NCOTA Annual Awards


Each year, the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association (NCOTA) recognizes and honors colleagues who have made significant contributions to the profession of occupational therapy. Be a part of the process by nominating a colleague, mentor, or educator for one of NCOTA’s prestigious awards.

You may submit nominations for awards for the year from January 1st -September 23rd . Applications will not be reviewed after September 23rd of the year to allow time for the Awards committee to review all applications and communicate results to nominators and award recipients. Award recipients must be NCOTA members in good standing.

Nomination forms can be found here.  Nominations can also be sent to [email protected].

Award descriptions are below for reference:

  • Innovation Award: Recognizes an occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant for demonstration of innovative leadership and serving as a change agent for the occupational therapy profession.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award: Recognizes a member of NCOTA who has shown great dedication to diversity and inclusion efforts within the OT profession.
  • Award for Outstanding Practice: Recognizes an individual for practice excellence in Physical Disabilities, Administration, Pediatrics, Home Health, Gerontology, Mental Health, Clinical Education (both academic and nonacademic), Community Service, Developmental Disabilities, Research, and Technology. This award is competitive within the area of practice recognized.
  • Student Contribution Award of Excellence: Recognizes the significant contributions to the NCOTA given by a student member. A candidate should demonstrate leadership and excellence in academic and clinical performance. An award will be given to an Occupational Therapy student and Occupational Therapy Assistant student.
  • Emerging Leader: This award recognizes an occupational therapy practitioner (clinician, educator, or researcher) who has demonstrated emerging leadership and/or extraordinary service early in their occupational therapy career and whose efforts and leadership skills have contributed to moving the profession forward.
  • Award of Appreciation: Expresses the appreciation of the NCOTA for significant contributions to the advancement of occupational therapy in North Carolina during the preceding year. Nominees may be individuals or groups. This award is open to non-members (non-OT/OTA) and to members. This award is noncompetitive.
  • Award of Advocacy: Recognizes an individual for demonstrating leadership through advocacy pursuits, taking an active role in the legislative process, and going above and beyond to enhance the profession of occupational therapy.
  • Janice O’Conner Alvarez Clinical Fieldwork Education Award: Recognizes an outstanding clinical fieldwork educator or clinical fieldwork coordinator/ supervisor. This award may be presented to one individual yearly.
  • OTA Award: Recognizes outstanding achievement in the practice of occupational therapy and NCOTA. This award is presented to an individual once and is not necessarily awarded each year.
  • Suzanne C. Scullin Award: This is the ultimate award for a broad scope of contributions to the practice of occupational therapy and NCOTA. This award is presented to an individual only once and is not necessarily awarded each year. The Suzanne C. Scullin Memorial Award is the highest award presented by the NCOTA. The award is designated to recognize an individual who has made a wide range of contributions to the practice of occupational therapy and to the NCOTA. Suzanne Chase Scullin, in whose memory the award was established, was born in 1945 in Columbus, Ohio. Suzanne went to OT school at the Ohio State University and her first job was as a psychiatric occupational therapist at Upham Hall at the OSU Medical Center. In 1970, Suzanne began work at NC Memorial Hospital in the department of Psychiatric Occupational Therapy. She quickly established and demonstrated her excellent treatment skills and was an energetic contributor to program development. In 1974, she became interested in pediatric occupational therapy and was developing a very good outpatient program. Suzanne’s career was cut short by her death in an automobile accident in June 1976. She was survived by her husband and one child. It was her degree of professional integrity and sound clinical competence which is commended and perpetuated through recognition of our colleagues in Suzanne’s honor and memory. The Suzanne C. Scullin Memorial Award is presented to an individual only once and is awarded only when an individual is identified who meets the high standards and accomplishments the award recognizes. It is not necessarily awarded each year. Scullin awardees are announced and recognized at the NCOTA annual conference awards ceremony. They receive a plaque and also receive a life membership in NCOTA. The members who have received this award have all made broad and lasting contributions to occupational therapy and to the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association.