Ruthe Zemke Lectureship

In recognition of Dr. Ruth Zemke's mentorship, questing intellect, and ongoing efforts to foster an occupational science community of researchers, this lectureship was named in her honor. The lectureship is designed as a forum to present visionary, theoretical, and critical analyses of occupational science.

Ruthe Zemke

The recipients of the Ruth Zemke Honorary Lecture are given an engraved kaleidoscope in recognition for their contribution to the study of occupation. Occupation is made up of simple, everyday actions that can be combined in an infinite variety of ways. This variation creates a complexity that requires examination from many perspectives in order to understand its many facets and meanings in people's lives. According to Dr. Zemke, the kaleidoscope serves as a metaphor for occupation. It is a collection of simple, everyday items that can create beautiful and often complex images. People change their perspectives by rotating the kaleidoscope to see the endless variety of images created. Indeed, the kaleidoscope is a well-chosen keepsake for the recipients of the Ruth Zemke Honorary Lecture.

Criteria and Process

The Ruth Zemke Lecture in Occupational Science is an honorary lecture dedicated to the spirit of questing intellectual curiosity expressed by Dr. Ruth Zemke in her work within occupational science. The intent of the Lecture is to offer selected individuals a unique opportunity to challenge the thinking of occupational scientists at the research conferences of the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA. Criteria for selection include significant contributions to occupational science and a demonstrated commitment to building a community of scholars in the discipline. The honoree is be presented at the Lecture with a kaleidoscope, a favorite object of Dr. Zemke’s, to symbolize the simplicity, complexit y, multiplicity of views, and ever-changing nature of the discipline of occupational science.

Primary criteria for selection of the Ruth Zemke Lecturer in Occupational Science:

  • Significant contributions to the occupational science literature
  • Intellectual curiosity and vision in relation to occupation and occupational science
  • Contribution to the building of the occupational science community and its usefulness to occupational therapy

Nomination process:

  • Call for nominations sent to the membership via email and website
  • Letter of nomination from a member, describing in one page how the nominee exemplifies the described criteria for selection

Selection process:

  • Selection Committee appointed by the Board will include one Past Zemke Lecturer, one Board Member, one Conference Committee Member, and one Member At Large
  • Selection Committee will create and use its own review process to apply the selection criteria to the nomination letters
  • Final nomination will be presented directly, and in confidence, to the Board for approval

Commitments made to the Lecturer when Lectureship is offered:

  • Free conference registration
  • Private room at no cost to the Lecturer, at the conference site
  • $1,000 honorarium
  • A videotaped copy of the Lecture