2022 ILOTA Awards

Nominate Someone Today

The 2022 ILOTA Awards nomination process is now open! Click on the link above to begin the online nomination form. The nominations deadline is July 31, 2022.

Please review below for a complete list of the awards and past recipients. Awards noted below with an asterisk (*) are for ILOTA members only. The 2021 winners are listed below in bold. Congratulations to all of our past award winners and good luck to this year's nominees!

Before you begin to complete the online awards nomination form, please consider...

  • You may only select one award at a time to nominate someone. If you wish to nominate more than one person, please complete the first nomination form, submit it, and then begin a new nomination form.
  • You will be asked to copy-and-paste your letter of support, so please have that ready before you begin the form. Please be sure to address the requirements of the award in your letter of support. (Uploading a prepared letter as a Word or PDF document is not an option.)
  • If the award requires current ILOTA membership, you will have the opportunity to note whether the nominee is a member while completing the nomination form. And you may include the nominee's ILOTA membership number.

Honorary Lifetime Members*
Description of Honor: Shall have all the rights and privileges of the membership category for which they are qualified and shall pay no dues. (Nominations for 2022 Honorary Lifetime Members are reviewed by the ILOTA Executive Board and are included as an option in the nomination form above. More than one award may be issued in any given year.)

Past Honorary Lifetime Members:
  • Ruth Hadra, OTR
  • Beatrice Wade, OTR
  • Fred Sammons, OTR
  • Barbara Loomis, OTR
  • 2017 – Catherine Brady, OTR, Kathryn Melin Eberhardt, MAEd, COTA/L, ROH & Melanie Ellexson, OTR
  • 2019 – Mae Brandon, OTR & Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 2020 – Clem Carder, COTA/L, LMT, CKTI & Gail Fisher, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • 2021 - Elizabeth Cada, OTR/L
Award of Appreciation

Description of Award: Expresses appreciation to individuals who are not occupational therapy practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement of occupational therapy in Illinois. (More than one award may be issued in any given year.)

Past Award Recipients:
  • 1980 – Senator John D’Arco & Saul Morse
  • 1981 – Edward Lis, MD & Dianne Kolzow
  • 1984 – Charles Chevillon
  • 1990 – Paschal Panio, MD & Wendy Meltzer
  • 1992 – Subash Shah, MD
  • 1994 – Catherin Meyer, MD
  • 1995 – Janet Hogan
  • 1997 – Elizabeth Coulson
  • 1999 – Michelle Henderson
  • 2001 – Elizabeth Coulson
  • 2018 – Louis Fogg
  • 2021 - Maureen Mulhall
Award of Merit (Historian's Award)*

Description of Award: Honors a member of ILOTA whose actions have shaped the course of occupational therapy or contributed significantly to its growth and development in Illinois. (More than one award may be issued in any given year.)

Past Award Recipients:
  • 1980 – Beatrice Wade, OTR
  • 1982 – Marian Gilpin, OTR
  • 1983 – Margaret Hollowell, OTR
  • 1984 – Lynette Barnes, OTR
  • 1988 – Fred Sammons, OTR
  • 1989 – Eva McCormick, OTR
  • 1990 – Sarah Skinner, OTR
  • 2001 – Patrick Bloom, OTR
  • 2003 – Deanna Sava, OTR
  • 2006 – Christine Helfrich, PhD., OTR, FAOTA
  • 2010 – Elizabeth Wittbrodt, OTR
  • 2012 – Kim Bryze, OTD, OTR
  • 2013 – Ruth Bixby, OTR
  • 2014 – Mary Lou Ross, OTR
  • 2019 – Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 2020 – Linda Olson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • 2021 - Leslie Roundtree, DHS, MBA, OTR/L
Board Award of Merit*

Description of Award: Recognizes members of the ILOTA Board who have made outstanding contributions toward facilitating the board business. (More than one award may be issued in any given year.)

Past Award Recipients:
  • 1980 – Pamela Silverman – OTR
  • 1981 – Marilyn Karim, OTR
  • 1982 – Claudia Papke, OTR
  • 1983 – Carolyn Yoss, OTR
  • 1984 – Gail Fisher, OTR & Kathryn Melin Eberhardt, COTA
  • 1985 – Barbara Townsend, OTR
  • 1986 – Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 1987 – Debbie Walens, OTR
  • 1989 – Katie Chrystal-Piazzi, OTR & Carolyn Yoss, OTR
  • 1990 – Karen Gableson, OTR
  • 1991 – Clementine Carder, COTA
  • 1992 – Mary Andree Darnall, OTR & Elaine Novak, OTR
  • 1993 – Linda Moran, OTR
  • 1997 – Paula Jo Belice, OTR, Letty Sargant, OTR, & Ruth Ann Watkins, OTR
  • 1998 – Coralie Glantz, OTR
  • 2001 – Mae Brandon, OTR & Letty Sargant, OTR
  • 2006 – Laura Obara, OTR & Alma Tan Torres PhD, OTR
  • 2007 – Rachel Galant, OTR, Angelica Barraza, OTR, Veronica Llerena, OTS, Carrie Nutter, OTR, & Judith Abelenda, OTR
  • 2008 – Kathryn Melin Eberhardt, MAEd, COTA/L, ROH
  • 2009 – Monika Robinson, OTR
  • 2011 – Carolyn Calamia, OTR
  • 2014 – Peggy Nelson, OTR
  • 2019 – Lisa Mahaffey, OTR
  • 2021 - Janet Adcox, OTR/L, C/NDT, CSRS, CKTP; Lisa Iffland, OTR/L
OTA of the Year Award*

Description of Award: Recognizes the outstanding contributions of an occupational therapy assistant to the advancement of occupational therapy in Illinois.

Past Award Recipients:
  • 1980 – Maureen Massart-Reardon, COTA
  • 1981 – Kathleen Peter, COTA
  • 1982 – Robin Jones, COTA
  • 1983 – Betty Czekala, COTA & Kathleen Moylan, COTA
  • 1984 – Kathryn Melin Eberhardt, COTA
  • 1985 – Frances Lewis, COTA
  • 1986 – Cheryle Palahnuik, COTA
  • 1987 – Christine Casey, COTA
  • 1989 – Sue Lynn Hansen, COTA
  • 1990 – Peter Blazina, COTA
  • 1991 – Clementine Carder, COTA
  • 1992 – Patrica Heath, COTA
  • 1995 – Jennifer Young, COTA
  • 1997 – Michelle Zurisk, COTA
  • 1998 – Mary Jo Boehm, COTA
  • 1999 – Kate Parent, COTA
  • 2001 – Kim Packwood Navarro, COTA
  • 2004 – Mark Stojakovich, COTA
  • 2006 – Jeanne Rehr, BA COTA 
  • 2011 – Peggy Smutny, COTA
  • 2020 – Abigail Swidergal, COTA & Joni Kamstra, COTA
  • 2021 - Ray Cendejas, COTA/L
OT of the Year Award*

Description of Award: Recognizes the outstanding contributions of an occupational therapist to the advancement of occupational therapy in Illinois. 

Past Award Recipients:
  • 1980 – Lillian Parent, OTR
  • 1981 – Barbara Loomis, OTR
  • 1982 – Elizabeth Cada, OTR
  • 1983 – Norma Howat, OTR
  • 1984 – Shirley Esenther, OTR
  • 1985 – Beverly Myers, OTR
  • 1986 – Velma Reichenbach, OTR
  • 1987 – Cynthia Hughes, OTR
  • 1988 – Florence Goold, OTR
  • 1989 – Barbara Townsend, OTR
  • 1990 – Shari Intagliata, OTR
  • 1991 – Peggy Sabol, OTR
  • 1992 – Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 1993 – Batia Levy, OTR
  • 1995 – Kimberly Bryze, OTR & Elizabeth Wittbrodt, OTR
  • 1997 – Catherine Brady, OTR
  • 1998 – Coralie Glantz, OTR
  • 2003 – Cynthia Carr, OTR
  • 2006 – Mary Michaelsen, OTR
  • 2007 – Terry Giese, OTR
  • 2009 – Lisa Mahaffey, OTR
  • 2012 – Cheryl Huber Lee, OTR
  • 2013 – Bev Meyers, OTR
  • 2015 – Molly Bathje, OTR & Susanne Higgins, OTR
  • 2017 – Katharine Preissner, OTR
  • 2019 – Caren Schranz, OTR & Steven Taylor, OTR
  • 2020 – Kelsey Watters, OTR/L
  • 2021 - John Dudzik, DHS, OTR/L
Public Awareness Award

Description of Award: Recognizes members of ILOTA and non-members who have increased public awareness and understanding of occupational therapy through the media or in the political arena. (More than one award may be issued in any given year.)

Past Award Recipients:
  • 1980 – Barbara Loar, OTR
  • 1981 – Jeff Blackman & Mark Des Jardins
  • 1982 – K. B. Hudgens, OTR
  • 1983 – Licensure Committee: Beth Cada, Robin Jones, Jessica Presperin, Sue Cummins, and Norma Arras
  • 1985 – Terri Giese, OTR, Terrie Nolinske, OTR
  • 1987 – Mae Brandon, OTR
  • 1989 – Maggie Montejano, OTR
  • 1993 – Archives Committee
  • 1997 – Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 1998 – Katherine Burson, OTR
  • 1999 – Peggy McRoberts, OTR
  • 2000 – Barbara G. Fox, OTR
  • 2001 – Kim Marshall, OTR; Elizabeth Cada, OTR; Students: Erin Forbes, Sunny Harries, Kelly Keserich, Carolyn Krusinowski, Elaine Naranjo, Nathan Rieder, Renee Rossetti, & Cheryl Widstrand
  • 2002 – Deanie Loconte
  • 2003 – Clem Carder
  • 2007 – Laura Obara, OTR & Rhonda Schleis, OTR
  • 2010 – Nancy Daly
  • 2020 – Laura Van Pumbyrouck, PhD, OTR/L
  • 2021 - Claudia Cirrincione, OTD, OTR/L
OT Student Award (added in 2014)*

Description of Award: Recognizes an occupational therapy student who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in academic or clinical performance. 

Past Award Recipients:
  • 2014 – Justin Kaspryk (Midwestern University)
  • 2016 – Nadia Marasti (Midwestern University)
  • 2017 – Marlena Mosbacher (Rush University) & Ryan Walsh (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • 2019 – Morgan Stasell (Rush University)
  • 2021 - Rolando Jara (University of Illinois at Chicago)
OTA Student Award (added in 2014)*

To recognize an occupational therapy student who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in academic or clinical performance. 

Past Award Recipients:
  • 2019 – Krecia Sweeney (McHenry County College)