New ACOTE Members and Officers

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The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is pleased to announce the results of a recent election for ACOTE Chairperson. In August 2023, ACOTE elected Lynn Kilburg, DHSc, MBA, OTR/L, to a second term as Chairperson of ACOTE (2024-2027). Dr. Kilburg has been a member of ACOTE since 2016 and served as the ACOTE Treasurer and on the Roster of Accreditation Evaluators prior to joining ACOTE. She was elected to her first term as Chairperson in August 2021.

Sarah Nielsen, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, was selected to serve as the new Vice-Chairperson of ACOTE. Dr. Nielsen is a Professor and Chair of the occupational therapy program at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

ACOTE also welcomes seven new ACOTE members who recently began their ACOTE terms. They will be replacing the positions held by the following members who fulfilled their terms after many dedicated years of service: Velvet Hewett, MPA, OT/L; Alex Jawharjian, PharmD, MPH, MBA (Public Member); Vanna Lombardi, DHA, MHA, OTR/L; Kelli Ott, OTD, OTR/L (Vice Chairperson); Debra Ouellete, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, BCPR; and Sheri Purdy, OTR/L, CLT, CCM.

ACOTE extends a warm welcome to the following new members:

    • Cynthia Renee Ballentine, MSOT, OTR/L
      St. Louis Community College at Forest Park – St. Louis, MO

      • Andrea Christner, OTD, OTR/L
        Cognitive Health Solutions, LLC – Hanover, PA

        • Kari DeFreest, OTD, OTR/L, CHT
          Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium – Juneau, AK

          • Kimberly Ganzevoort, COTAL, CBIS
            Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo, MI

            • Laura Green, MOT, OTR/L
              Kirkwood Community College – Hiawatha, IA

              • Elaine Molaison, PhD, RD (Public Member)
                Auburn University – Auburn, AL

                • Crystal Stephens, OTR/L, BCP
                  AdventHealth – Orlando, FL

                A complete list of ACOTE members may be found on the Members section of ACOTE’s web site (