University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Redesigning Lives Globally
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About Us

About Us

Meet Our Trojan Family

Daniel Luo, BS-MA ‘17

Daniel Luo, BS-MA ‘17

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA

What brought you to occupational therapy?

Two summers ago, I was working a summer job in San Francisco when I had a little skateboarding accident that ended with my wrist shattered into several different pieces. I refused to let myself be bedridden and did my best to make the most of the rest of my summer. When I got my cast off, I was referred to occupational therapy and my superstar hand therapist at USC, Janice Rocker, enlightened me to this amazing profession and the program at USC. It didn’t take much convincing before I dropped all my classes and switched into OT courses, and when I made the trek up to Sacramento for the OTAC Conference that fall, I was sold.

What area of practice are you interested in?

I am most interested in working with athletes and musicians through hand therapy, but I am open to pretty much every one of the many specialties occupational therapy has to offer!

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I love music and I love being outdoors. I play saxophone and piano and am a huge fan of jazz and the electronic music scene. You can also catch me rock climbing, backpacking, skating, and doing long-distance road cycling.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Kale, spinach, greek yogurt, peaches and a lot of ice cream. It all evens out, right?

If you could choose anyone (living or dead) to be your mentor, who would you pick?

Chris Sharma, one of the world’s best and strongest rock climbers. If you look up videos of him climbing on YouTube, you’ll be left thinking, “how is that physically possible?!”
OR I’d choose…
Sonny Moore, aka Skrillex. Not only is he an amazingly talented musician, but he also has an incredible work ethic that he manages to balance with his constant travels on tour to shows and festivals all around the world.

Talin Yacoubian, BS-MA ‘16

Talin Yacoubian, BS-MA ‘16

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Glendale, CA

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I was always interested in the medical profession and I knew that I wanted a job that would make a difference in people’s lives. I was mostly attracted to occupational therapy because of the holistic approach that is taken when working with clients.

What area of practice are you interested in?

I am interested in pediatrics and physical disabilities.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I enjoy traveling, baking, and running.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

An intuitive aptitude! This would allow me to learn and understand complex systems without special education or training.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

I have a black belt. I have donated my hair twice. I have a cat.

Samantha Trout, BS-MA ‘17

Samantha Trout, BS-MA ‘17

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Turlock, CA

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I was a freshman at Boston University majoring in Journalism when I decided that I needed a profession that incorporated creativity with helping people. I spoke with an advisor who told me about OT. I was hooked. The more I learned about the field, the more convinced and passionate I become about OT’s unique stance on healthcare. I transferred to USC for my sophomore year and have not looked back.

What area of practice are you interested in?

I would like to work with Veterans as well as opportunities in Animal Assisted therapy.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Fresh fruits and veggies, almond milk, veggie burgers/tofu, microwave burritos (for crazy days), and oatmeal. I do not keep oatmeal in the fridge but it’s basically a food group for me.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

I never learned how to swim. I played guitar in a bluegrass band. I was a strict vegan until the age of 10.

Maggie King, BS-MA ‘17

Maggie King, BS-MA ‘17

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Arcadia, California

What brought you to occupational therapy?

Throughout high school, I have always worked with children and adults with disorders or disabilities. I also have family members who personally have chronic autoimmune disorders. I have always wanted to continue my work in healthcare, but was unsure of which field to choose. Before I discovered occupational therapy at USC, I thought that the only way to help others and my family members was to go to medical school. Thus, I pursued research in biomedicine, volunteered at hospitals, and took pre-med classes. However, this plan completely changed when I discovered Occupational Therapy, the profession that completely encompasses the future I had envisioned and my philosophy regarding healthcare!

What area of practice are you interested in?

Thus far, I am extremely interested in all areas of practice in occupational therapy. The profession is so broad and the areas of practice are limitless. I would like to experience all the practice immersions and fieldworks in the BS to MA program before I commit to saying a particular area of practice interests me. Either way, my ultimate goal is to start my own private practice in occupational therapy!

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

My favorite memory is definitely the morning I received and opened my acceptance letter to the program! It was 7AM and I was half asleep when I got the acceptance letter. I spent an hour crying when I realized I was accepted - out of happiness, of course! smile

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I think it would be the ability to control time. That would solve all (personal) problems! I think.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

My birthday is April Fools’ Day. I have a dog named Circle Circle. My brother is named Christian.

Psalm Chang, BS-MA ‘17

Psalm Chang, BS-MA ‘17

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Edison, New Jersey

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I’ve been intrigued by the field ever since my aunt introduced it to me back in middle school. It wasn’t until high school that I seriously considered becoming an OT, instead of just watching from the sidelines and reading about it online. I aspire to help others see what they are capable of through creativity and effort, no matter the injury, hardship, or disability.

What area of practice are you interested in?

I am interested in working with children, as I’ve had great experiences volunteering and working with kids.

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

My favorite memory so far? Probably OT250 with Kate Crowley! We came into class one day looking tired and worn out, so she decided to take us on a spontaneous trip to Literatea and wake up before we started learning.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Let’s see… waffles, waffles, and more waffles. Chocolate chip, blueberry, and buttermilk. Take your pick.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

I have ridden a camel in Israel. I love milk and cookies. I have a Siberian husky named Harley.

Caitlin Ito, BS-MA ‘15

Caitlin Ito, BS-MA ‘15

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Kailua, Hawaii

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I began my time at USC as an “undecided” major. One day during sophomore year, I was talking to my psychology professor about possible careers in healthcare and he mentioned USC’s Occupational Therapy program. That was my first time hearing about OT, and I am so thankful to him for pointing me in the right direction! All it took was a few flips through the OT division pamphlet and I was ready to burst into tears of joy, feeling for certain that I had finally found the perfect profession for me!

What area of practice are you interested in?

I am currently leaning towards pediatric mental health, but I am very open to all areas of OT practice!

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

Photography, hula and Tahitian dance, baking, hiking, and golf

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Costco quantity greek yogurt, tortillas, edamame, and eggs

What Hogwarts house would you be in and why?

HUFFLEPUFF represent. Pottermore decided I belonged to the Hufflepuff house, and I’ve been loyal ever since. Even wore the Hufflepuff scarf while posing for a photo at Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station in London.

Ellen Wleklinski, BS-MA ‘15

Ellen Wleklinski, BS-MA ‘15

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I knew I wanted to be in a health profession, but I didn’t want to prescribe medicine. I wanted to help people lead healthy, meaningful lives.

What area of practice are you interested in?

I’m interested in adult rehabilitation and lifestyle redesign.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I play flute in the Trojan Marching Band; I love distance running and cooking!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

If I could have one superpower, it would be always knowing the right question to ask! I would learn things I never would otherwise know, and I would be able to gain the most possible from the experience of others!

What Hogwarts house would you be in and why?

I would be in Gryffindor, because I’m courageous, skillful, scholarly, ambitious, and faithful!

Nicté Sobrino, BS-MA ‘14

Nicté Sobrino, BS-MA ‘14

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Whittier, California

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I was originally a psychology major at USC. I took a Developmental Psych class my first semester, and OT ambassadors came into class and told us that if we liked what we were learning, that maybe we would be interested in something called occupational therapy. I took a flier and was interested, but didn’t act on it. The very next semester, I took an Abnormal Psych class and the very same people came in and did another presentation. By then, I figured it was fate and that I should look into what this field was that kept trying to pull me in. I took two Intro to OT courses (one with Kim Morris-Eggleston, the other with Kate Crowley), and I was hooked. I took the steps to apply to the program and signed up for every one of the prerequisite courses that I hadn’t already completed. I don’t remember wanting something so badly in my entire life than to get accepted to the program. And here I am today!

What area of practice are you interested in?

All of them. I’m having a really difficult time narrowing down exactly what I want to do because everything is so interesting and I could see myself in any of the fields. But that’s what I love about OT - I can move from field to field if I ever feel like it!

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

My two favorite occupations are making art and playing quidditch! I was the captain of our club quidditch team for two years, but I recently stepped down so I could focus more on my final year of grad school. I will try almost anything in art that I can get my hands on—painting, drawing, clay, wire, anything. My favorite is oil painting, though.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Bacon. And leftovers. I really need to go to the grocery store.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

To fly. That’s something I’ve wanted since I was a kid. I’d choose flight over pretty much any other power. There’s just something so wonderful about not being confined to the ground.

Tina Sehremelis, BS-MA ‘15

Tina Sehremelis, BS-MA ‘15

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: Seal Beach, California

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I was always interested in going into the medical profession; however, it was a family friend who introduced me to occupational therapy.  After she described to me everything she did as an OT, I knew that this career matched up with my professional aspirations.

What area of practice are you interested in?

Pediatrics, specifically interested in working in the NICU.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I enjoy playing tennis, hiking, going to the beach, and running.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

My fridge would be filled with Chobani yogurts because I am obsessed with that brand of Greek yogurts. My roommates laugh at me because my fridge is currently overflowing with Chobani yogurts.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

I am 100% Greek. I have never had braces. I am the oldest of six children.

Melissa Schram, BS-MA ‘14

Melissa Schram, BS-MA ‘14

Bachelor's to Master's

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I fell in love with occupational therapy after learning about it at USC and then observing a few OTs during the summer before my sophomore year of college. I was lucky to find out about the progressive degree and I was able to get all the prerequisites done during college and begin the master’s program as a senior!  I’m so happy that everything worked out!

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I love to watch Gilmore Girls and spend time with friends and family.  I enjoy doing yoga but wish I had more time to do it!

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

In my fridge right now there are some carrots and ranch dressing, grapes, leftover pizza from my dinner last night, milk, and chocolate chip cookie dough. The essentials!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I would like to be able to make myself invisible because I love to people-watch.