Meet the OTD November 2020 Student of the Month: Haley Lyda

Haley Lyda

Student of the Month Spotlight:  November 2020


Meet Haley Lyda!  Haley is a second year OTD student who is actively involved with campus life at the University. She serves as a peer adviser to first year occupational therapy students and served as a student representative on the University’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Committee. Haley has also been a resident adviser in the University’s Residence Life since 2017, and helps to train new advisers. Haley is recognized by her peers for having a can-do attitude who is willing to drop everything to help a classmate or friend in need. She is a Western New England University Class of 2018 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Health Sciences. Haley was nominated for Student of the Month by pharmacy student Kate Armstrong. 

Interview with Haley:

Why did you choose Western New England University?

I received a brochure from Western New England University in 2014 and decided to tour the campus. Immediately, I felt very comfortable and quickly appreciated the warm atmosphere that surrounded while I visited. I made the decision to move here and complete my college education. At that time, I wanted to pursue pharmacy with a few contingency plans in place. I ended up deciding on the contingency plan to study Occupational Therapy when I was a sophomore at WNE. Luckily or a wonderful coincidence, WNE was starting an OTD program here and I was intrigued! I changed gears a bit to meet the prerequisites for this program and was accepted in May of 2019.

Please share your thoughts about the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at Western New England University.

I think that faculty and staff are absolutely amazing. I feel supported in everything and anything I do. This program has opened up a variety of opportunities for students which it is greatly appreciated. The program challenges me, but inspires me to be the best occupational therapist I can be based on my education and experiences. 

What are your current career aspirations?

I have an interest in neurology occupational therapy in the Intensive Care or Acute Care settings. However, if I could incorporate occupational therapy into sleep medicine, my dreams would become a reality!

What advice would you provide to a student considering occupational therapy for a career?

Have an open-mind and you'll find your passion. You're still a student, which means your job is to learn. There are a number of different career pathways within occupational therapy; take this time to explore and experience the profession with the help of your classmates, faculty, and staff.

Statement from Haley’s Faculty Advisor – Dr. Brittany Adams

“I have had the pleasure of getting to know Haley as her academic advisor and as her Doctoral Experiential Project Faculty Mentor. I know Haley to be a student passionate about the field of occupational therapy who is able to maintain good standing in our program while keeping up with her many activities inside and outside of the OTD program. Haley is a well-rounded student who is a strong asset to the OTD program and to the WNE community! I look forward to all that Haley will accomplish during her remaining time in the program, and in her future career as an occupational therapist. She is surely deserving of the COPHS Student of the Month Award!”

Learn more about the opportunities available to our students by visiting our student organizations page here