December Faculty Spotlight

This month’s faculty spotlight is Teresa Avvampato, occupational therapist and program coordinator. Teresa Avvampato has been at Durham College (DC) for over 10 years. Avvampato started working part-time while working in the community as an occupational therapist (OT).

Avvampato first got interested in occupational therapy through her curiosity of prosthetic limbs.

“I knew I couldn’t make them, but I could help people learn to move with them,” she said. Although Avvampato doesn’t work with prosthetic limbs much, she looks back at her time as a working as an occupational therapist fondly. She’s worked in a variety of places, from Ontario Shores to patients looking to get discharged from the hospital.

She says her experience even helps her when being a mom. “I notice when I OT my kids sometimes, and think of ways to calm them down,” she says about her 12-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. 

Her office in the C-wing displays anatomical models, while pictures of her children hang above her desk.

Avvampato has a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences and a master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Western University. She earned her teaching certificate when she came to DC and has helped develop the curriculum for the college’s Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program (OTA and PTA), where she now works as a full-time professor.

“I like to learn, I like networking and I like new opportunities so I said sure… it was really fun work,” Avvampato said when talking about developing curriculum. She worked mainly on the curriculum for the occupational therapy side of the diploma, along with occupational therapists from the community.

“They know more than me sometimes, and I ask them questions and learn from them,” she said.

Outside of work Avvampato likes to workout and run, sometimes bringing her dog with her.

Avvampato will continue to improve the OTA and PTA program through feedback from community partners and placements. She hopes her students leave the program knowing how to be successful in their professions.

Written By: Fiona Campbell, Journalism – Mass Media student