The role of a USC Chan Student Ambassador is to help raise awareness for the field of occupational therapy and our programs here at USC. They provide tours, give informational presentations, help with events, blog about their experiences, post to Chan Division social media accounts, and answer questions from prospective students.
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! 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 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. 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. 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!
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! 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. 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. 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. 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! 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! 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! 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.
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.
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! 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! 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!). 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!
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. Fight on!
Long Beach, California
Read Nmachi’s blog posts ⟩
Hey! 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!
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!
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. 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!
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! 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. 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.
Anijah, Los Alamitos, CA
Antonietta, Los Angeles, CA
Evan, Plano, TX
Goeun, Gwangju, South Korea
Jessica P., Palos Verdes, California
Joyce, New York, NY
Melissa, Lake Forest, CA
Michael, West Hollywood, CA
Serena, Woodland Hills, CA
Caroline is now Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division
Amber is now Director of Admissions and Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division
Kimberly is now Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan division