The Occupational Therapy Department at the University of Arkansas recently awarded professor Ananda Rosa the Fran Hagstrom Collaborative Leadership Award.
The award was established in 2018 as a way to honor Hagstrom, a long-time professor in the College of Education and Health Professions who helped develop the occupational therapy doctoral program. Hagstrom was instrumental in coordinating efforts with the U of A and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to develop the first joint program between the two institutions.
The award is given to an individual who demonstrates “exemplary commitment to furthering the success and evolution of the occupational therapy department through strategic alliance and interdisciplinary partnerships.”
Rosa, a clinical assistant professor in the U of A School of Social Work, helped the department’s admissions team through its first two student application cycles. She facilitated numerous face-to-face and virtual student interviews and provided critical feedback to help the department choose a limited number of students to be accepted into the program.
“In the process of facilitating these individual and group interactions, Ananda has also provided a much-needed dose of levity to an otherwise stressful time for both the applicants and the other members of the admissions team,” the award states.
Rosa also recently served on the search committee for the occupational therapy department’s Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. As the field education program director for the School of Social Work, Rosa was able to offer guidance by identifying committee priorities and developing interview questions that helped select a new faculty member.
“I was very honored to receive this award. And receiving it via Zoom was really great because it allowed me to literally have a snapshot of everyone,” Rosa said. “I was looking at the OT Department on the screen and was struck by how unique and special it is to have a friendship and camaraderie with an entire department outside of the School of Social Work.
“This was all made possible by the invitations to collaborate, which felt like an honor every time.”
Rosa said the collaboration gave her some great ideas to take back to the social work program.
“Also, it was really special to have Dr. Fran Hagstrom present the award since it was created in her name and as a woman in academia, she is one of the individuals who has helped pave the way for the rest of us,” Rosa said. “I am thrilled and very grateful for the whole experience.”
Rosa noted that the School of Social Work’s chair, Kim Stauss, and its director, Alishia Ferguson, further served to bridge the two schools.
Rose said she hopes to partner down the line with Maria Ball, the new occupational therapy fieldwork coordinator, to secure a field placement for social work and OT doctoral students to work together.
“Supporting each other within and across units is so critical to our work here at the university because our best efforts are always rooted in meaningful relationships,” said Mark Koch, assistant professor in the OT department. “Ananda’s generosity, stewardship, and friendship has enabled us to build stronger connections with our students and colleagues.”