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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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Education
Education

Ellie Bendetson BS-MA ’20

Ellie Bendetson BS-MA ’20

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Program: Bachelor’s to Master’s, Class of 2020

What brought you to USC?
On paper, USC had everything I was looking for; it has arts, sports and academics, but it wasn’t until I walked onto campus that I realized it was the school for me. The opportunity to study what I love (occupational therapy, of course!) while enjoying the beautiful weather was icing on the cake.

What brought you to Occupational Therapy?
When I was in high school, I became a part of an organization that performed musical theater for different need-based organizations such as rehabilitation centers, juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters, day programs for adults with developmental disabilities and more. I became enthralled in how much the music, words, dances and comedy could positively impact the audiences watching. Through this involvement, I was able to work alongside a group of inspiring, smart, altruistic people and I knew I wanted to find a field for me to express my creativity and my need to help others. I was able to make an impact, while learning so much myself and what I had to offer. When I heard about the occupational therapy program at USC, I knew it was a perfect combination of the biomechanical, the creative and the philanthropic. It checked all the boxes and since beginning the MA II program, I have been able to continuously see the incredible impact our field can have on others. Everyday, I fall more and more in love with what our field can do, how it can impact the lives of our patients and with all of the incredible people who call themselves OTs!

What song can you sing entirely by heart?
I can (terribly) sing a couple songs by heart, but my proudest is that I can rap all of Lose Yourself by Eminem.

What are some small things that make your day better?
When I’m feeling stressed, I find that surrounding myself with friends, dogs, nature and baked goods helps to pick me up, give me a little perspective and put me in a great mood.