Virginia Scardina Award of Excellence

Established in 2004


To provide annually an award and honorarium for an occupational therapy clinician who demonstrates a commitment to evidence-based practice through participation in research that advances theory in the area of brain-behavior relationships and/or sensory processing disorders. The award is given in honor of Virginia Scardina, known as "Ginny", whose application of theory to practice was of great significance to the profession of occupational therapy. Ginny epitomized the master clinician in her use of the art of therapy. She infused enthusiasm, passion, and spirit in her interactions and facilitated growth in all of her clients, children and adults alike. Through a well-planned training program, she mentored hundreds of therapists from all over the world.


  • Be initially certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, formerly the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board.
  • Current members of the AOTF Board of Trustees are not eligible.

Nomination Procedures

Individual AOTA members or a group of members are eligible to submit nominations.

Open date for 2025 nominations: June 17, 2024.

Please Include:

  • Nomination form completed by the candidate and a letter of nomination from nominating individual or group if candidate is not self-nominating. Download the form here.
  • One-page summary of career.
  • Two (2) letters of support.
  • A description of 250 words or less detailing the proposed use of honorarium to further the understanding of sensory integration and brain-behavior relationships as related to occupational therapy. The candidate must submit this description.
    Examples of possible uses of the honorarium are: development of a workshop, writing a grant, collecting and analyzing data, attending a workshop or conference, buying books or partial tuition support for furthering education in the field of brain-behavior relationships.
  • Current curriculum vitae of candidate, which must include a list of contributions such as outstanding clinical expertise, presentations, seminars, symposia, workshops, scientific papers, awards and honors, and/or publications.
  • No more than five (5) reprints of publications pertinent to the award published in peer-reviewed journals, if applicable.
  • A recent photograph of candidate (hi-resolution 300 dpi or greater .jpg).
  • A short paragraph of no more than 100 words citing the candidate's contributions to be used for public dissemination.
  • Candidates nominated, but not selected, may be re-nominated in succeeding years.

Criteria for Selection

  • Relevance of the proposed use of the honorarium.
  • Benefit to the profession of the proposed use of the honorarium.
  • Extent and quality of previous contributions.
  • Sphere of influence which may include areas outside occupational therapy, such as community service, public schools, etc.
  • Recognition by others, which may include recognition outside the field of occupational therapy.


Contact AOTF Awards Program Manager.

Virginia Scardina Award of Excellence Recipients


Shelly J. Lane, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Professor & Academic Program Director, Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO


Erna Imperatore Blanche, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Clinical Professor of Occupational Therapy, Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California


Anita Bundy, ScD, OT/L, FAOTA, FOTARA Colorado State University Ft. Collins, Colorado


Aimee Piller, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, Director of Clinical Service, Piller Child Development, LLC


Karla K. Ausderau, PhD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin – Madison


Rondalyn Varney Whitney, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Heather Miller-Kuhaneck, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Tara J. Glennon, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Diana A. Henry, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA


Deborah Whitcomb, PhD, MBA, OTR/L


Sarah A. Schoen, PhD,OTR/L, FAOTA 


Julia L. Wilbarger, PhD, OTR


Teresa May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L


Zoe Mailloux, MA, OTR, FAOTA


 Joan Dostal, OTR/L


Jane Koomar, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Susanne Smith Roley, MS, OTR/L