Alexis Nalbach OTD ’20
Hometown: La Verne, CA
Program: Post-Professional OTD, Class of 2020
Leadership Concentration: Clinical Research
What brought you to occupational therapy?
I found occupational therapy through my cousin Abby who was born prematurely with several neuromuscular delays and later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. By the time I started my junior year of college I had begun attending Abby’s intensive occupational therapy sessions at NAPA Center in Los Angeles, CA. I had never been exposed to OT before, but immediately I was amazed by the holistic approach they used towards their patients. They not only treated the patients’ physical needs but also their psychological and emotional well-being. Watching her grow became truly inspiring and by my junior year of college I knew I was sold on becoming an occupational therapist!
Where are you located for your residency and what services are provided there?
I am an OTD Resident at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute working as a part of the Motor Interpersonal Neuroimaging Developmental Study under Dr. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh. In this study we are looking at brain functioning and how it relates to coordination and social skills in developing children. We hope to better understand children’s social and motor abilities using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
What do you hope to learn from this year?
As a doctoral resident, I see myself as embodying both researcher and clinician to inform occupational science and occupational therapy. I hope the OTD provides opportunities for mentorship, networking, and presenting that can help further the development of my leadership skills. As a result of these opportunities, I hope to expand my current research knowledge in order to advance the occupational therapy profession in the future.
If you could give any words of advice for incoming Master’s students, what would they be?
Have fun and take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities USC OT places in front of you! Reach out to faculty, alumni, and second year students for any advice or support you may need, the Trojan Family is here for you!