Susanne Elkrief MA ’14
Hometown: Encino, CA
Program: Entry-Level Master’s, Class of 2014
What brought you to occupational therapy?
Witnessing the impact occupational therapy had on my grandfather when he was in the hospital, encouraged me to research OT as a potential career option. After shadowing a clinical school psychologist and a school based occupational therapist, the incomparable amount of progress pediatric OTs were able to facilitate and maintain in children helped me determine that OT would be the most personally rewarding field for me.
What area of practice are you interested in?
The areas of practice I am interested in are pediatric mental health and school-based occupational therapy. I feel both areas play such a vital factor in childhood development and I would love to play a role in facilitating health-promoting interventions to encourage healthy growth and development.
Describe your background before coming to occupational therapy.
Before coming to OT, I was a psychology — pre-med student at University of California, San Diego. I had a strong passion for psychology and found myself gravitating towards neuropsychology research and autism. I worked as a research assistant in three different labs throughout my undergraduate experience: a language and development lab, a memory lab, and a research on autism and development lab. After researching several career paths, I found OT would provide me with the most opportunity to interact with children on a personal basis and really cater my skills towards targeting their individual difficulties and goals.
If we opened your fridge, what would we see?
Starbucks double shot coffee cans and hummus!
If you could choose anyone (living or dead) to be your mentor, who would you pick?
I would pick Dr. Jean Ayres, a true leader in the discovery and development of treatment methods for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and sensory integration dysfunction.