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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Student Ambassador Blog


My Summer Reading List

, by JessicaP · email · Leave a comment

One of my all time favorite occupations is reading. Growing up, I would spend countless nights awake binge reading books. Now, as a college student, I have less and less time to indulge in free reading books. I typically use my summers to catch up on my never ending reading list. This summer, many of the books I have read have occupational therapy undertones.

I have read so many amazing books this summer so I am sharing my top must-read books for Summer 2017!

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey
By: Jill Bolte Taylor

I first heard Taylor’s story by watching her TED talk, in which the Harvard brain scientist details her experience suffering a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. The novel delves even deeper into her personal experience with the balance between the two hemispheres of her brain.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
By: Jean-Dominique Bauby

Written by the former Editor in Chief of French Elle Magazine, Bauby describes his own experience of locked-in syndrome, which he develops after a stroke. Bauby is physically paralyzed and can only communicate through blinking his left eye. It is a refreshing look at what recovery means from a patient perspective.

goodbye things book cover

Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
By: Fumio Sasaki

Minimalism was first popularized by Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Sasaki’s book differs in that he gives personal anecdotes on how he has decluttered his life, as well as the psychological benefits he has experienced. With a whole section on tips to minimalize your own life, this book is a great tool for students to get organized and ready for the upcoming school year.

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
By: Paul Tough

I originally read this book in Kate Crowley’s course, OT 320: The Nature of Human Occupation: Form, Function, and Meaning, however I decided to re-read it again to refresh myself on it. Tough’s book centers on some of the top youth chess players across the country and the one characteristic that they have in common: grit.


Summer In Full Swing

, by JessicaP · email · Leave a comment

Summer is in full swing and we have been busy keeping up with all of the exciting things happening at Chan!

Just a few weeks ago we had the pleasure of officially welcoming our class of 2019 to the Trojan family! Our new Trojan OT’s are busy this summer taking courses in kinesiology, neuroscience, foundations of occupation and creativity, craft, and activity analysis.

usc orientation week

usc orientation welcome

summer CA's fighting on

Our continuing students have also been busy completing their Level II Fieldwork at various sites across the states.

summer level 2 fieldwork vogelsang

One of our students, Ali, is completing her fieldwork at Coastside Pediatric Therapy Center. She loves learning about playing with a purpose and the science of development.

summer level 2 fieldwork brynne and kaitlyn

Two of our other students, Brynne and Kaitlyn, are completing their fieldwork at Assistance Dogs of Hawaii.

As a student ambassador I have been having a blast meeting all of our new and prospective students. Our Information Sessions are a great way for us to meet students and for them to learn more about our program.

info session 2017

This past weekend we also had the pleasure of welcoming 50 international OT’s and OT students for our Summer Occupational Therapy Immersion (SOTI) Program. The participants will spend the next four weeks learning about OT in the United States, attend seminars, visit various OT sites, and of course enjoy all of the fun that Los Angeles has to offer!

soti welcome bbq 2017

With summer half way over, we are excited to fight on and enjoy the next few weeks full of sunshine and OT fun!


Falling in Love with OT

, by JessicaP · email · Leave a comment

For my first blog post, I wanted to share my story of how I discovered and fell in love with occupational therapy.

Ever since I was young, I always knew I wanted a career that involved helping others, specifically children. At the beginning of high school I volunteered at the local hospital and really enjoyed being in the healthcare setting, but I didn’t know if being a doctor was the right path for me. I heard about a summer camp for children with special needs and decided to be a camp counselor. As a counselor, I was paired one-on-one with my buddy, spending time doing various activities and games which were facilitated by occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists. For the next four summers, I volunteered at the camp and it continued to confirm my passion for working with children.

I knew what I wanted out of a career, but I was still unsure exactly which path to pursue. Deciding to come to USC was an easy choice for me, as I was raised a Trojan from birth and most of my family attended the university. I entered USC as a freshman majoring in Psychology and began to take classes in the Occupational Science minor. I also had the opportunity to shadow a pediatric occupational therapist in an outpatient clinic, which was when I knew occupational therapy was exactly what I wanted to be doing. I decided to transfer into the Bachelor to Master’s Occupational Therapy major as a junior and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, second to coming to USC.

As a progressive degree student, I have had many opportunities to take OT classes as well as courses in areas I am also interested in — such as psychology, human rights, and performance science. I am so grateful to have found a profession that allows me to combine my passions and empower others to live their best lives. I can’t wait to continue to learn and grow as an occupational therapy student and share my experiences with you.

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