Cortney Halsey finished at E&H with a B.S. in Biology in 2014. In 2017 she completed a doctorate of Occupational Therapy in the charter class of Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences (MDCHS) at Mary Baldwin University.
She is currently working full time as an occupational therapist embedded into the Pre-employment Readiness and Education Program (PREP) at Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC). The position is the first of its kind. Cortney feels blessed to be in this recently created position. “ In collaboration with the OT department, we submitted a position proposal to the Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services (DRS). The position was approved soon after I completed my doctoral experience at the center.”
Her responsibilities in the position include serving young adults with disabilities as they pursue independent living and vocational opportunities. Her special interests include sensory integration, assistive technology, and community integration. Cortney also represents WWRC in the DRS sponsored Autism Project and is a core member of the Autism Advocacy Partnership at the center. She supports academic institutions, as a project mentor for MDCHS’s Community Practicum course and precepts Level I OT Students from MDCHS and James Madison University.
She also works per diem at UVA-Encompass Health, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Charlottesville, as an occupational therapist for adults with acute neurological and orthopedic impairments.
Cortney doesn’t let being busy get in the way of supporting her alma mater. She was the Lyceum Keynote Speaker at E&H’s cognitive community team’s annual Autism event last year. In the summer of 2018, she collaborated with a current E&H student on a summer internship project at WWRC. Cortney says she loved getting to know Sarah Ingram, and the experience was also important for her as a new professional. “It is evident that servant leadership remains an Emory & Henry core value. Sarah, like most E&H students I can imagine, provide tangible and contextual resources through the understanding of place, thus she was able to provide current and future clients with tangible resources and education. Accessibility to resources, experiences, and opportunities will support potential and resiliency for all abilities. Sarah’s presence at our center and E&H’s commitment to service will provide this access to so many.”
Cortney used her E&H undergrad years to the fullest extent, not only excelling as an accomplished academic student, but also as a well-rounded athlete (she played softball) and campus leader (student director of orientation, member Delta Omicron Pi, Hope Award winner 2014, Homecoming Queen 2012). She says her E&H experience prepared her for the world of work she finds herself in now by “instilling a love for innovation, desire for life-long learning and joy in trials or barriers. Emory & Henry challenged me to be a spark and not someone’s flame. The greatest reward may be the moments someone chose to change their life with one of your tools and their unique self, rather than your gifts alone attributing to that change. I am humbled by this principle every moment as an Occupational Therapist,” says Cortney.
In 2018, Cortney married college sweetheart Dr. Jeremiah Jessee (E&H re’15, ETSU Pharmacy School ’18). Jeremiah is a pharmacy resident at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, VA and will be taking a second year Oncology residency later this year.
“Emory & Henry challenged me to be a spark and not someone’s flame.”
Cortney Halsey, E&H ’15