2024 Graduate and Professional Programs Commencement
May 4, 2024  |  9:30 a.m.
Daniel "Chappie" James Arena

Speaker: Lesly Wilson James, Ph.D.
 Chair of the Occupational Therapy Compact Commission

  • Chairperson, Occupational Therapy Compact Commission - State Appointed, Elected Chairperson.  A national interstate compact, or formal agreement among states, that facilitates interstate practice of occupational therapy.  Under the OT Compact, Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) who are licensed in good standing in a Compact member state may practice in other Compact member states via a “compact privilege,” which is equivalent to a license.  The OT Compact establishes a licensure data system allowing for instantaneous verification of licensure information.
  • Distinguished Fellow, National Academy of Practice - Occupational Therapy - National Academies of Practice is the alliance of professionals collaborating to transform health and well-being. Distinguished practitioners and scholars are elected by their peers from multiple different health professions to join the only interprofessional group of healthcare practitioners and scholars dedicated to supporting affordable, accessible, coordinated quality healthcare for all.
  • American Occupational Therapy Association Roster of Fellows - Roster of Fellows recognizes occupational therapists who through their knowledge, expertise, leadership, advocacy, and/or guidance have made a significant contribution over time to the profession with a measured impact on consumers of occupational therapy services and/or members of the Association.
  • Columbia Urban League 2023 Ethel M. Bolden Community Service Award - Award given to persons dedicated to improving quality of life for others.  Given for diversity, equity, and inclusion contributions in healthcare and higher education.
  • Chairperson, South Carolina Occupational Therapy Licensure Board - Governor Appointed, Senate Approved position.  Elected Chairperson.  The SC occupational therapy licensure board examines and issues licenses to qualified occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. The board regulates practice throughout the state; establishes continuing education requirements; investigates complaints involving therapists; and disciplines practitioners when necessary.
  • Faculty Scholar 2022 Award, Lenoir-Rhyne University - The Faculty Scholar Award is granted to recognize and encourage outstanding faculty scholarship.  This award is presented to the faculty member who has made the greatest contribution to his or her discipline in the spirit of academic inquiry during the previous year.
  • Associate Professor, Lenoir-Rhyne University (2021) - The first black faculty member in the occupational therapy department's 25-year history; the first black faculty member in the history of the College of Health Sciences; and the third black faculty member to obtain tenure in the 130 year history of the institution.


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