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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Blog


Craving Crafts? ⟩
September 25, 2019, by Kevin

Classes Life Hacks

It’s no secret that OT 406 Foundations: Creativity, Craft and Activity is one of the most fun courses during your first summer session for the Entry-Level Professional Master’s. Unfortunately, the summer is over and the crafts have been put away, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop crafting and letting that creativity flow! Here is one my favorite crafts to help satisfy your crafting craving.

Memory coasters

Memory Coasters

Have some pictures laying around that you would like to display creatively in your home? These memory coasters are the perfect way to show-off all those “instagramable” locations and start a conversation at dinner.

Materials needed

  • Scissors
  • Self-sealing lamination sheets or laminator
  • Pictures
  • One-Piece Mason Jar Lids, Wide Mouth
  • EastCast Clear Epoxy
  • Plastic Cups
  • Stirring Sticks
  • Gloves
  • Wax Paper
  • Double-sided Tape
  • Marker


  • Trace a circle around the portion of your photo you want to place in your coaster using the bottom of the Mason jar lid.
  • Cut out the circle you just traced, then laminate your photo using either a lamination machine or self-sealing lamination sheets. Laminating the photo is an important step, as sunlight and the clear resin will pull the color out of the photo if not protected.
  • Cut the laminated photo out a second time and secure the photo in the bottom of the Mason jar lid using adhesive or double-sided tape.
  • Place Mason jar lids on a double layer of wax paper to protect the surface you are working on.
  • Mix the clear epoxy resin using the directions provided with your resin and be sure to wear gloves and an apron to protect your skin and clothes. Pour epoxy resin into the Mason jar lids until the lid is about halfway full.
  • Allow the epoxy resin to dry indoors where the coasters will not be disturbed for about 72 hours. Finally, pour yourself a drink and enjoy your beautiful memory coaster.


Let’s Eat! ⟩
September 11, 2019, by Kevin

Housing and Transportation Life Hacks Living in LA

For many of us living in LA or new to the area eating is one of our most cherished occupations. Last year on campus, I spent some quality time “researching” the best food on the HSC campus . . . so loosen up a notch on that belt and let’s eat.

Food Trucks
While they may not always be the healthiest option, the food trucks around campus offer some of the best local cuisine your money can buy! With a wide variety of options from gyros to burgers, there is something delicious for everyone’s taste. Personally, I visited the La Estrella truck every Tuesday to get some of the best pastor tacos and burritos I’ve ever had. If you plan to go to any of the food trucks during lunch, budget at least fifteen to thirty minutes of time because the lines grow quick. Additionally, some of the trucks have an extra card charge, so plan to bring cash.

Farmer’s Markets
There are two amazing farmer’s markets on/near campus every week that have some awesome food options that are both affordable and healthy! Every Tuesday, the Keck Farmers Market comes to the Health Science Campus and quickly became popular within our cohort. It’s a little bit of a walk, so grab a friend or two and plan for about a five minute walk each way. Despite the walk, the food is well worth the trek! If you miss this farmers market, don’t worry, several of the vendors also come to the Pappas Quad located near the Norris Medical Library on Wednesday or Thursday. Some of my favorites from the Farmer’s Market include giant spicy tuna sushi burritos, pita with hummus, and pupusas. Not only are the hot meals tasty, the farmers market offers a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you aren’t sold on the farmers market already . . . then you are about to be! The market offers a healthy community eating program called the Veggie Buck program that allows you to purchase a token to double your purchases of the fresh produce. Furthermore, any produce that does not sell by the end of the week is donated and distributed to families in the community.

On-Campus Dining
If those first two options aren’t your taste, then there are great options for eating on campus. If you are looking for a quick pick-me-up before class or during breaks, check out the Quench Juice Bar. Quench has great drinks and sandwiches if you are like me and forget to pack lunch. If you are looking for more options, then take a quick walk over to the Plaza Marketplace which has some more recognizable favorites such as Starbucks and Panda Express.

Want to take your campus dining up a notch? Then reserve a table at the only full-service restaurant on campus, The Edmondson, for a special occasion.

Off-Campus Dining
There are so many great food options in Los Angeles so explore!


Why Occupational Therapy? ⟩
September 3, 2019, by Kevin

What are OS/OT?

Why did I choose occupational therapy? This is a question that I have been asked countless times during my time at USC. While I usually have a quick one-line statement to summarize my decision to pursue this career, here is the full story:

After graduating from San Diego State, I moved up to Los Angeles and began looking for jobs. Quickly, I found a position working at a company that provides behavioral therapy to children with a variety of diagnoses. While I found that work rewarding and I loved the population, there was something missing from the experience that I couldn’t quite put a finger on. Then one day at work, I shadowed my client’s occupational therapist and had a lightbulb moment that this was what I had been missing. The way the client responded to the therapy and the nature of using occupation as a means of therapy was the piece of the puzzle that I was searching for in a career. To be able to build authentic relationships with people while assisting their development was my idea of a perfect profession. Since attending USC, I have experienced the joy of aiding others to participate in the activities that bring meaning to their life. Each day I feel lucky to have discovered this gem of a profession and to be surrounded by instructors and peers who truly share the same passion and drive for occupational therapy.

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