Los Angeles, CA
Read Aisha’s blog posts >
As Salaamu Alaykum (peace be upon you) and hello! I’m Aisha Abdullah, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I’m a second-year student in the Entry-Level Master’s Program at USC Chan. I also received my BA in Psychology with a minor in Occupational Science from USC.
The healthcare field has always interested me, and my aunt (a fellow Trojan!) encouraged me to take an OS minor class and consider occupational therapy. After taking OT 250 and shadowing my professor at the Mini Olympics at Atwater Park Center, I knew this career was for me.
In addition to the holistic, person-centered nature of OT, I’m fascinated by the endless possibilities of this broad and diverse profession. I started this program with a strong passion for pediatrics. However, my interests evolved after taking the Adult Rehab and Mental Health practice immersions and completing a fieldwork placement working with adults and seniors. Wherever OT takes me, I want to spend my career promoting occupational justice and supporting people with limited resources to strive toward a meaningful and fulfilling life.
In my free time (a must to squeeze in during grad school!), I enjoy hiking, the beach, playing board games, and bonding with my large family and friends. I am also an avid henna artist and spend far too much money on takeout! I look forward to sharing my journey and experiences as an OT student! If you have questions or want to chat, please feel free to reach out. I’m excited to meet you all. Fight On!
Thousand Oaks, CA
Read Bryan’s blog posts >
Hey, hey, hey — I’m Bryan! I was born in Los Angeles and was raised in Thousand Oaks, CA. I have been studying in LA for the past 6 years, receiving a BA in Health & Human Sciences and a BA in NGOs & Social Change (with a minor in Occupational Science) from USC, and I am currently entering my second year in USC Chan’s Entry-Level Master’s Program. Growing up in an erratic, complicated household, I decided to choose a career path that centered around meaning and purpose, which made occupational therapy a natural choice. I specifically appreciated OT’s role in pediatric care and early intervention and hoped to one day become a pediatric OT to help burgeoning kiddos become their best selves! I have experiences working as a pediatric OT Aide at an outpatient sensory integration clinic and as a social enterprise intern for a child abuse prevention nonprofit; I’m currently interested in adult/pediatric acute care and trauma-informed care and hope to pursue these areas of practice after graduation!
Outside of class, I enjoy watching Rupaul’s Drag Race, attending fitness classes, seeing live music, thrifting, and (of course) sleeping! I’m a lot of energy and have been told that my bellowing laugh can be heard through the walls of CHP! I’m excited to share my experiences with you all this coming year. As always, Fight On!
West Sacramento, CA
Read Leah’s blog posts >
Hi! My name is Leah Willover, and I was raised in West Sacramento, CA! I received my BA in Psychology with a Philosophy minor from Loyola Marymount University.
Following my undergraduate studies, I completed an AmeriCorps year in Seattle, WA. I served in a permanent supportive housing building for senior men (55+) experiencing chronic homelessness. I then worked as a research coordinator for the Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation and Wellness Research Center at the University of Washington. This team developed rehabilitation psychology interventions for MS and comorbid conditions, including chronic pain, fatigue, and depression.
I first learned about occupational therapy from a family friend who was an OT who would come work with me as a child during my cancer treatment experience. I then continued to see the value of occupations while attending/volunteering at a Pediatric Oncology camp in Northern California. I was drawn to this profession due to its holistic approach to disease, disability, and wellness. I was also excited by the vast scope and variability in occupational therapy. I came into this program unsure of what practice setting I wanted to practice in, which is completely normal!
This past summer, I completed my Level II fieldwork at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in the Medicine/Surgery department and the Neuro inpatient rehabilitation unit. I totally fell in love with the inpatient acute setting! I one day hope to work in adult/pediatric acute care and am completing my second Level II in a pediatric oncology setting. I am also interested in possibly pursuing academia/research in the future!
Outside class, I enjoy reading, hiking, bouldering, watching reality tv with friends, and eating (especially ice cream 😊 ). I am happy to answer any questions about the program. I am excited to share more about my experiences with you this year. Fight On!
Read Leah Mary’s blog posts >
Hey there! My name is Leah King and I am originally from Chicago, IL. I am a triple trojan; I graduated with a BA in Cognitive Science and a BA in East Asian Area Studies. I just completed my Master’s in the Entry-Level Master’s Program at USC Chan!
I learned about occupational therapy at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab when I drove my grandma there for rehab. Shirley Ryan is a state-of-the-art research and rehabilitation facility. So I was hooked. I finished my last Level II fieldwork on the brain innovation floor (the same one my grandma was on) at Shirley Ryan this summer, which was a meaningful way to end my Master’s.
Some of my favorite occupations include hiking, camping, traveling, hanging out with family and friends, and eating. I’m so excited for this upcoming year and to see where we all end up. As your student ambassador, my door is always open. Please let me know if you have any questions about the program, scholarships, or anything else! Fight On!
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Read Mika’s blog posts >
I hope you are all fine and well as you read this. Mika here, from the tropical islands of the Philippines!
A little info about me: I received my bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of the Philippines — Manila in 2017. I took the Philippine Occupational Therapist Licensure Exam the next year and from there, I started working mainly as a pediatric therapist in Manila. From my four years of practice, I got to meet amazing clients of different abilities and worked with a lot of families who were the epitome of selflessness for their children. In my practice, I have developed an interest in feeding and swallowing therapy as I took up basic courses on the Sequential Oral Sensory Approach and dysphagia management. In other words, I’m a big foodie and I really enjoy helping others find meaning during mealtimes! Right now, I am excited to further hone my skills in this area as I take up my post-professional master’s degree here at USC Chan!
Aside from being a graduate student, I also play the role of a #CrazyDogLady to my two adorable dogs — a shih poo named Oreo and a maltese named Mochi. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, doing outdoor activities like hiking and biking, and finding the best restaurants and coffee shops in town!
I guess that’s it for now but in case there is anything you want to know more about (or if you simply want to talk about dogs or a good restaurant here in LA), my line is always open. Fight On, future Trojan!
San Ysidro, CA/ Tijuana, Mexico
Read Tania’s blog posts >
Hi! My name is Tania Herrera and I was born in Los Angeles, CA, but raised in Tijuana, Mexico. I received my BA in Ethnic Studies with a minor in Human Development from UC San Diego. I’m a second-year student in the Entry-Level Master’s Program.
I worked for several years as an academic counselor for UC San Diego helping students navigate higher education. I decided to change career paths after meeting an occupational therapist who treated my grandfather after his hip replacement surgery. I loved how occupational therapy was a combination of education and healthcare.
This summer, I completed my Level II fieldwork in an outpatient pediatric clinic and loved the population I worked with. I would love to continue working with children in a school base or early intervention setting. I hope that one day I can open my own pediatric clinic and publish a series of children’s books.
In my free time I enjoy watching shows, sleeping, eating, hiking, traveling, dancing, and spending time with my family and friends. I am obsessed with anything Disney, dogs, and decorating sugar cookies. My favorite occupation in the world is being an aunt.
I look forward to meeting you all and sharing my journey as an OT student! If you have questions, please feel free to reach out!
Read Yoojin’s blog posts >
Hi everyone, nice to meet you! My name is Yoojin Chung and I’m from Irvine, CA. I’ve lived there most of my life until I moved to LA to attend USC. I’m a current 5th year in the BS-MA program, and have enjoyed every moment of my USC experience.
I learned about OT through a family member who received OT from a very young age. I witnessed first-hand the incredible mission of OT to bring purpose and joy into every person’s life and knew I wanted to do the same.
This past summer, I completed my first level II fieldwork at an outpatient pediatric clinic, which helped me learn I really want to work in pediatrics. One day, I hope to work in academia helping students reach their goals while practicing part-time in outpatient pediatrics. Oh, and add being a dog mom to that list of future aspirations!
When I’m not geeking out about OT, you can probably find me running, shopping, reading, hiking, or playing card games (I love Mono Deal!).
I’m here to answer any questions and give advice with compassion and honesty. I’m always open to hiking trail, book, and card game recs! I’m so excited to meet more of you this year. Fight On!
Tinton Falls, NJ
Read Alyssa’s blog posts >
Hi! My name is Alyssa Matlosz and I’m from Tinton Falls, NJ. I’m a second-year student in the Entry-Level Master’s program at USC Chan, and this will be my 3rd degree from USC (hopefully soon to be 4th with the OTD)! I have an MA in Media Arts, Games, & Health and BA in Media Arts + Practice from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, plus a minor in Occupational Science. Making the transition from wanting to be a film editor to discovering my true passions in occupational therapy has been a winding road, but I am so happy I found my way here.
Outside of class, some of my favorite occupations include spending time with friends, doing jigsaw puzzles, teaching Zumba (check out my class at the USC Village Gym!), and cooking.
I’m super excited for this year — to be back in LA, to grow as a future OT, and to connect with you! Please feel free to reach out with any questions, Fight On!
Read Andrea’s blog posts >
Hi! My name is Andrea Perdomo and I am from Downey, CA. I just wrapped up my second year here at USC as an undergraduate student studying Occupational Therapy and minoring in Spanish. As a student in the Bachelor’s to Doctorate program, I will be finishing up my undergraduate classes this upcoming school year along with my OT prerequisite courses.
I found OT through my interest in health care and my shadowing experience I had in high school. I was shadowing a pediatric therapist who worked with children with disabilities. I was enthralled in the work she was doing and the holistic approach to patient care.
Outside of academics, my favorite occupations are dancing, exploring new boba shops with my friends, and going to concerts (so glad concerts are back and in person!)
As this year’s summer student ambassador, I’m excited to share more about my journey as an undergraduate OT student with you. Feel free to reach out any time and as always, Fight On!
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 Diego, CA
Read Guy’s blog posts >
Hi. My name is Guy Reavis and I grew up in San Diego, CA but have spent most of my life in Brooklyn, NY. I am in my second year of the Master’s Program. I first discovered occupational therapy while working as a teacher and then an administrator in the New York City Public School system. For many years I was amazed by the work of the occupational therapists I encountered. While working in schools, I always found the students really enjoyed working with the occupational therapists, and the occupational therapists truly seemed to be in love with their work. Later, after my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, I was exposed to occupational therapy for older adults. I very much admired and was envious of the occupational therapists I got to know. Also, the more I learned about the career the more I felt like it could be a great fit for me and what I wanted to do for the next stage of my working life. So, after my mother passed, I took a leap and decided to make a career change to become an OT.
Some of my favorite occupations include taking care of my dogs, cooking, hiking, finding great new music, spending time with my wife, and running.
I am so happy to be in person for school this year. After a year of Zoom, it is wonderful to be on campus with my fellow OT students and Chan faculty and staff. If you have any questions about becoming an OT as a second career, or about the program, feel free to reach out. Fight On!
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Read Kayla’s blog posts >
Hi! My name is Kayla Chism and I am from Rancho Cucamonga, California. I graduated from the University of La Verne in California with a BS in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Health and Human Performance. I was first introduced to OT by my Mother and it turned out to be the perfect fit, I guess mom truly does know best! As I did more research and began to further understand the role of an occupational therapist I fell in love with the focus on client-centered care and the ability to make meaningful change in people’s lives. Outside of the classroom, some of my favorite occupations include listening to music, spending time with my dog, and searching for the best breakfast burrito in LA (recommendations are welcomed!). As I embark on this journey full of new experiences and new opportunities for learning and growth, I am excited to continue studying this wonderful profession and to share it with all of you! Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have, and as always, Fight On!
Quezon City, Philippines
Read Marvyn’s blog posts >
Hey hey! My name is Marvyn Ngo. I am a third-generation Filipino-Chinese, born and raised in the Philippines. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy in Manila, and I have been a licensed occupational therapist in the Philippines for almost 2 years. Now, I am a proud student of the Post-Professional Master’s program! I love to cook, watch movies and TV shows, play video games, and spending time with my friends and family! I also love going on adventures and to explore cultures around the world.
Occupational therapy always felt like home whenever I get to make an impact in people’s lives. And now, I am so honored to be learning from the best instructors alongside individuals from all over the globe! If there’s anything you want to learn more about, or to simply just chat, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Fight on!
Read Seth’s blog posts >
Hello and howdy! My name is Seth Mitchell (he/him/his) and I am from Sylvania, Ohio. I am in my second year of the Master’s Program as a student from the Bachelor’s-to-Master’s program (which is transitioning now into the Bachelor’s-to-Doctorate). I first discovered occupational therapy through extension college-prep research, so if you’re reading this and also have had no first-hand experience with OT, don’t let that stop you from entering the field! Since then I have fallen in love with the foundational idea of OT that we are what we do, how we do it, and why. As a first-generation, LGBTQIA+ student I am especially enamoured by the way OT moves beyond just the medical model and into that of a person’s humanity and sociocultural contexts.
Some of my favourite occupations include embroidery, thrifting, cooking, and reading. I am looking forward to what this year, and beyond, has in store for me and I am excited to take you all along on that journey with me! Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or just to chat. Fight on!
Read Silvia’s blog posts >
Hola! My name is Silvia Hernandez-Cuellar, and I was born in Mexico — Guadalajara, Jalisco — but have lived in the United States since I was three years old. I was raised in California in a small garlic town known to many as Gilroy.
In my wildest dreams did I imagine that little girl pursuing a collegiate education, yet here we are: a first-generation Latina in higher education. I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BS in kinesiology and a minor in child development in 2018 and I am now in my second year of the occupational therapy Entry-Level Master’s program here at USC Chan. My love for occupational therapy stems from its holistic approach and investment in the well-being of an individual, recognizing their humanity over any illness, condition, or diagnosis as well as its family centeredness (I am big on family). When I am not learning about how to become an OT, my time is spent working out, eating ice cream and freshly underbaked cookies, watching Mulan, catching beach sunsets and sunrises, reading self-help books, and praying. I am an open book; if you ask, I will answer. I look forward to sharing with you my life as a student, an ambassador, and a girl living her best life in Los Angeles. Feel free to reach out, I’d love to connect with you!
El Monte, CA
Read Teresa’s blog posts >
Hi! My name is Teresa Pham and I’m a Los Angeles girl through and through — born in San Gabriel, raised in El Monte, received my bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and am now in my second year of the Entry-Level Master’s program here at the USC Chan Division. I started my undergraduate career thinking I was going to pursue medicine, switched gears to law, considered computer science, and explored teaching. During my time as a second-grade teaching assistant, a parent asked me if I had ever considered becoming an occupational therapist because I embodied similar traits and values as OTs that worked with her child — compassion, patience, and creativity. Here at USC, I’m honored to be learning alongside and from individuals who live by those same values and are constantly helping me to redefine my understanding of what “occupation” is and how central it is to life. By engaging in my favorite occupations, such as spending quality time with friends and family, giving my dogs the best life they deserve, finding the best taco trucks Los Angeles has to offer, or winding down with one (or ten) episodes of my favorite TV shows, I am able to restore my sense of direction and work towards becoming the best version of myself, so that I might help others live their best lives, too. My door is always open, so please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!
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.
(Catherine is now Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy within the Chan division.)
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 BA 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.
Ali, Sacramento, CA
Bethany, San Marino, CA
Bryan, Redondo Beach, CA
Caroline, Durham, NC
Erika, La Verne, CA
Kaitlyn, Diamond Bar, CA
Linah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Caroline is now Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division
Alyssa, Ontario, CA
Erwin, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Jessica, San Francisco, CA
JessicaP, Palos Verdes, CA
JRoe, Dana Point, CA
Kimmy, Ardsley, NY
Raisa, Cebu City, Philippines
Ariel, Berkeley, CA
Heather, Santa Barbara, CA
Jodie, Arcadia, CA
Joe, New York, NY
Megan, Arcadia, CA
Brenda, Garden Grove, CA
Claire, San Jose, CA
Jonathan, Diamond Bar, CA
Kristy, Bovey, MN
Leila, Chino, CA
Clarissa, Southern California
Jen, Belmont, CA
Kate, Denver, CO
Rob, Brookfield, IL
Ryan, Southern California
Samar, Saudi Arabia
Alisa, Cypress, CA, and Thailand
Amber, San Francisco, CA
Kendra, Lake Jackson, TX
Paula, Livermore, CA
Ricky, Southern California
- Amber is now Assistant Director of Admissions and Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division
Alix, Willington, CT
Chelsea, San Diego, CA
Chris, Virginia Beach, VA
Floyd, Los Angeles, CA
Kimberly, Riverside, CA
- Kimberly is now Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division
Amanda, Ellicott City, MD
Austen, Portland, OR
Carissa, Belmont, CA
Helen, Castro Valley, CA
Pierre, Los Angeles, CA
Yao, Middleton, WI