Kayla Gan BS-MA ’21
Hometown: Temple City, CA
Program: Bachelor’s to Master’s, Class of 2021
What brought you to USC?
Since elementary school, the Trojan spirit has always been around me. My elementary school principal and many of my teachers were all proud Trojans, and would especially show off their spirit annually during the week of the USC vs. UCLA rivalry game. In fifth grade, I received my first USC shirt in a raffle at school, and from then on I knew it would be a dream to be a part of the Trojan Family. When I found out about USC’s top OT program, everything just fell into place.
What brought you to Occupational Therapy?
I knew I wanted to go into a field where I could serve others. Occupational therapy especially drew me in, compared to other healthcare professions, with the opportunity to focus on and transform an individual’s narrative. I got a glimpse into how disabilities can make an individual feel alienated through my own experiences with glaucoma. I see OT as a chance to empower others through the strength that lies in their stories, regardless of conditions they may face.
Describe your favorite occupational therapy course.
My favorite OT course so far has been Anatomy for Allied Health Professions (OT260). I loved that the course was super hands-on, working with human cadavers on a weekly basis. Although I was nervous at first to be working with cadavers, I quickly realized how blessed we were to have this opportunity as undergrads to actually see the body and all its structures in person!
Tell us about your favorite memory at USC so far.
My first night at freshman orientation I was walking past Tommy Trojan toward Alumni Park, saw DTLA in the distance, then suddenly took in the fact that I was at USC and felt an overwhelming amount of gratitude to be here!
If your childhood had a smell, what would it be?
The smell of sautéed garlic. Whenever I smell it, I think back to the sounds of my mom cooking and the smells wafting into my bedroom while I was pursuing my childhood occupations like doing homework, playing with my toys, or reading.
What are some small things that make your day better?
Hammocking on McCarthy Quad, taking walks around campus at night, journaling, and pictures of dogs!