Barb Schell’s Brenau Legacy
After 21 years at Brenau, Barb Schell stepped down as Program Director of the School of OT in May 2016, where she founded and built one of the best clinical-based OT programs in North America. As an Associate Dean of the College of Health and Science she helped set the cornerstone for the university’s growth into health care professions education. “It’s hard to imagine Brenau University and the School of OT without Barb Schell, but I think we will not have to,” says OT Instructor Amanda Miller Buono, WC ’99, one of the first OT grads. “Her fingerprints are everywhere and her work will continue to inspire learners and leaders for the next generation.” Barb created and launched Brenau’s MSOT in 1995. With Schell as its chair, it was one of the first institutions in North America to require a master’s degree for occupational therapy – even before the professional association that certifies OT practitioners required that degree level. That was just one of the many “firsts” implemented by Barb and her distinguished faculty team who have graduated over 850 students. The current MSOT has three program tracks/platforms that admit approximately 32 new graduate degree candidates each semester from pools of hundreds of applicants. In retirement, with her newly conferred Professor Emeritus title, Barb says she will continue working in the field consulting, editing texts and speaking at conferences. She’ll also work on her poetry, painting, graphic design and golf.