USC Chan Magazine
The magazine of the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy is published twice yearly and is free to alumni and friends of the division. Please send all changes of address, letters and correspondence to:
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
1540 Alcazar St. CHP 133
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003
or by using Chan Alumni Connect.
Fall 2019 / Winter 2020
A Science of Hope, by Elizabeth J. Yerxa ’52, MA ’53
How our audacious community of scholars created occupational science. (Based on prepared remarks that introduced the “Founders Panel” during the September 2019 USC Chan Occupational Science Symposium.) Read the story >
Other Featured Stories
Neighborhood Program’s STAR Power, by Eric Lindberg ’07
If you don’t know any doctors or scientists, it can be tough to imagine becoming one yourself. By introducing local high schoolers to research labs on campus, the USC STAR program is one way to get more diversity in science and health fields. Read the story >
Cover Story: Double Digits
The numbers don’t lie. As of early 2019, Trojan faculty members have together amassed more than $18 million in active, federally funded research grants. Yes, the previously unprecedented figure is a vote by federal agencies in favor of USC Chan’s research excellence and expertise. But more importantly, federal dollars allow Trojan scientists to do the research today that can lead to a healthier tomorrow. Read about three new studies — funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense — that have pushed USC Chan’s research portfolio into the double digit millions.
New Study Probes the Sensory Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure, by Katharine Gammon
Researchers have known for decades that babies born to mothers who drank heavily while pregnant have differences in brain function. Now, an innovative new study will test their sensory processing. Read the story >
Designing Tomorrow’s Workstation, Today, by Jamie Wetherbe MA ’04
Interdisciplinary team funded by the National Science Foundation is using artificial intelligence in search of healthier ways to work. Read the story >
Other Featured Stories
New strategic plan to put five-year goals into motion, by Mike McNulty ’06, MA ’09, OTD ’10
After more than a year in development, USC Chan Strategic Plan FY 2019-23 was officially adopted in late 2018. The plan outlines six goals guiding the division’s growth, priorities and operations throughout the next five years. Beginning in early 2019, eight strategy implementation teams composed of faculty, staff and students began working to put next steps into action. Read the story >
Health Care for the Homeless, by Katharine Gammon
USC Chan’s Deborah Pitts has worked to integrate occupational therapists into agencies that help the homeless, and her efforts are now paying off in new ways. Read the story >
Cover Story: In Prime Time
No practice area has received quite as much attention during the past decade of health reform as primary care. In this exciting new era, Trojans are demonstrating just how valuable occupational therapy services can be for patients, providers and organizations alike. Meet the USC Chan researchers, educators, clinicians and students making a real difference during this prime time for primary care occupational therapy.
Life, Interrupted, by John Hobbs MA ’14
Rheumatoid arthritis sidelined Sandra Robles for nearly two decades. Now, thanks to the right medication and occupational therapy, she’s ready to get back to the business of life. Read the story >
Living La Vida, by Ana Beatriz Cholo ’98
By partnering with community health workers and clinics, the ¡Vivir Mi Vida! study connects under-served Latinos living on the edges of Los Angeles County with lifestyle-based occupational therapy. Read the story >
Public Service Announcement, by Jamie Wetherbe MA ’04
Student fellowship project focuses on stream-lining occupational therapy services — starting with diabetes patients at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center — within public health systems. Read the story >
Other Featured Stories
REAL Diabetes, by John Hobbs MA ’14
USC Chan study shows how occupational therapy can improve health, quality of life for young adults with diabetes. The NIH-funded study is the first occupational therapy research trial to appear in diabetes literature. Read the story >
Winter 2018 | Campus Wellness Issue
Fighting On for All ’SC: More than 45,000 students, 15,000 staff members and 4,300 faculty members call USC home; USC Chan occupational therapists are helping them lead healthier, happier and more productive lives.
The Doctor(ate) Is In: Grace Baranek shares her reactions to the profession’s new doctoral-degree mandate.
Virtual Reality Rehab: Assistant Professor Sook-Lei Liew MA ’08, PhD ’12 is exploring new brain-computer interfaces that connect stroke survivors to the worlds of tech and medicine.
First Year Fortunes: NIH award and multi-site symposium cap a prolific year for Grace Baranek.
An/Aesthetic: After tumors damaged her upper extremity sensation, occupational therapy empowered a former makeup artist to put her own stamp on oncology rehab.
Time After Time: Looking at the evolution of occupational therapy through the eyes of four generations of Trojans.
Fighting On at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: Meet the USC Chan occupational therapists working side by side with doctors, nurses and surgeons to make a difference in the lives of sick children.
A New Hope: USC Chan’s faculty clinicians offer much-needed help for people living with lymphedema.
The Road to Troy: Charting Grace Baranek’s route from her professional upbringing in Chicago to her new position as associate dean and chair at USC Chan.
Let’s Go Out and Play: Occupational therapy joins forces with architecture to create urban play spaces for people of varying ages and abilities.
Racing Toward the Finish Line: USC Chan alumna Annemarie Orr ‘07, MA ‘08, OTD ‘15 uses the power of occupational therapy to help Boston Marathon bombing survivors Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes get back to the life they knew.
Return to Me: Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 24, Debulyn Salinas had all but given up on life. Then one day, a mailer advertising USC’s Optimal Living with MS program landed on her doorstep.
A Champion for Diversity: A continuing education course aims to train occupational therapists to better provide care to LGBTQIA individuals.
Better Together: Interdisciplinary course brings disparate health professions together to provide health care consultations to low-income seniors.
Winter 2015 | The Entrepreneur Issue
A Head for Business: Meet six alumni who’ve combined their expert clinical skills with an intrepid entrepreneurial spirit to blaze their own trails.
Going the Distance: It’s been five years since a magnitude-7.0 quake devastated Haiti, but USC Chan alumna Karly Streisfeld is as dedicated as ever — even competing on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior — to help shine a spotlight on the island nation’s continued need for aid.
Picturing Prevention: Using sonographic imaging, assistant professor Shawn Roll and his research team seek to detect the earliest signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.
10 Years in Africa: 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the leadership externship that has taken more than 200 USC Chan students to Africa’s West Coast.
Ann the Adventurer: A retrospective on the life and times of Ann Neville-Jan, USC Chan Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Curriculum and Faculty, who passed away Feb. 1, 2015.
Experimental Soccer and the Good Life: In a blog from her new textbook, Moral Laboratories: Family Peril and the Struggle for a Good Life, USC Chan Professor Cheryl Mattingly explores suffering and moral striving.
Into a New Era: With their $20 million gift to the division, USC Trustee Ronnie C. Chan and wife Barbara make history and cement a legacy.
On the Road Again: A hiking accident might have left actor-comedian Jay Cramer partially paralyzed, but he’s not stuck in neutral, thanks to the OT Driver Rehabilitation Program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.
Group Think: An interdisciplinary program representing occupational therapy, pediatrics, engineering, creative technologies and cinematic arts at USC will improve the lives of children with autism spectrum disorder.
Shadow of His Former Self: After losing more than 120 pounds, Lifestyle Redesign success David Morrison is a new man, thanks in part to regular consultations with occupational therapist Ashley Uyeshiro ’08, MA ’10, OTD ’11.
Tipping the Scales: In 1980, 7 percent of American children were obese. In 2012, nearly one-fifth were. Read how the clinical research of one faculty member at the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy aims to tip the scales toward a healthier, happier future for our children.
A Real Team Player: Michelle Farmer MA ’10, OTD ’11 is blazing a trail for occupational therapists working in team-based primary care.
Half Century Salute: To celebrate the relaunch of the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Alumni Association, we asked Half Century Trojans, alumni who earned their degree more than 50 years ago, to reflect on their careers — and USC’s impact upon them.
Narrating Autism, Elopement and Wandering in Los Angeles: Autism and wandering in the City of Angels.
Students Help Peer Ramp Up Service Project: To many, do-it-yourself renovation projects can be a costly headache waiting to happen. But for Donna Ozawa MA ‘15, who can take a look at a person’s home and see potential for healthier living, it’s a real passion.
The Campaign for USC Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy: Looking toward the second century of our profession, the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy embarks upon a historic effort to raise $6 million in support of five major priorities: faculty, research, facilities, students, and impact.
Fighter On: Grad school is tough enough. Caryn Roach is doing it with grace. And cancer.
Neville-Jan Gives Keynote Lecture on Disability to TV and Film Writers Guild: Associate Professor Ann Neville-Jan gave the keynote address at “People First: Real Disabilities, Reel Stories,” a recent event examining the portrayals of people with disabilities in television and film.
Celebrating 70 Years of USC Occupational Therapy: Celebrating seven decades of creating leaders, shaping the profession, and building better lives with a visual history of USC Occupational Therapy.
Clark Gets Close Look at Nation’s Defense Systems: Associate dean and professor Florence Clark was chosen from hundreds of nominees to attend the Department of Defense’s Joint Civilian Orientation Conference.
23rd Occupational Science Symposium: USC’s scientific and advocacy community gathers to share research and insights into Autism in Everyday Life.
Mary Reilly, 1916-2012: Remembering an iconoclast, visionary, and friend.
Student-Run Extravaganza Focuses on Technology in All Its Forms: At the March 24 Occupational Extravaganza, students, faculty, and staff, along with medical professionals and students from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, enjoyed learning from innovative speakers about the role of technologies in occupation-based projects.
Party of Five: What do geriatric fall prevention, diabetes management, work injury diagnostics, autism-focused linguistics, and behavioral neuroscience have in common? They are the five research disciplines of the newest cohort of tenure-track faculty appointed to the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.
$1M Gift Largest in USC OT History: In June, the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy was notified that a one million dollar unrestricted legacy gift was bequeathed to the Division.
First Division White Coat Ceremony: The Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy hosted an inaugural White Coat Ceremony at the Pappas Quad on USC’s Health Sciences Campus on August 26th.
Pixel Power: When Florence Clark picks a metaphor to describe today’s state of occupational therapy, she means it.
Squeezing More Into a Busy Day: While many people harbor a secret hope to magically stretch their daily schedules to fit in more exercise, reading or even napping, occupational therapist Camille Dieterle (O.T.D. ‘08, M.A. ‘07), has ideas for making such wishes come true.
Alumna is an L.A. County Woman of the Year: On March 14, 2011, Terri Chew Nishimura, M.A. (‘85), OTR/L, was honored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Commission for Women as one of a handful of Los Angeles County “Women of the Year”.
Mirror Mirror: How the mirror neuron system may one day change stroke rehabilitation therapy.
USC Occupational Therapy Heads to Washington, D.C.: Division Associate Dean and Chair Florence Clark, along with current USC OTD residents Michelle Farmer, M.A. ’10, and Kiley Hanish, M.A. ’02, OTR/L, traveled in mid-September to Washington, D.C. to educate and lobby on behalf of occupational therapy.
Solomon Delivers Invited Lectures Across the Globe: Olga Solomon, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor in the Division, had a busy summer, delivering three invited lecture presentations across the world between July and October, 2010.
McLaughlin Gray Delivers Keynote at Rancho Clinical Practice Forum: USC faculty member Julie McLaughlin Gray, Ph.D., OTR/L, Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy, gave the keynote address on evidence-based practice at the 2010 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center Occupational Therapy Clinical Practice Conference.