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Lenin Grajo, Dr. Gay James Lenin Grajo to be honored Feb. 19 with the Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarship. He is pictured with Dr. Gay James, Interim Dean, College of Health Sciences

Lenin Grajo, Ed.M., OTR, is a student pursuing a Ph.D. in TWU’s College of Health Sciences (OT).  He plans to write articles and books about Occupational Therapy theories and assessments and hopes to collaborate both nationally and internationally.  He will receive one of four prestigious scholarships given by Texas Woman’s University at the 13th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon, presented by Bank of Texas, Texas Woman’s University, and the Texas Woman’s University Foundation, Feb. 19, at noon, at The Belo Mansion and Pavilion.  His scholarship is sponsored by Edgemere Dallas – Dallas/SQLC Charitable Foundation.

Grajo, an occupational therapist and doctoral student at Texas Woman’s University with a 4.0 GPA, is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at Saint Louis University.  He plans to complete his Ph.D. in occupational therapy this spring.  His dissertation will focus on developing and establishing the measurement properties of an assessment tool that measures children’s reading engagement called the Inventory of Reading Occupations.  This assessment tool is part of an occupational therapy intervention practice model that hopes to support children with reading difficulties.

Grajo was born, raised and college-educated in Manila, Philippines, and moved to the United States in 2009 to pursue his graduate education. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of the Philippines – Manila. After moving to the U.S., he received, on a full scholarship, his Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology with an emphasis in Children’s Literacy from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. 

“I have had many influences throughout my life that have inspired me to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy,” Grajo noted. “I have always loved exploring the world through reading.  I have a sister with learning differences, who is now in high school in the Philippines.  She has struggled with her education throughout her life.   At 18, I began to support her when our father died.  My sister was two years old at that time.   She has influenced and fired my passion for helping children with learning differences, especially children with reading challenges.  To leave my family, friends, and a promising career in the Philippines was not an easy decision.  Being in the U.S. these last five years has been an incredible learning and growth experience for me as a young educator and scholar.” 

Grajo is currently an assistant professor in the Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at Saint Louis University.  As part of his teaching, he is collaborating and teaching with the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of the Philippines, where he was an instructor prior to moving to the U.S.

Grajo has numerous referenced publications as well as professional presentations.  He was recognized by the Student Government Association at Saint Louis University with the Doisy College of Health Sciences Faculty Excellence Award in 2013.  His professional affiliations include World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), International Dyslexia Association, American Occupational Therapy Association, Learning Disabilities Association of America, and the Harvard Club of Saint Louis.

“I am inspired by the occupational therapy profession.  My goal is to contribute to OT and its body of knowledge.  I plan to develop further my practice model and share it with national and international audiences so more children will be helped who struggle with learning and reading differences,” said Grajo.  “I have always wanted to teach and consider it my gift.  I pursued my Ph.D. in OT not only to become a promising scholar, but to be a well-prepared and inspiring educator to future generations.”

In addition to his sister, Grajo has an aunt in the Philippines who has supported him every step of the way.  He notes that he speaks to his family almost every day via Skype.  His aunt and sister sometimes worry that he works too much but know that he is passionate about what he does.

The four graduate students from each of the four TWU colleges who will be honored at the luncheon as recipients of scholarship funds include: Lenin Grajo, Ed.M., OTR, College of Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy), sponsored by Edgemere Dallas – Dallas/SQLC Charitable Foundation; Heidi Gilroy, MSN, RN, APHN-BC, College of Nursing, sponsored by Luther King Capital Management; Lena Jackson-Lynch, Ed.M., MHR, College of Professional Education (COPE), sponsored by Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, and Tawny LeBouef Tullia, MA (English),College of Arts and Sciences, sponsored by Sis Carr.

“I am grateful to Virginia Chandler Dykes, the School of OT, and the College of Health Sciences for selecting me for this award,” added Grajo.  “It is a sign of trust and a vote of confidence for what I do and for what I believe I can do.  It inspires me to do more!”

TWU’s 13th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon, Feb. 19 at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion, will honor Ralph Hawkins as the 2015 recipient of the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award.  Tickets are $175 for silver patron; $250 for gold patron.  For more information, call 940-898-3872, visit or email