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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

Kevin Casey, OTD ’19

Kevin Casey, OTD ’19

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Program: Post-Professional OTD, Class of 2019

Leadership Concentration: Pedagogy

What brought you to occupational therapy?
I’ve always been drawn to working with children. Though I had a great experience teaching 4th grade for two years in a general-education classroom, throughout that time I kept going back to my experience of working at Bay Cliff Health Camp, an overnight therapy camp for children and adolescents with various disabilities. I was introduced to occupational therapy at Bay Cliff and found myself totally drawn to how the OTs worked with the campers to participate in any and every activity they found to be meaningful.

Where are you located for your residency?
Though following graduation I plan to work in a pediatric clinical setting, I decided to use the residency opportunity to explore concepts, theory, and applications of occupational justice. As an undergraduate, I studied international peace studies and disparities within the educational system; occupational justice seemed like the ideal area to combine my passion for social justice and occupational therapy. Consequently, I’ll be working within the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy under the mentorship of Dr. Aldrich.

What do you hope to learn from this year?
In addition to gaining a greater understanding of the main tenets of occupational justice, I also hope to better understand how its concepts can be implemented within pediatric clinical settings. Part of my residency will also include examining curriculum formation and implementation, which I anticipate will provide foundational skills for serving as a professor in the future.

If you could give any advice to incoming Master’s students, what would it be?
Get to know your professors. One of the aspects of the program for which I am most grateful is the support and guidance I’ve received from professors, both inside and outside of the classroom. If you feel that a professor might have helpful insights, or they are doing work of interest to you, ask to meet with them — even if you haven’t had them in class. In my experience, they’ll do whatever they can to support you! Additionally, make efforts to get to know all of your peers. Towards the end of my Master’s and now in the doctorate, I’ve had the opportunity to become friends with classmates that I wish I’d gotten to know much sooner!