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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Academics
Academics

Entry-Level Professional Master of Arts Degree | Meet the Students

Alyssa Kessler MAII ‘15

Alyssa Kessler MAII ‘15

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

Program: Entry-Level Master's, Class of 2015

What brought you to occupational therapy?
I had shadowed many professions in health care, and while all were doing their part to save their patient’s lives, something was missing.  After doing some research, I decided Occupational Therapy was something worth looking into. I took my growing interest in OT and began to shadow at a pediatric clinic and completely fell in love. My passion for the career was cemented while working with patients and seeing them undergo amazing transformations. It was here I realized that OTs give people their life back, and I want to be the person that delivers hope and confidence as I help patients reach optimal function in their daily lives and the occupations they value most.

What area of practice are you interested in?
I am interested in pediatrics. Although I really enjoyed volunteering and doing my Level I fieldwork at a pediatric clinic (which focused mostly on sensory integration), I am drawn to the “physical disabilities”/ medical model side of pediatrics. I think working with children who have physical conditions or diseases such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other congenital orthopedic disorders to promote the greatest possible independence would be the most challenging, engaging, and rewarding area of practice for me.

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.
Although the summer was an extremely challenging time in the program, it was a great experience full of memorable moments. In a kinesiology lab, we all went outside and played with those giant rainbow parachutes that everyone loved so much in elementary school. We were still learning, but having an absolutely amazing time.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?
Depending on how difficult the program currently is, you would either see a plethora of fruits and vegetables, turkey, and Greek yogurt, or chocolate everything… and a lot of takeout… and pizza.

What Hogwarts house would you be in and why?
Gryffindor, because “I have the heart of a lion. I never give up, never back down and give everything 100%. I stand up for myself and for my friends because I believe in what is right. My energy makes me a natural leader.” Actually, I just took a Buzzfeed quiz, called “Which Hogwarts House Do You Belong In?” which told me I was in Gryffindor, and then I copied and pasted what it said above because I was being lazy. That’s totally something Harry would do.