Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

National recognition for Student Wellness Services staff member

Occupational Therapist Tess Shepherd receives 2022 Fieldwork Educator Award for supporting practicum students.

Occupational Therapist Tess Shepherd
Occupational Therapist Tess Shepherd 

Each year, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) honours excellence among its members across the country. This year, the 2022 Fieldwork Educator Award of Excellence recipient is Tess Shepherd (ArtSci‘14), who works as an Occupational Therapist at Queen’s Student Wellness Services (SWS).

Universities nominate one preceptor for this award each year to acknowledge excellence in clinical teaching, student mentorship, and inspirational leadership in professional practice.

Shepherd completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, majoring in psychology. She then continued her education at the University of Toronto, completing a Master’s in Occupational Therapy. She joined SWS in 2016 and works with students one on one, providing a safe and supportive learning environment for occupational therapy students on placement to help them expand their clinical skills.

“Tess is an extremely valuable member of the SWS team,” says Cynthia Gibney, Executive Director of Student Wellness Services. “Her compassion for students and easy collegiality makes her highly regarded by staff and students alike. Tess is diligent, conscientious, and driven to do the best she can with each individual she meets, which makes her a good recipient of this award. All of SWS is very proud of Tess’s accomplishments.”

As an occupational therapist, Shepherd works with patients referred by colleagues in medical, mental health and accessibility services at SWS, and collaborates with faculty members and staff across campus to help meet student needs. Shepherd, along with other occupational Therapists at SWS, supports students with injuries, illness, disabilities, and extenuating circumstances who are experiencing challenges fully participating in life on campus.

“I feel honoured to have been selected for the CAOT Fieldwork Educator Award of Excellence for Queen’s,” Shepherd says. “It is a privilege to be able to support the learning of future occupational therapists. This placement opportunity has allowed my students to develop their skills with the support of our interdisciplinary team while also positively contributing to the care of our clients. Being a Fieldwork Educator is a small way that I can contribute to the growth of this incredible profession.”

Visit the CAOT website for more information about the organization and the annual awards program. Learn more about occupational therapy services at SWS.