Graduate Student in Occupational Therapy Receives Benjamin Franklin Lever Fellowship

Kylie Hayes
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Kylie Hayes

Kylie Hayes, a first-year graduate student in the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program, has been awarded the Benjamin Franklin Lever Tuition Fellowship.

This highly competitive award is given to qualified students who reflect the university's commitment to academics and diversity.

Hayes has known from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare field. As a high school and college athlete, she sustained injuries that required multiple visits to both physical and occupational therapy.

"It was through those experiences as a patient that I came to appreciate the vital role of OT in a person's recovery," she said. "I am very grateful for the Benjamin Franklin Lever Fellowship because it will allow me to confidently pursue my aspirations of becoming a doctor of occupational therapy."

Hayes plans to work with people from underrepresented populations "to provide treatment and resources that they would not normally have access to that would help them overcome barriers and improve their quality of life."

The doctoral program is a joint offering between the College of Education and Health Professions at the U of A and the College of Health Professions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and UAMS's Northwest campus in Fayetteville.

"From the OTD Program's inception, we have dedicated ourselves to creating an inclusive learning environment that promotes creativity and innovation — and that will prepare our students to meet the health and occupation-related needs of underserved and underrepresented people, groups, and communities," said Sherry Muir, program director. "We are thrilled the fellowship selection committee recognizes the same potential in Kylie that we do.

"Receiving this competitive and prestigious fellowship award will enable Kylie to leverage her considerable talents and gifts to become an advocate and change agent for occupational therapy."


Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions


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