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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News and Events

Chan Division News

2017 Commencement: Alicia Mendoza MA ’17

, in General News, Student News, Alumni News

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By Mike McNulty

Alicia Mendoza, member of the USC Chan master's degree class of 2017/Photo by Angela Lally

Alicia Mendoza, member of the USC Chan master’s degree class of 2017/Photo by Angela Lally

For as long as she can remember, Alicia Mendoza MA ’17 has admired the work of Christian missionaries. In occupational therapy she found a career with similar attributes: provision of needed services, expertise for developing community programs and individualized focus on helping people transcend their circumstances, whatever and wherever they may be.

While at USC, the Northern California native has worked with Professor Mary Lawlor on research projects and manuscript writing, has taught students as a classroom assistant and has served as the division’s co-chair of the USC Student-Run Clinic. But the biggest lesson, she says, is fueled by her faith.

“I think I’ve learned how to be with people,” says Mendoza, who will receive her master’s degree in occupational therapy this Friday during the 75th annual commencement ceremony of the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

“Jesus spent time with people in their hard places, and it can be painful to just be with people when they’re suffering. But as occupational therapists, sometimes that’s the most powerful thing we can do.”

Learn more about USC’s 134th commencment ceremony at commencement.usc.edu and USC Chan’s 75th commencement ceremony at calendar.usc.edu/event/2017_chan_commencement.