CFOT Awards

2023 Humanitarian Award


Laguna Beach Assistance League 

The California Foundation of Occupational Therapy (CFOT) honors individuals/ groups who, through their humanitarian activities, have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the philosophical principles of occupational therapy and to the mission and goals of CFOT. CFOT is pleased to present our 2023 Humanitarian Award to the Laguna Beach Assistance League for their significant humanitarian activities: funding Early Intervention Programs for developmentally delayed children and their parents, Senior Support services, and supporting a Therapeutic Riding Center. This League is an all-volunteer, 501© (3) nonprofit organization that puts caring and commitment into action through philanthropic programs and hands-on involvement. The Laguna Beach chapter, initially called Las Amigas, began in 1952 with 14 women who had a philanthropic vision, and was chartered in 1962, and became the 19th chapter of National Assistance League. They now have 160 member volunteers working to make Laguna Beach and surrounding communities better places to live and work. CFOT salutes you and is pleased to present you with our 2023 Humanitarian Award!

Lisa Deshaies, OTR/L, CHT

2023 Honored Lectureship


The CFOT Honored Lecturer Award recognizes California occupational therapy practitioners who have demonstrated leadership and promoted ideas and visions in occupational therapy for the profession, and a presentation gives them an opportunity to share their insights and knowledge with the OT community at the CFOT Awards Luncheon and Symposium.


Lisa Deshaies is a 1986 graduate of the University of New Hampshire who headed west to California with a plan to train and work at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center for a couple of years. 36 years later, she continues there as a Clinical Instructor for Outpatient OT Services. Lisa has specialized in complex fractures, burns, amputations, arthritis, and other upper limb orthopedic conditions, obtaining her Certified Hand Therapist credential in 1995. She has taught “Principles of Hand Therapy” as Adjunct Clinical Faculty for the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California for over 20 years. Lisa has published in OT and hand therapy textbooks and has presented locally and nationally on topics related to hand therapy and occupation-based care. Outside of work, she values her time spent at the beach, on the water, exploring a trail, traveling, and fanatically rooting for her beloved New England sports teams. 

2023 CFOT Meritorious Service Award - Not Awarded




  • Ajene White
    University of Southern California - PPD 


  • Ardith Breton Scholarship Kelly Liao
    University of Southern California - D 
  • Bonita Kraft Mental Health Scholarship Christine Villalobos
    University of Southern California - D 
  • Chuck Strauch Scholarship Daniel Chi
    Samuel Merritt - M 
  • Evelyn Jaffe Scholarship Skylar Trezona
    San Jose State University - M 
  • Frank J. Biehl Scholarship Tania Herrera
    University of Southern California - M 
  • Fred Sammons Scholarship Brianna Franks
    University of Southern California - D 
  • Janice Matsutsuyu Scholarship Sharon Han
    University of Southern California - D 
  • Knox-Hirsch Scholarship Melanie Kijel
    University of Southern California - D 
  • Linda Florey Scholarship Willa Griffin
    University of Southern California - M 
  • Lisa Test Scholarship Kiana Shibata
    San Jose State University - M 
  • Michele Berro Scholarship in memory of Mary Ann Epstein Amber Schwartz
    California State University at Dominguez Hills - M 
  • Wilma West Scholarship Ciara Stewart
    San Jose State University - M

Doctorate D – Entry Level Doctorate | M – Entry Level Masters


  • Janice Matsutsuyu Traineeship

    Samantha Gomez – Sacramento City College

  • Los Angeles Consultants Group Traineeships
    Maura Escobar Guillen – Santa Ana College

  • CFOT Traineeships
  • Madeliene McGann-Swasey – Stainbridge University
    Thalia Flores Zavala – Santa Ana College


  • Lisa Test Endowed Research Award Combines with CFOT General Research Grant Award 
    Courtney Boitano, OTD, OTR/L, BCBA-D 
    “Evaluation of Response to Intervention (Rtl) occupational therapy tier 1 and tier 2 services on general education elementary school students’ sensory processing: A follow up study.”

  • Dr. Robert B Jaffe, MD, Woman’s Health Research Award
    Gloria M. Green, OTD,OTR/L 
    “The burden to care: Exploring the impact of loss of a loved one on occupations, roles, and routines for caregivers.”

  • Lisa Test Endowed Research Award Combines with CFOT General Research Grant Award
    Weishan Wen, OTD, OTR/L 
    “An exploration of current parenting experiences related to the social-emotional development of children during the COVID-19 endemic.” 



  • Nadia Raymundo, MA, OTR
    Perspectives and Practices for Handwriting Instruction 
    University of Southern California

  • Mai Huynh, OTS; Lovegifty Dudero, OTS; Ridhee Patel, OTS 
    Supporting OT Collaboration with Caregivers in SNFs 
    Dominican University of California

  • Emily Flynn, OTS; Jacqueline Schieffer, OTS; Wilson Guo, OTS; Orissa Smith-Goshen, OTS
    An Examination of the Homework Habits, Perspectives, and Dispositions of First Year Occupational Therapy Students
    San Jose State University

  • Julie Powell, OTS; Ariana Jimenez, OTS; Brooke Henry, OTS; Kiana Shibutu, OTS; Grace Jenn, OTS
    Effectiveness of an Occupational Therapy Response to Intervention Model on Student Self-Regulation in a General Education Setting: A Longitudinal Analysis
    San Jose State University

  • Celine Ly, OTS; Sarah Rohloff, OTS; Jaynee MacDonald, OTS; Guadalupe Banuelos-Diaz, OTS
    The Lived Experience of Transgender Athletes in Competitive Sports
    California State University, Dominguez Hills

  • Grace Ghitea, OTS; Damarice Herrera, OTS; Valerie Ortega, OTS; Waianae Seo, OTS
    The Experience of Unpaid Latino/a Caregivers Taking Care of Aging Family Member
    California State University, Dominguez Hills 

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