Welcome to Pi Theta Epsilon!

Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) is a specialized honor society for occupational therapy students and alumni. Its mission is to promote research and scholarship among occupational therapy students. PTE recognizes and encourages superior scholarship among students enrolled in accredited educational programs across the United States.


The mission of Pi Theta Epsilon is to support the practice of occupational sciences and the practice of authentic occupational therapy by promoting research, leadership, and scholarly activities by its members. In this way, the organization serves not only the profession, but helps to ensure quality healthcare services for the general public.


The purposes of Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), as stated in the society's constitution, are to:

  • Recognize and encourage scholastic excellence of occupational therapy students
  • Contribute to the advancement of the field of occupational therapy through scholarly activities, such as research development, continuing education, and information exchange between student and alumni members; and
  • Provide a vehicle for students enrolled in accredited programs in occupational therapy to exchange information and to collaborate regarding scholarly activities.


  • Stimulate, recognize, and reward clinical practice that demonstrates the principles of authentic occupational therapy; and
  • Stimulate, recognize and reward educational systems that support excellence in scholarship, research, and critical thinking (related to authentic OT) in its students and faculty.

For example, we want to support educational systems which prepare students to:

  • Become practitioners of authentic occupational therapy;
  • Endeavor to conduct research;
  • Strive to attain the ideals of PTE; and
  • Stimulate research through a program of awards and mentorship. 


Pi Theta Epsilon began at the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 1958.  In 1987, the American Student Committee of the Occupational Therapy Association (ASCOTA), now the Association of Student Delegates (ASD), surveyed existing chapters about standards to establish and maintain a national honor society. In 1988, the Board of Directors of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation agreed to provide sponsorship and assistance in achieving recognition as a national honor society.  An advisory committee was established and an operating budget was provided to support Pi Theta Epsilon activities through 1994. Work was undertaken to increase the number of chapters, register a logo, and become recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS). By March 1995, there were 43 operational chapters in the United States.  In 2008, the AOTF Bylaws were amended to include the PTE president as a voting member of the Foundation Board of Directors. There are currently 120 active chapters. 

Pi Theta Epsilon is governed by a Constitution that is upheld by elected officers who constitute a national executive committee. The annual meeting of chapter delegates is held at the AOTA Annual Conference.

Become a Partner or Sponsor

By partnering with PTE, you'll support the practice of occupational sciences and the practice of authentic occupational therapy by promoting research, leadership, and scholarly activities by its members.

Contact pte@aota.org for more information.

PTE: Officers

PTE President Pooja A. Patel, DrOT, OTR/L

PTE President Pooja A. Patel, DrOT, OTR/L
Term: 2017-2022

Dr. Patel is an acute care occupational therapist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois serving a mostly geriatric population. She graduated from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May 2017. After graduating, she spent a year as a traveling OT, gaining experiences in acute care and acute inpatient rehab. Her primary areas of interest are research, academia, program development, and entrepreneurship to further the profession of occupational therapy with respect and dignity. Pooja is a strong presenter with consistent state- and national-level poster presentations, formal and informal board meetings, and student mentorship. By holding this office, she believes she will fulfill her desire to work towards her vision of occupational therapy being recognized, understood, and respected as are its allied healthcare counterparts. Outside of the OT world, Pooja serves as a lead curriculum developer on a team developing a health education program for a nonprofit organization serving under-served youths in India. As PTE president, Pooja also serves as the PTE representative on the AOTF Board of Trustees.

PTE Vice President Richard Whalley

PTE Vice President Richard Whalley
Term: 2018-2020

Richard Whalley is an OTD student at Washington University in St. Louis and will graduate in 2019. Originally from Long Island, New York, he completed his BS in human development with a minor in sociology at Binghamton University in 2011. While an undergraduate, Rich spent two months as the lone American on an international team working in the West Bank to build sustainable programming for the Jahalin Bedouin children of Khan Al-Ahmar. Following his undergraduate degree, his first career was in clinical research working with OTs on the clinical trials of the implantable miniature telescope for end stage age-related macular degeneration. This experience with OTs ultimately led him to pursue the profession. Rich's primary practice and research interests include student-run clinics and their role in underserved populations, hand therapy, and the low vision population. He is active as the Conference Committee chair for the Xi Chapter of PTE, and has held past committee chair positions for the OT student association at Wash U. He believes serving PTE in this capacity will allow him to promote OT research and scholarship, and develop community across PTE chapters and its members.

PTE Secretary Lauren McClung

PTE Secretary Lauren McClung
Term: 2020-2022

Lauren McClung graduated from Creighton University with her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy in May 2020. At Creighton, Lauren served as the Alpha Iota chapter president, where she promoted scholarship and research with Alpha Iota chapter alumni to present to current members. Currently, Lauren works in an outpatient pediatric clinic. She has strong interests in Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism. In the community, Lauren continues to advocate and educate community partners on Sensory Processing Disorder. As secretary, Lauren hopes to increase communication and engagement with all members on a national level. She also hopes to increase engagement with Pi Theta alumni and promote innovative research. Lauren is looking forward to collaborating with the national board and current members to increase scholarship in the occupational therapy field.

PTE Treasurer Sean Brim, MOT

PTE Treasurer Sean Brim, MOT
Term: 2016-2020

Sean Brim graduated from Florida International University (FIU) in 2015 where he was the president of the Mu chapter. Sean led the chapter's expansion of scholarly activities and participation in the AOTF St. Catherine Challenge. Sean was also involved in the Student Occupational Therapy Association and was the first delegate FIU sent to the Assembly of Student Delegates. Currently, Sean is working on his post-professional doctorate at Eastern Kentucky University. During Sean’s first term he worked to ensure many new lifetime membership benefits such as the free webinars offered by OT.com, and new scholarships. Currently, Sean is a full-time pediatric therapist and works part-time in an orthopedic setting. As treasurer, Sean aims to facilitate better communication about upcoming fundraising events to PTE students and increase lifetime memberships.