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

Meet Our Trojan Family

Amy Zhao ‘17

Amy Zhao ‘17

Minor in Occupational Science program

Major: Global Health

Hometown: Oak Park, CA

What made you decide to pursue the occupational science minor?
My friend asked me to take an occupational science course with her because we thought it would be good for pre-med’s. I immediately fell in love with the course and the field. I had to continue learning more about the field so I decided to pursue the minor as I prepare to pursue a master’s in occupational therapy!

Describe your favorite occupational science minor course.
My favorite course has been OT310 (Creativity Workshop). It’s an interesting class that often doesn’t feel like a class. It’s fun and really teaches you about how creativity goes beyond artists we read about in history. It’s also a class that has taught me how to draw connections from everywhere.

How has your OS minor helped you create a healthy life for yourself?
The OS minor has helped me realize how unbalanced my life can be at times. It has definitely made me more aware of my mood and habits when I’m doing certain activities and how to adjust them to create a healthier lifestyle!

How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who always helped others. I think it’s so important to listen to others and hear what they’re saying. Through learning about others’ needs, that’s how we can really make change and help one another.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Reykjavík! I would love to see the Northern Lights.

Sarina Tetley ‘17

Sarina Tetley ‘17

Minor in Occupational Science program

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Dove Canyon, CA

What brought you to USC?
The Occupational Therapy program was truly the deciding factor that brought me to USC. I was looking for a field that incorporated my interests in Clinical Psychology and Physical Rehabilitation while providing care from a holistic view. I took my first tour of the Master’s Program in OT at USC when I was a senior in high school, and from that point on, I knew I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist and that USC would provide me with an education that would help me achieve my career and life goal of becoming an Occupational Therapist. The tremendous support of the Trojan Family, the opportunities that are available to Undergraduate students at USC, and the overall passion for higher education and success from the supportive faculty and staff were just some of the additional reasons that I chose USC.

What made you decide to pursue the occupational science minor?
I decided to pursue a minor in Occupational Science in order to explore my passion for Occupational Therapy and learn as much as I can about the field before pursing my graduate education in OT. The Occupational Science minor is a special opportunity that I would have not been able to pursue if I had decided to attend another university. The OS minor allows students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in an alternative field with the opportunity to learn about Occupational Therapy and how we can utilize our knowledge from diverse fields and bring that knowledge into practice, as a future Occupational Therapists.

Describe your favorite occupational science minor course.
My favorite Occupational Science minor course is OT 360, Creating the Self through Narrative: Acts of Life Story Production, with Dr. Kate Crowley. This course truly opened my eyes to the bountiful opportunities that are available not only to us as Occupational Therapists, but also to the diverse populations that we serve. After learning about Dr. Mattingly’s work in Narrative Medicine, and encouragement from Dr. Crowley, I found a new passion within the field of Occupational Therapy. I currently work alongside Dr. Rogers in providing Occupational Therapy to Active Duty Marines and Veterans of all branches and I love hearing their stories, but I also love learning about their future goals and helping them achieve those goals through Occupational Therapy. Through OT 360 I learned that each person has a unique story which is being written every day. As a future Occupational Therapist, I hope to provide my patients with the opportunity and ability to achieve their goals and live out the future Narrative that they have imagined for themselves.

Tell us about your favorite memory at USC so far.
So far, my favorite memory at USC has been the USC Adventure L.E.A.D. program’s high ropes course at Fulcrum Adventures. This course was extremely difficult mentally, emotionally and physically. I have a fear of heights and this course tested that fear in every challenge. The one challenge, or opportunity as I like to say, that was the most daunting was appropriately named the “Leap of Faith”. This challenge required one to climb up a 40ft pole, carefully get up on top of a small platform, stabilize the shaking pole, and finally gain the courage to stand up and jump off to grab a golden ring that was suspended mid-air. This opportunity pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it also provided me with the opportunity to grow as a person. I learned that fear is imaginary and danger is real. I also learned that I am in control of my fear and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to as long as I commit to it, no matter how intimidating it may be. 

How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who was always willing to help people. I want to be remembered as someone who never gave up and always stayed positive despite life’s hurdles. I want to be remembered as someone who put her faith and family before herself, and as someone who sought to make the world a better place one person at a time.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
If I could travel anywhere I would go to two countries in a heartbeat, with my camera in tow. The first would be Ecuador. My grandma moved to the U.S. from Ecuador at a young age and I would love to go to Ecuador with her and “travel back in time” as we explore the places she often frequented. The second country I would travel to would be Norway. I would love to hike in the fjords and take the mail boat around the coastline to explore the small coastal towns and truly integrate myself into Norwegian culture and get to know the local people. Traveling is so powerful because it connects to the international community and teaches us to be citizens of the world.

Crystil Quiroz ‘18

Crystil Quiroz ‘18

Minor in Occupational Science program

Major: Business Administration and Accounting Double Major

Hometown: San Diego

What brought you to USC?
The love of the Trojan Family!

What made you decide to pursue the occupational science minor?
I first heard about the Occupational Science minor at the USC Involvement Fair my freshman year when I stopped by the OT table.  I had no idea what Occupational Science was, but the idea of “meaningful activities” and “living a well-balanced life” sounded beneficial to me. I figured it would help give me another holistic approach and perspective to living life. 

How do you feel your OS minor has/will help you with your future schooling and/or career?
It has been my experience that a lot of the companies I have interviewed with are very intrigued when I tell them I am an Occupational Science minor.  While on the surface Business and Occupational Science may not be related, applying the ideals and tools learned from my minor to my major has given me a unique perspective that set me apart from others.  Through the minor, I have learned about creativity, time management, and interpersonal relationships, all of which companies value very much in their employees.  Furthermore, the minor has personally given me the tools and knowledge to reduce stress and live a healthier, well-balanced life.

What do you think is the greatest invention of mankind?
Computers - as an aspiring accountant, computers and the different types of programs created because of computers has revolutionized the profession.  It truly was a creative invention.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Paris! I love art and dream of seeing the Louvre and other historical sites.

Caroline Kim ‘18

Caroline Kim ‘18

Minor in Occupational Science program

Major: Sociology

Hometown: Los Angeles

What brought you to USC?
My dream job in high school was to be a doctor at CHLA, which is affiliated with USC, so I made it my goal to go to USC for undergrad and grad school to eventually work at CHLA. After some changes in career path, now I know that God brought me to USC to discover OT!

What made you decide to pursue the occupational science minor?
After deciding to drop pre-med, my friend told me I should check out occupational therapy. So, I went to an occupational therapy info session. During the meeting, I knew 100% that I wanted to pursue occupational therapy. It was the perfect balance of all my interests for my future career. The next day, I went to the OT advisor and began planning out my prerequisites for OT school. I saw that most of the prerequisites fulfilled the OS minor, so I added the OS minor.

How do you feel your OS minor has/will help you with your future schooling and/or career?
Having an OS Minor is an amazing opportunity and a great blessing because I get to take courses that give me a glimpse into what I’ll be studying in OT School. Having an OS minor has helped me discover areas of OT that I’m extremely interested in and it gets me excited thinking that this is just a small taste of what OT school will be like. I also get to have amazing OTs as professors that not only share their journey and experiences with me but have also become my role models.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?
Trader Joes salads for everyday of the week, all types of fruit, Panda Express left overs and tons of hot sauce.

How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who feared and loved the Lord with all my heart and lived every day to glorify His name.

You can check out my video and see what a typical day looks like for me here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO-YvtQkM2A