Research Article  |   December 2014
Maralynne Mitcham: Educator, Mentor, and Innovator
Author Affiliations
  • Nancy Carson, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, and Assistant Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; carsonn@musc.edu
  • Patty Coker-Bolt, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Multidisciplinary Practice / In Memoriam
Research Article   |   December 2014
Maralynne Mitcham: Educator, Mentor, and Innovator
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2014, Vol. 69, 6901080010p1-6901080010p4. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.691003
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2014, Vol. 69, 6901080010p1-6901080010p4. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.691003
Throughout her career, Maralynne Mitcham was a pioneer who worked tirelessly to advance the profession of occupational therapy through her contributions to education. She had a great capacity to think conceptually and creatively. “Doing thinking,” as she would call it, was another hallmark of her career. No matter the challenge, she always saw the big picture first, and then she ascertained how to collaborate, connect, and marshal needed resources.
In her role as an academician and educational leader, Maralynne was an early adopter of new ideas and sought to create a sense of community and inclusion in which all were welcome to participate. Time and time again, she pioneered educational innovation, led the way for others, and brought about lasting change in our profession. “Education as Engine” (Mitcham, 2014) was the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture she delivered at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA’s) Annual Conference & Expo in Baltimore in 2014. The metaphor of a train engine leading education into the future fittingly describes her influence on the profession as a visionary in occupational therapy education. Her work inspired hundreds of faculty members to harness the power of community–campus partnerships and interprofessional collaboration to enhance the education of future occupational therapists.
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