Orange County, CA
Read Arianna’s blog posts >
Hello there! My name is Arianna Lopez and I am from Orange County, CA! I just finished my third year as an undergraduate student studying Occupational Therapy and Psychology at USC. I am in the Bachelor’s to Master’s program so I will be entering my first year of the graduate program this fall. My mom is an OT, so I first learned about the profession from her. Both of my grandpas had disabilities and I grew up watching my mom practice OT with them. I loved watching them make progress and I eventually realized that I wanted to do this as a full time career. Some of my favorite occupations include nail art, taking care of my pets, and growing vegetables! I am honored to be a student ambassador for the summer and I can’t wait to share my journey with all of you. Feel free to reach out any time and as always, Fight On!
San Marino, California
Read Bethany’s blog posts >
Hello! My name is Bethany Yew, and I am from San Marino, California. I am in my second year of the Master’s program as a student in the Bachelor’s-to-Master’s program. It seems strange that I will be concluding the program so soon, as I am in my fifth and final year. Growing up with physicians as parents, I had wanted to help people through health care. When I first found occupational therapy in high school, I was entranced by the idea that OT looks at answering the question “What matters to you?” not just “What’s the matter with you?” I wanted to be able to creatively help people achieve their goals in their everyday occupations. And now I get to share about my pursuit of occupational therapy with you! Feel free to reach out to me at any time, and Fight On!
Read Calvin’s blog posts >
Hey there! My name is Calvin Lee and I’m from Arcadia, California. I graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a BA in psychology, and am currently in my second year of the Entry-Level Master’s program. Before I had learned about occupational therapy, all I knew was that I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know how to. However, after a good friend of mine introduced me to the profession during my senior year of high school, I had fallen in love. Occupational therapy takes such a collaborative and holistic approach towards helping people live their life to the fullest and I’m forever grateful to be in a program filled with supportive colleagues, faculty, and mentors who empower me every step of the way. Some of my favorite occupations include spending time with family and friends, traveling to new places, and doing anything related to music! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store, and I’m so excited to share my stories about my USC OT journey with you all! Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have and I would be more than happy to answer them! Fight On!
Van Nuys, CA
Read Daniel’s blog posts >
Hello! My name is Daniel Padilla Vega and I was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico. I was raised in Van Nuys, CA since the age of six! I graduated from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with a B.S. in Kinesiology: Exercise Science. I was introduced to occupational therapy (OT) during one of my introductory Kinesiology courses. While completing OT volunteer hours I learned more about the profession’s holistic approach and the diverse populations it serves. I wanted to pursue a career that would teach me the appropriate skills to help maximize the well-being of people who live within challenging contexts in the communities where I grew up (i.e., low-income, immigrants, undocumented, Latinx). As a first-generation student, my education has also granted me the opportunity to pursue leadership roles that allow me to help students navigate higher education. Outside of the classroom, some of my favorite occupations include finding fun ways to exercise, learning about random topics on podcasts, and always looking to try new food places (especially burritos!). Please feel free to contact me and ask any questions! Fight on!
New Orleans, Louisiana
Read Lamoni’s blog posts >
Hi! My name is Lamoni Lucas and I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. I graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology. At the end of my junior year, I attended a career fair where, after expressing my interests, I was told “oh! You should look into occupational therapy!” So, I did. I was immediately drawn to the profession’s emphasis on holistic care and how that translates to helping clients fully engage in daily living. The more I read about OT, the more creative, flexible, and unique it sounded. It was like going down a rabbit hole of endless possibilities. In class, the rabbit hole continues to expand! Just when you think you have a grasp on what occupational therapists can do, there’s more. Outside of class, my occupations include reading, working out, exploring new restaurants, and spending time with the people that I love. I look forward to sharing my student experience with you all! Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Santa Ana, California
Read Liz’s blog posts >
Hello! My name is Liz Rivera and I was born and raised in Santa Ana, CA. I am a 2nd year student in the Entry-level Master’s program and recently moved to Los Angeles to be closer to campus. Prior to attending USC’s OT program, I attended California State University, Fullerton where I received my B.S. in Kinesiology. I chose to pursue a career in occupational therapy because it is a profession that is inclusive and welcomes innovation! My love for occupational therapy continues to grow as I learn about our role when working with diverse populations across various settings. Outside of the classroom, my meaningful occupations consist of longboarding, tanning at the beach, attempting to cook, and spending time with my loved ones. I am excited to see what this year has in store and look forward to sharing my experiences with you all. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions and stay tuned for my future blog posts! Fight on!
Long Beach, California
Read Nmachi’s blog posts >
My name is Nmachi Obiwuru and I am from Long Beach, CA. I am currently going into my 2nd year of the wonderful Bachelor’s to Master’s program. Generally speaking, I have always been inspired and excited by science. My love for science began with simple curiosity about the workings of the human body, and later developed into a full-blown desire to use my science knowledge to help others. Throughout my schooling, I continuously gravitated toward USC because of the many opportunities and resources available to pursue a career in science/healthcare. I was introduced to the field of occupational therapy by my sister (a USC alumna) and through my own research regarding various healthcare professions. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason because after learning more about the field, I discovered that USC is #1 in the nation for occupational therapy! My dream school + a new, compelling career path = perfection! I am very honored to be able to learn more about OT everyday through the BS-MA program, and I am proud to be a student ambassador this summer!
Fun facts about me: I’m Nigerian-American, I love dancing and singing at random moments throughout the day, and I believe that the musical Hamilton is simply genius (I would love to chat about it anytime)!
San Diego, California
Read Savi’s blog posts >
Hi there! My name is Savi Lurie and I am from San Diego, California. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Rehabilitation Psychology in 2019. I first learned about OT after injuring both my thumbs playing as a goalie for my middle school soccer team. During my hand rehabilitation process, I worked with a USC OT graduate who enlightened me on all the avenues one can take as an OT and worked with me to tailor the therapy sessions to best address my occupational needs. After watching my sister complete her first year in OT school, I was further convinced that this profession was perfect for me since it allows me to care for people across the lifespan and enable clients to improve their quality of life through a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Outside of the classroom, some of my favorite activities include running, hiking, wakeboarding, dancing, and spending time with friends and family. As an ambassador, I look forward to sharing my excitement about OT and USC with you all! Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
Read Yna’s blog posts >
Hey there! My name is Joleena Acolola but I go by Yna. I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. I graduated from the University of the Philippines Manila with a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy (OT). Currently, I am residing here in Southern California, pursuing graduate studies at USC Chan’s Post-Professional Master’s program. The more I study about occupational therapy, the more drawn I become to its holistic and client-centered approach. It’s amazing to learn about the many ways that OTs can empower our clients across any age group to live meaningful lives by engaging in the occupations that matter to them the most. Personally, some of my favorite occupations include traveling, taking pictures, staying active, and spending quality time with my family and friends. I am eager to see what this year has in store, and to share with you all my journey as a Trojan OT student. Feel free to reach out for any questions you may have, or even just to chat! Fight On!
Seoul, South Korea
Read Catherine’s blog posts
Hello! My name is Catherine Shin and I’m from Seoul, South Korea. I received my BA in Government from Smith College and my MBA from Ewha Women’s University. After several years of working in business, I took time off to care for my grandmother who was battling cancer. I discovered OT when I realized that climbing the corporate ladder was no longer a meaningful goal. I was drawn to the holistic approach of occupational therapy, and the diversity of our professional practice setting and clientele. I received my Master’s in OT here at USC, and am currently a doctoral resident in the Occupational Science — Dissemination and Translation Initiative. Some of my valued occupations, I enjoy baking cookies with my nephews and discovering new eateries around the Los Angeles area.
Iloilo City, Philippines
Read Japeth’s blog posts
Hello! My name is Japeth Dia and I am from Iloilo City, Philippines. I was born and raised there and I am here at USC for my Post-Professional Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. I did my Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy at Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU), Mandaue City, Cebu.
Before taking my Bachelor’s Degree in OT, I was actually a Physical Therapy student for two years. I was about to enter my third year as a PT student when I fully grasped what OT is all about. Immediately and impulsively, I decided to shift to the OT program. I initially chose OT because of its in-depth knowledge and intervention on Pediatrics and Mental Health. However, as time went by, I also fell in love with Community-Based Rehabilitation and Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction. I appreciate how holistic and different the approach that we do to each and every client. Seeing clients improve, become independent, and be able to do the things they love is the best part of being an OT! Becoming an occupational therapist was the most impulsive decision yet also the best one I made so far.
Read Kaho’s blog posts
Hi! My name is Kaho and I am from Kobe, Japan. I spent half of my life living in Colorado Springs, CO as well. I graduated from the University of California San Diego with a BS in psychology with a specialization in social psychology. I was introduced to OT during my sophomore year of college when I started to question my pre-med path. I loved the holistic view OTs take of their clients, integrating mental and physical health and valuing each individual’s unique life experiences/roles. I’ll never forget the quote that my friend’s mom (who is an OT) shared with me: “If PTs teach people to walk, OTs teach people to dance.” Some of my favorite occupations are spending time with family and friends, eating, dancing, running, travelling, hiking, and basically anything active. I’m excited to share with you about my life as a Trojan OT student! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have.
Read Kat’s blog posts
Hey! My name is Kat Hylton and I am from Inglewood, California. I graduated from George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon where I played softball and earned BA degrees in Psychology and Spanish. I first learned about OT through my many injuries while playing softball. Although I did not receive OT services as an athlete, I later learned the benefits that OT can have for a person with a serious injury. This is where my love for OT started. I wanted to help people continue to participate in the activities or occupations that they love regardless of the challenges they may be facing. Outside of the classroom, some of my favorite occupations include running, kickboxing, cooking, and hanging out with friends and family. I am excited for what this new year has to bring! Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have. Fight On!
El Dorado Hills, CA
Read Kevin’s blog posts
Hello! My name is Kevin Uhrik and am from El Dorado Hills, CA. I graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Biology. I choose to pursue a career in occupation therapy because I wanted to work in a profession that was flexible and helps people live what their best lives. Everyone has both similar and different occupations that constitute their unique view of their best life. Personally, I love spending time with friends and family anywhere outdoors. Kayaking, hiking, climbing . . . if it’s outdoors, count me in! When I am not outside, you can probably find me solving or designing puzzles. I am looking forward to this year as an ambassador sharing my excitement about occupational therapy and USC!
Van Nuys, California
Read Marilyn’s blog posts
Hello there! My name is Marilyn Rodriguez and I am from Southern California. I am a 2nd year student in the Entry-level Master’s Program. I am a double Trojan who graduated from USC with a BA in Human Biology in 2017. I decided to pursue occupational therapy because of the holistic and collaborative approach taken when providing quality care for people across the lifespan. My zeal for OT continues to expand due to supportive faculty, innovative mentors, and lateral thinking peers who provide me with new perspectives in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, my meaningful occupations consist of taking dance classes (salsa, hip hop, zumba, etc.), exploring coffee shops, cooking, and spending quality time with loved ones. Feel free to reach out and keep up with my blog posts. Fight on!
Read Noelle’s blog posts
Hello World! I’m Noelle Schorn and I am currently in my 5th and final year of the Bachelor’s to Master’s program. I was lucky enough to find out about OT as a sophomore in high school after joining a club called Best Buddies. Imagine my excitement and sense of destiny when I found out that one of the world’s top OT programs was so close to home (I’m from Anaheim). I remember first Googling “Occupational Therapy” and thinking it was too good to be true. I connected with its blend of art and science and person-centered approach. As someone who always loved to try out different activities (from dance to martial arts, ceramics to roller-skating), I related to the emphasis on meaningful engagement and saw opportunity to learn alongside those I aim to serve. My love of OT has only grown since then and I am grateful every day to be on this path.
Los Alamitos, CA
Read Anijah’s blog posts
Hi there! My name is Anijah Green and I’m from Los Alamitos, CA. I am currently getting my B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Occupational Science at USC. I am also the current president of the Pre-OT Club at USC. I aspire to be a part of this holistic healthcare profession because it strives to ensure that people are able to engage in a meaningful life in their everyday activities. I really enjoy interacting with the people of occupational therapy because they are friendly and always ready to help in any way they can. Some of my favorite occupations include taking spontaneous road trips, finding new restaurants to try in Los Angeles, and traveling. I love to recommend good places to go for events and food in Los Angeles. Fight On!
Los Angeles, CA
Read Antonietta’s blog posts
Hello! I’m Antonietta Iannaccone but I go by Etta. I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA (Los Feliz, for you locals!). I studied Science Technology and Society at Scripps College, focusing on the history of mid-century medicine. My capstone was a senior thesis accompanied by a run of letter pressed artists books focusing on lobotomies in the United States and the use of visual culture to popularize them. After graduation, I worked as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor. I loved seeing how my student’s engagement with the animals helped them achieve other important life goals and I wanted to learn why it was working and how I could make it more efficient. That’s when I found occupational therapy! I completed my MA at USC and am currently pursuing my Doctorate in Occupational Therapy with a split residency between Therapy West and The Children’s Ranch. I am interested in bringing Sensory Integration out of the clinic and involving animals in my work as an occupational therapist. My meaningful occupations reflect my interest in vintage objects and styles, and include sewing, running a pinup lifestyle magazine, and restoring/rebuilding appliances.
Read Evan’s blog posts
Hello! My name is Evan Nicholas and am originally from Plano, TX. Since completing a B.A. in Cinema-Television from USC in 2005, I have resided in Santa Monica, CA working in the motion picture industry. Several years ago I got married and was becoming increasingly interested in a career change. I was drawn to occupational therapy because of the holistic approach to healthcare, and could not be prouder to be earning a Master’s in OT from USC; my alma mater. Some of my favorite occupations include hiking, playing the piano, and unstructured play with my 2-year-old son.
Gwangju, South Korea
Read Goeun’s blog posts
Hi! My name is Goeun and I’m from Gwangju, South Korea. I graduated from Woosong University, Korea, with my bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy. I chose occupational therapy because I wanted to help people who need help and improve their well-being. My favorite occupation is watching movies as I can imagine and experience things which I’ve never had in real life. I also like to find delicious restaurants and try many different foods. I’m so excited to study Post-Professional Master’s Program in USC and share my OT life!
Palos Verdes, California
Read Jessica P’s blog posts
Hello there! My name is Jessica and I was born and raised in sunny Southern California. I am a student in the Bachelor to Master’s Occupational Therapy program and graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 2018 from USC. I was exposed to occupational therapy in high school through volunteering at a summer camp for children with special needs. I knew that occupational therapy was the path for me as it combined my love of helping others and healthcare. Some of my favorite occupations outside of school include figure skating, reading, playing with my dogs, and traveling. I look forward to sharing my passion for the Trojans and occupational therapy with you. Fight on!
New York, NY
Read Joyce’s blog posts
Hey there! My name is Joyce, currently a 2nd year in the Entry-level Master’s Program. I’m originally from NYC, completed my undergrad at Boston College and decided that it was time to take my talents to the west coast. I studied Applied Psychology and Human Development in Boston with a minor in Medical Humanities and Special Education. I decided to pursue occupational therapy in senior year of high school through my grandmother. After a car accident, my grandmother experienced a spinal cord injury, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Though she needed assistance here and there, occupational therapy has allowed her to regain much of her independence through cooking and dressing. Mesmerized by the profession, I knew I had to go for it. Currently a few of my favorite occupations include binging Netflix in bed, taking pictures and posting on Instagram, and hot yoga. In addition, I represent occupational therapy on the executive board for the Student-Run Clinic. I’m excited to meet all of you and share the passion of OT, Fight On!!
Lake Forest, CA
Read Melissa’s blog posts
Hi there! My name is Melissa and I’m from Lake Forest, CA. I graduated from Cal State University Channel Islands with my BA in Psychology and I first learned about occupational therapy while I was helping my family care for my grandmother, as she was receiving OT services at the time. The more I learned about occupational therapy, the more I fell in love with it! I began to volunteer in different settings in order to increase my knowledge of the profession, and I began the process of applying to my dream program — USC Chan! Since being here for the last year, there have been countless moments that remind me that occupational therapy is the perfect fit for me. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy going on hikes, hanging out at the beach, cooking, traveling, and spending quality time with my loved ones. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store, and I’m excited to share it with you! Fight on!
West Hollywood, CA
Hi! My name is Michael and I’m one of the student ambassadors here at the Chan Division. I was born and raised right here in sunny LA and grew up in the neighborhood of West Hollywood. I went to USC for undergrad and graduated with my BA in Psychology in 2014. It’s safe to assume that I know Los Angeles pretty well, so don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about our awesome city! A few things to know about me: I love spending time with my nephews (Oliver – 5, Noah – 3, and Theo – 1), my favorite occupations are SoulCycle and trying new places to eat all around town, and I can’t wait to be a pediatric occupational therapist! I was originally pursuing dentistry during my time as an undergraduate student, but I found occupational therapy to be a better fit for me personally because it allowed me to communicate with my clients on a deeper and more meaningful level. As you may know, it’s quite difficult to talk to patients when their mouth is full of gauze and suction! Funny enough, my academic journey led me to the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC either way! I look forward to meeting you in the future. Fight on, forever!
Woodland Hills, CA
Read Serena’s blog posts
Hi! My name is Serena and I was born and have happily resided in Southern California. I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at UCLA in 2015 as a POSSE scholar. I chose to pursue occupational therapy because of the ability to work in a healthcare profession where I can help individuals live a happier and healthier life by addressing the areas in their life that matter most to them. I absolutely love the autonomy and power occupational therapists give to their clients as they work collaboratively to promote health and wellness. My love for OT has only grown since entering USC’s Occupational Therapy graduate program. The program has further opened my eyes to the unique and vital role occupational therapists play in the healthcare system. Outside of the program, some of my favorite occupations include hiking, making Vegan recipes, and practicing Yoga. I am also a member of the interdisciplinary organization, Student-Run Clinic.
- Caroline is now Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division
- Amber is now Assistant Director of Admissions and Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division
- Kimberly is now Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division