catherine Lord
  Wilma West Lecturer: Susan Knox

XXII. USC’s Science of Everyday Living: A Foundation for Ethical, Culturally Sensitive, & Evidence-Based Practice
  March 27, 2010
  Keynote Speaker: William Morgan
  Wilma West Lecturer: Sharon Cermak

XXI. The Intersection of Self and Context: The Changing Landscape of Rehabilitation Science
  March 27, 2009
  Keynote Speaker: Jin-Shen Lai
  Wilma West Lecturer: Lena Borrell

XX. Autism in Everyday Life: An Interdisciplinary Venture
  March 7, 2008
  Keynote Speaker: Sally J. Rogers
  Wilma West Lecturer: Grace Baranek

XIX. Health and Wellness: Interdisciplinary and Global Connections
  March 29 and March 30, 2007
  Keynote Speaker: Carol Ryff
  Wilma West Lecturer: Hans Jonsson

XVIII. Intersecting Interests in Health Care: Occupational Science and Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  March 3, 2006
  Keynote Speaker: Carolee Winstein
  Wilma West Lecturer: Linda Tickle-Degnan

XVII. The Brain, Emotion, and Occupation
  February 18, 2005
  Keynote Speaker: Antonio Damasio
  Wilma West Lecturer: Ruth Zemke

XVI. Creating an Academic Discipline that Supports Practice
  January 16, 2004
  Keynote Speaker: Andrew Abbott
  Wilma West Lecturer: Zoe Mailloux

XV. The Spheres of Rehabilitation: Body, Mind, and Social Structures
  January 17, 2003
  Keynote Speaker: Margaret G. Stineman
  Wilma West Lecturer: Betty R. Hasselkus

XIV. Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy: The Making of Community
  January 26, 2002
  Keynote Speaker: Charlene Haddock Seigfried
  Wilma West Lecturer: Mary Law

XIII. The Biological Basis of Occupation
  October 26 and October 27, 2000
  Keynote Speaker: Ann Neville-Jan
  Wilma West Lecturer: Lela Llorens

XII. The Engaged Self
  September 30 and October 1, 1999
  Keynote Speaker: Eliot Mishler
  Wilma West Lecturer: David Nelson

XI. Play: Occupations for a Lifetime
  March 20, 1998
  Keynote Speaker: Brian Sutton-Smith
  Wilma West Lecturer: Anita Bundy

X. Narrative and Identity
  March 21, 1997
  Keynote Speaker: Jerome Bruner
  Wilma West Lecturer: James Papai

IX. Occupation in the Everyday Lives of Children
  April 12, 1996
  Keynote Speaker: Wendy Coster
  Wilma West Lecturer: Elizabeth J. Yerxa

VIII. Toward a Philosophy of Occupation
  March 31, 1995
  Keynote Speaker: Stephen E. Toulmin
  Wilma West Lecturer: Ann Wilcock

VII. Promoting Children’s Well-Being: Occupational Science and Health Care Policy
  April 5, 1994
  Keynote Speaker: Thomas Weisner
  Wilma West Lecturer: Mary Foto

VI. Narrative and Action
  April 14, 1993
  Keynote Speaker: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  Wilma West Lecturer: Lela Llorens

V. The Links Between Occupation Science and Occupational Therapy: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
  September 25, 1992
  Keynote Speaker: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  Wilma West Lecturer: Charles Christiansen

IV. The Human as an Occupational Being: The Link Between Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
  June 22 and June 23, 1991
  Keynote Speaker: Mary Catherine Bateson
  Wilma West Lecturer: Linda Florey

III. Ecology and Occupation
  June 4, 1990
  Keynote Speaker: Stephen Hawking
  Wilma West Lecturer: Anne Henderson

II. Co-Occupations of Infants and Mothers
  April 28, 1989
  Keynote Speaker: Jane Goodall
  Wilma West Lecturer: Janice Burke

I. Perspectives on Early Intervention and Adolescent Transitions
  May 19 and May 20, 1988
  Keynote Speaker: Florence Clark
  Wilma West Lecturer: Nedra P. Gillette