Tracy Young has been selected for the inaugural Professional Instructor Teaching Excellence Award. While working as is a part-time instructor for the occupational therapy program at the WMU Grand Rapids regional location, Young also works full-time as an early intervention OT specialist for Lowell Public Schools. It was in that capacity that she first worked with Grand Rapids OT and proved to be an excellent and creative supervisor for students’ level 1 fieldwork experiences. She then went on to be a classroom instructor; to help develop and lead a clinic group for homeless adult men, women and children residing at Mel Trotter Ministries; and to initiate an interdisciplinary clinic with the speech-language pathology graduate program at Calvin College.
Young approached each of these educational experiences with creativity, innovation, collaboration and an interdisciplinary vision. Students comment that Young comes to class early and stays late to ensure that they understand class content. They also praise Tracy’s supervisory style in the clinical environment and her ease in demonstrating her own clinical skills with patients and family members. She is clearly passionate about OT and serving children with special needs.
According to one nominator, “Tracy is a model for excellence, and we value her contributions greatly as do all the students who have the good fortune to learn from her. She creates transformative learning outcomes.” Another wrote, “Tracy’s level of commitment to her two professions of therapist and teacher challenge her to think outside of traditional student placements. We have all benefited from Tracy’s willingness to seek creative collaboration.”
Young has added to the pediatric content of the OT program’s curriculum and developed lasting, beneficial relationships with community partners. In her dedication to the program and student learning, she has gone above and beyond as an instructor, field work supervisor, mentor, patient advocate and professional.