Refer to the AKOTA Bylaws for Executive Committee Officer responsibilities.

AKOTA president

Dr. Bri Oswald

I am deeply honored to now serve as the President of the Alaska Occupational Therapy Association (AKOTA), having previously served as Secretary from 2023 to 2024. As we look to the future, our focus will revolve around fostering connections, supporting one another, and collectively striving towards our shared goals. During our 2023 leadership retreat, we decided on a theme for this year: “A Chance to Reconnect.”
I originally hail from Schaumburg, a small suburb of Chicago, Illinois, and in 2020, I ventured up to Alaska. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the State, its people, and its breathtaking landscapes. My journey began as a graduate intern at Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API), where I progressed to become an Occupational Therapist following the completion of my internship. Subsequently, in December 2022, I was promoted to the Director of Rehabilitation for API, and in September of 2023, I transitioned into the commissioner’s office as the Deputy Director of Complex Case Systems for the Department of Family and Community Services with the state of Alaska. During my initial years in Alaska, I balanced my time between on-call work at the Alaska Native Medical Center in acute care (2020-2022), clinical work at Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API), and teaching the mental health lab for occupational therapy students in the Creighton/UAA program (2021-present). This experience has instilled in me the importance of cultural competency, the necessity for creativity in meeting the unique needs of the population, and a deep appreciation for the incredible grit and perseverance of the Alaskan people. I am thrilled to collaborate with a resilient, creative, and skilled group of individuals to enhance the delivery of occupational therapy across Alaska.

Term End Date: February 2025

Legislative & Licensing Committee Coordinator


Dr. Dee Athnos
Vice President

I moved to Alaska in 2008, while working as a traveler for the Kenai Peninsula School District and then the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. In 2012, I accepted a full time, permanent job with the Alaska VA Outpatient Clinic (now called the Colonel Mary Louise Rasmuson Campus) after realizing that I loved living in Alaska and wanted to make a difference in the lives of my fellow military veterans. The OT community in Alaska is vibrant with expertise and compassion. I’m proud to be a part of that OT community, making a difference in Alaska’s healthcare system. It’s an honor to continue serving as an AKOTA board member and I encourage all OT/OTA practitioners to participate in any way feasible. Connection matters and AKOTA gives us the means to connect across our vast Alaskan landscape! 

Term End Date: February 2025

Website & Social Media Committee Coordinator

AKOTA Secretary

Dr. Katie Walker

I am originally from Freedom, Oklahoma – a tiny town where my family members have been cattle ranchers for many generations. I moved to Alaska in 2019 to attend the Creighton OTD program.  I completed my doctoral capstone in a variety of mental health settings within AK with a focus on the impact trauma has on occupations. Since graduating I have worked in hospital settings with patients in acute care, inpatient rehab, outpatient ortho/neuro/pediatrics, and inpatient psychiatric settings. My 2024 AKOTA board goals are to continue creating opportunities for OTs across the state to connect. 

Term End Date: February 2026

Membership & Social Networking Committee Coordinator

AKOTA Treasurer

Dr. Molly Dawson

I am currently working at Alaska Hand Rehabilitation, upper extremity orthopedic outpatient rehab. I earned my B.S. in Nutritional Science emphasis in dietetics in 2012. I completed earning my doctorate in occupational therapy at Creighton University in 2020. My doctoral capstone focus in interprofessional collaboration for functional environmental modification following a traumatic injury resulting in hospitalization. Prior to working in outpatient upper extremity rehabilitation, I worked at the Shepherd Center as a primary therapist for acquired brain injury inpatient rehab. I am passionate about the profession as a whole and all specialties.I am pleased to serve on the AKOTA executive committee to provide support to the occupational therapy profession in Alaska including collaboration, advocacy, and education.

Term End Date: February 2026

Conference & Continuing Education Committee Coordinator