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Faculty Spotlight on Kathy Swoboda

Spotlight on: Kathy Swoboda

Kent State University's professors instill a commitment to excellence in research and teaching. In addition, Kent State professors, including Kathy Swoboda inspire student to learn more about their discipline.  Swoboda, an instructor in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology (OTAT) program, imparts passion for learning in her students.

Swoboda was awarded a grant from the Professional Development Excellence Pool to become Sensory Integrative and Praxis Certified. The certifications will allow Swoboda to further her knowledge of  how to apply sensory integration principles in multiple settings to treat various problems, including learning and behavior disorders, attention deficits, autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and developmental delays. 

"This will be a valuable tool within the classroom," Swoboda said. "With the explosion of autism; our future Occupational Therapy Assistants need to have a rounded understanding of Sensory Integration and the dysfunctions that these children face."

Harriet Bynum, Director of the OTAT program holds the highest regards for Kathy's commitment to her students. "She is extremely dedicated and passionate about teaching," Bynum said. "Not only does she provide her students with the knowledge and skills they will need upon graduation, but she becomes a mentor to them, someone they know they can count on."

IMAGE: Kathy Swoboda, John & Sarah Miller
Sarah Miller, one of Swoboda's students, experienced her kindness first hand. Miller's husband was a few weeks from deployment to Afghanistan when Swoboda and the rest of Miller's classmates threw a surprise luncheon for the couple. "It was such a wonderful and unexpected surprise," Miller said. "Professor Swoboda and
my classmates are like family to me."

During Miller's last semester, Swoboda would write her encouraging notes to help ease the pain and the worry she was going through since her husband's deployment.  "Sarah was special because she was my student," Swoboda said.
"I take great pride in each student I put out into the field."

As a thank you, Miller's husband, John arranged for the US flag to be flown over his troop in a Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan in Swoboda's honor.  Swoboda was presented the framed flag by Sarah and John at dinner the night before graduation.
"I will never, in all of my days receive a more beautiful gift," Swoboda said.

Each year more than 25 students graduate from Kent State University East Liverpool's Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology program. For more information on the OTAT program or any one of our 25 degrees offered between the East Liverpool and Salem campuses visit us online at or by calling 1-877-KENT-EDU.

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