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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Academics
Academics

Allison Phillips OTD ’19

Allison Phillips OTD ’19

Hometown: La Canada, CA

Program: Post-Professional OTD, Class of 2019

Leadership Concentration: Clinical Research

What brought you to occupational therapy?
OT has been on my radar for quite a while now. I actually first heard about it while I was volunteering at Glendale Adventist Hospital in middle school. The Glendale Adventist pediatric OTs, PTs, and SLPs hold summer and winter camps for children with developmental and physical disabilities at their outpatient clinic, The Play to Learn Center. I knew I loved working with children so I decided to start volunteering at these camps. I ended up volunteering from 7th through 12th grade and fell in love with the children and the profession. I loved the way that the OTs utilized play as a means to address various goals and the individualized, client-centered approach to care!

Where are you located for your residency and what services are provided there?
I am located at Chan working in the Innovations in Neurodevelopmental Sensory Processing Research (insp!re) lab with Dr. Grace Baranek. We are working on a handful of studies and projects to better understand sensory-regulatory functions and social-communication development among infants and children at-risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Our goal at the insp!re lab is to identify early behavioral and neuro-physiological risk markers of neurodevelopmental disorders and to develop evidence-based assessments and interventions.

What do you hope to learn from this year?
I hope to better understand the research process, learn about current evidenced-based screening tools, assessments, and interventions in Autism, and grow in my professional and leadership skills.

If you could give any words of advice for incoming Master’s students, what would it be?
Take advantage of all of the amazing opportunities in school and on fieldwork to explore the areas in OT that you are passionate about. Seek out faculty, staff, and student mentors for continued growth and learning. When you feel stressed out about homework or classes, take a second to reflect on why you want to be an OT and let that passion motivate you to continue pushing forward. Take time out of your busy schedule to prioritize self-care and “me-time”. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun!