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Inaugural class of MSOT students at St. Bonaventure lauded at Pinning Ceremony

Dec 16, 2022

St. Bonaventure University’s first cohort of occupational therapy students were recognized during a Pinning Ceremony Thursday, Dec. 15, as they prepare for their final steps in the program.

St. Bonaventure's Dr. Doug Pisano addresses OT studentsThis inaugural class seeking a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy (MSOT) at St. Bonaventure will graduate in the summer of 2023.

The Pinning Ceremony gave MSOT faculty an opportunity to honor and congratulate the students, who have completed a major program milestone – 17 months of didactic course work. The students now head out to complete fieldwork during the final six months of the program.

“This pinning ceremony marks the end of your hard work and dedication to your coursework, and the beginning of your journey into Level II Fieldwork as a final pathway to becoming certified and licensed occupational therapy practitioners,” Dr. Joseph Pellerito Jr., founding director of the occupational therapy program, told students during the ceremony. “You have not only completed a rigorous and challenging program of coursework, but you have also embraced the values and mission of St. Bonaventure University.”

In addition to receiving an occupational therapy pin, the students recited the occupational therapy pledge, affirming their commitment to the values and principles of the profession.

“The road ahead will be filled with challenges and obstacles, but I have no doubt that each and every one of you has the strength and determination to overcome them. As occupational therapists, you are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and, most importantly, compassion necessary to make a real difference in the world,” added Pellerito.

OT pinning ceremonyAdditional speakers at the Pinning Ceremony included Dr. Joe Zimmer, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Doug Pisano, founding dean of the School of Health Professions. Two occupational therapy students, Joshua Johansen and Katherine Carbajo, addressed their classmates. Special recognition was given to seven students who have volunteered their time to assist and promote the MSOT program as ambassadors.

Thursday’s celebration also included music by the Les Sabina Trio and tours of Francis Hall, home of the Dennis R. DePerro School of Health Professions.

Many of the OT students will be returning to their home states to complete their fieldwork, which is split into two three-month experiences in two locations, usually a combination of a medical model and a community-based experience such as a mental health setting or a school.

“Some places do a lottery; we don’t do that. We work collaboratively with our students to identify the best placement possible for them. It’s a collaborative process between the student and academic field coordinator,” said Pellerito.

For more information about the MSOT program at St. Bonaventure, visit


About the University:
The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.