Mary Joyce Newsom is a well known individual in TWU’s occupational therapy community; the official TWU Houston website describes Newsom as an individual who made a difference through “her professional contributions and personal qualities” in the field of Occupational Therapy.
Newsome had such an impact on TWU and the field of occupational therapy that since 1982, TWU has been giving out the Mary Joyce Newsom award in hopes of honoring her and promoting student excellence at the TWU Houston Campus.
Newsom started out as a student at TWU where she earned her BS and MA degrees in occupational therapy, said Francie Baxter, current chairperson of the award ceremony. “She was an exemplary occupational therapist…[with] ability to see things in perspective, a genuine sense of humor, a commitment to finding better ways to do things, a commitment to the theoretical base of occupational therapy, and a genuine interest in and concern for people, adds Baxter.
The award is based on criteria that Newsom herself considered crucial in the role of an occupational therapist. According to the TWU website, those nominated for the award are occupational therapy students on the Houston campus in their last semester before fieldwork; nominations are submitted by their peers and instructors and are based on an individual scholarship, professional/community service, and personal characteristics which Mary Joyce Newsom herself embodied.”
The awards celebration will be held on April 25 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the Houston campus. The celebration will include the awarding of the Mary Joyce Newsom award, and a keynote speech by last years’ recipient. This event is free and open to the public.