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

Anna Niesman BS-MA ‘22

Anna Niesman BS-MA ‘22

Hometown: Buffalo Grove, IL

Program: Bachelor's to Master's, Class of 2022

What brought you to USC?
I initially began looking into USC because of the OT program. I knew I wanted to go to a school with an accelerated program so that I could immediately begin taking OT courses.  Then, as soon as I stepped foot onto the USC campus, I fell in love. Though it was a big school in an even bigger city, the campus felt so friendly and warm. In my two days there I met such a diverse group of amazing individuals, and I knew this school was the right fit for me.

What brought you to Occupational Therapy?
I first discovered occupational therapy when I began volunteering at a hippotherapy center in high school. Hippotherapy is the use of horseback riding to provide therapy to both kids and adults. I met some amazing therapists and found out that occupational therapy was the career I had been looking for throughout my whole life without realizing it. I love that OT focuses on people’s abilities rather than their disabilities. I have seen the impact OT can have on an individual’s life, and I can’t wait to be a part of that process.

Describe your favorite occupational therapy course.
My favorite OT course so far has been OT 251: Across the Lifespan: Occupations, Health and Disability. This course used team-based learning and focused on applying the curriculum to real-life scenarios. I loved working with my team since we all came from different backgrounds and would bring a variety of knowledge to the problems. And by working through these activities, we were able to see how we would use our school knowledge in our careers as OTs.

Tell us about your favorite memory at USC/in the program so far.
One of my favorite memories in the OT program was the Freshman OT dinner we had during the first week of school. I was able to meet all the classmates in my year, as well as many of the professors I would have in the future. After this dinner, I knew I had made the right choice by joining the program, and I couldn’t wait for classes to begin.

What song can you sing entirely by heart?
You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift

If you could visit any time in history, where would you go and why?
I would love to visit France during the Age of Enlightenment so that I could attend some of the French salons.

What are some small things that make your day better?
A hot shower, a piece of chocolate, and/or a meaningful conversation with a friend.