University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Redesigning Lives Globally
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About Us

Meet Our Trojan Family

Rachel Kent, MAII ‘15

Two-Year Master's

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I observed my cousin, who is an OT Trojan, at her pediatric sensory integration clinic and immediately fell in love with the profession. However, what really solidified it for me was when a friend’s sister was born with special needs. A multitude of specialists worked with her sister, but the OT was by far the most effective, caring and helpful.

What area of practice are you interested in?

Pediatrics

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

Making dinosaur-themed orthotics for kids in the Physical Disabilities immersion. 

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Lots of frozen pizza, Sriracha, fruit, spinach, left over Panda Express, and a Trader Joe’s Falafel Wrap

What Hogwarts house would you be in and why?

Ravenclaw. They are smart, witty, and let’s be real, Luna Lovegood was by far the best character. She could see the Thestrals!

Angela Linghu, MAII ’15

Two-Year Master's

Hometown: Arcadia, CA

What brought you to occupational therapy?

When I work in the hospital, it’s very clear that the rehab therapists are the happiest and most relaxed people on the floor. 

What area of practice are you interested in?

I’m still trying to figure that out. The wonderful thing about OT is that our services can be applied in settings beyond traditional clinic work.

Describe your background before coming to occupational therapy.

I graduated from UCSD and concentrated my studies in Neuropsychology and Healthcare/Social Issues. Shortly after, I returned to the Los Angeles area and began working for AHMC Healthcare. During the work week, I was also involved with Patient Satisfaction and Worker’s Compensation.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I loveeee the outdoors, especially camping! I also enjoy challenging my friends at the driving range, cooking, hosting parties/BBQ’s, and being involved with various community organizations. I’m also always down for a long game of Risk!

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

A lot of healthy foods (tofu, kale, soymilk, lettuce, etc), a lot of beer, and a lot of hot sauce.

What Hogwarts house would you be in and why?

Hufflepuff, hands down. You may laugh but they are, by far, the chillest and friendliest house of Hogwarts. First, their common room is right next to the kitchen. Late night snacks anyone? They’re also “just and loyal,” as evidenced by being the only ones that stayed behind to help the Gryffindors while Hogwarts was under siege. Lastly, they all kind of excel at Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures. I personally think most OT’s belong in this hippie house.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Teleportation. It would save so much time! I could have breakfast in Paris, go snowboarding in Colorado, have dinner in Hawaii, and take care of all my errands in between. How fabulous would that be?

If you could choose anyone (living or dead) to be your mentor, who would you pick?

He had theories about sensory perception and sensory experiences far before SI was a thing. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to enjoy Yosemite, you can thank him! He took Teddy Roosevelt on an epic backpacking trip in the valley to convince the former President that Yosemite needed to be a National Park.  John Muir, environmental activist/preservationist AND wilderness explorer. What a gangster.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

I have worked for a Congressman. I won the struggle with a 4-foot Bluefin Tuna and served sashimi for dinner. I broke my clavicle trying to do tricks while snowboarding.

Connie Suh, MAII ‘16

Two-Year Master's

Hometown: La Canada, CA

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I’ve always been interested in anatomy and health care but I really liked the creative and interpersonal aspect of this field.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I really enjoy being active (hiking, running, beaching, exploring, eating) so I’m all about just going on adventures and having a good time. Honestly, I think we stay and sit inside way too much and with weather as awesome as LA’s, why not go outside and try something new?

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

I’ve only been here for 3 months but one of my favorite memories was 80s day in Neuroscience during the summer. I remember walking into class in my rad purple shimmery pants and Nike jacket get up, seeing Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” video, and thinking “ya, this is gonna be a good day”. Even though we had a few hours of dense lecture, Leah and the CA’s danced in front of the class and it was just a hoot. You know, keeping things very learning centered but fun at the same time.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

My fridge will have eggs.

What Hogwarts house would you be in and why?

I’m totally in Gryffindor. I actually joined the Hogwarts website to take the test and that’s what I was placed in. I’d say that’s the second closest thing to the Sorting Hat. But really, I’m not afraid to try new things and I sometimes do things without thinking about the consequences (haha maybe that’s why I’m more prone to risky behavior?). I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself or laugh/ be myself so I think that that is with the Gryffindor spirit of raging on. (I’m also not mischievous/conniving enough for Slytherin, genius enough for Ravenclaw, and I don’t know what Hufflepuff is known for so, not Hufflepuff.)

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

There’s too many superpowers I wish I had soooo I’m going to list a few.
1. Being able to shoot things out of my fingers
2. Being able to do any accent (hmmm maybe also speak any language)
3. Spitting mad game (dropping a beat/rapping/ beat boxing)
4. Obviously flying

Maggie King, BS-MA ‘16

Two-Year Master's

Hometown: Arcadia, California

What brought you to occupational therapy?

Throughout high school, I have always worked with children and adults with disorders or disabilities. I also have family members who personally have chronic autoimmune disorders. I have always wanted to continue my work in healthcare, but was unsure of which field to choose. Before I discovered occupational therapy at USC, I thought that the only way to help others and my family members was to go to medical school. Thus, I pursued research in biomedicine, volunteered at hospitals, and took pre-med classes. However, this plan completely changed when I discovered Occupational Therapy, the profession that completely encompasses the future I had envisioned and my philosophy regarding healthcare!

What area of practice are you interested in?

Thus far, I am extremely interested in all areas of practice in occupational therapy. The profession is so broad and the areas of practice are limitless. I would like to experience all the practice immersions and fieldworks in the BS to MA program before I commit to saying a particular area of practice interests me. Either way, my ultimate goal is to start my own private practice in occupational therapy!

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

My favorite memory is definitely the morning I received and opened my acceptance letter to the program! It was 7AM and I was half asleep when I got the acceptance letter. I spent an hour crying when I realized I was accepted - out of happiness, of course! smile

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I think it would be the ability to control time. That would solve all (personal) problems! I think.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

My birthday is April Fools’ Day. I have a dog named Circle Circle. My brother is named Christian.

Cindy Culp, MAII ‘15

Two-Year Master's

Hometown:  Redding, California

What brought you to occupational therapy?

The professor in my first Psych class in my undergrad program mentioned Occupational Therapy.  She spoke about a foster child she was taking care of that had Sensory Integration issues.  This piqued my interest and I began researching the field.  Ultimately, it was that spark that led me to a new career!

What area of practice are you interested in?

At this point, I’m interested in all of them!  I am interested in mental health and working with veterans.  My Level II Fieldwork for Summer 2014 is at a VA Hospital in Houston, Texas in-patient psychiatric unit.  I also am interested in phys dis and am waiting until the Fall 2014 immersion to form an opinion about pediatrics.

Describe your background before coming to occupational therapy.

I have held many jobs.  The main two careers I had as an adult were as a paralegal and then owning a real estate appraisal company.  I had never worked in healthcare until I began looking for volunteer hours for my OT program application.  I have also been a lifeguard, church secretary, cowgirl, human resources rep and substitute teacher.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I love the arts and sing in a local church choir.  I also enjoy hiking, and have found some great Meetup groups in LA that sponsor free concerts and hiking events.  I also try to take advantage of as many events as possible through the USC Visions and Voices program.

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

It’s hard to pinpoint just one!  There have been so many great moments formed through the connections made within our class.  One of our classmates hosted a Bollywood Movie Night at her home.  We had a huge potluck, watched a hilarious Bollywood movie and danced Bollywood style.  It was great!

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Not much on my side of the fridge.  I think there are some supplements from Rainbow Acres Natural foods, a couple of bottles of water, 2 sticks of butter, 2 eggs left in a carton, a package of sliced swiss cheese, some coconut milk…and that’s about it.

What Hogwarts house would you be in and why?

Griffindor – because they’re my favorite : )  They are smart, kind and tenacious.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Definitely to fly.  I have always loved to fly and have had dreams since childhood about being able to fly.  I guess I’ve always enjoyed watching birds ride the wind and I would love to be able to do the same thing.  Swimming in a deep pool underwater can give me the same sensation – without the falling part!

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

I am the proud grandmother of four. I went skydiving in 2011. I hate shellfish with a passion!

Priscilla Gee, MAII ‘14

Two-Year Master's

Hometown: Fountain Valley, California

What brought you to occupational therapy?

A combination of things brought me to occupational therapy… research in biochemistry & molecular biology, teaching preschool at church, teaching jewelry, and working with international students. I found that I liked aspects of every field I was involved in, but I didn’t want to pursue any of them as a career (ex: I loved doing research in the lab and learning about science, but I couldn’t see myself doing it as a career because it lacked interpersonal interaction). After a couple suggestions from friends and family to look into occupational therapy as a career, I began volunteering in hand rehabilitation and outpatient pediatrics and before I knew it, I was sold!

What area of practice are you interested in?

Early intervention pediatrics

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

Crocheting, knitting, crafting, trying new foods, reading my Bible, spending time with friends, singing, and spending time in nature.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Eggs, leftovers, string cheese, half and half, and salami.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

It would be the ability to find really yummy and cheap food!

Stacy Weingarten, MAII ‘14

Two-Year Master's

Hometown: Agoura Hills, California

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I have always been interested in working with people and working in the healthcare field, but I never had any idea that occupational therapy existed. When a friend told me that his mom was an occupational therapist, I immediately began to look into OT and knew that I found the perfect career for me! I continuously find myself having conversations with my classmates about how lucky we are to be in a career that we absolutely love.

What area of practice are you interested in?

I have enjoyed fieldwork in all the different areas of OT, but I am mostly interested in wellness and primary care.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

I love doing anything where I am outdoors! I enjoy hiking, going to the beach, running, yoga, being with my friends and family, and traveling.

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

One of my favorite memories was attending the 2013 AOTA conference in San Diego. It was such a wonderful combination of learning from the leaders in occupational therapy while also having a great time with my classmates and professors.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Soy milk, lots of fruits and veggies, tons of leftovers, and hopefully some chocolate.

If you could choose anyone (living or dead) to be your mentor, who would you pick?

Beyonce. She is an extremely hard worker who inspires women to achieve their goals and to be leaders. She manages to be incredibly successful in her career while still donating her time to doing charitable work. Also, she and I share an interest in working on childhood obesity.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

My family has a therapy dog named Maggie. I once ate 5 hot dogs in 10 minutes. At age 23, I got my tongue badly stuck to a popsicle at Disneyland.

Kirsten Peterson, MAII ‘15

Two-Year Master's

Hometown:  Sunnyvale, California

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I was a music and psychology major in college, and I was interested in the therapeutic effects of music.  I’d originally planned to study cognitive psychology and do research on music cognition, but I decided that I wanted to do something that tangibly impacted people’s daily lives.  My dad read about occupational therapy as a profession in U.S. News and passed it along, and I quickly discovered it offered a great combination of my interests.  I guess in two words, “my dad”.

Describe your background before coming to occupational therapy.

After getting my bachelor’s degree, I spent some time working as a receptionist for a small but successful tech company in the Silicon Valley.  I got a glimpse of the corporate world, as well as the perks and drawbacks of working in the heart of the tech industry.  I miss the free lunches, but I am happier where I am now!

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

I absolutely love my Level I fieldwork this semester.  My clinical instructor is an occupational therapist working in a short-term inpatient acute hospital, and she’s both a great teacher and a helpful projection of where I’ll hopefully be in ten years.  Through her therapeutic use of self, she connects with patients in ways that some of the other health professionals don’t seem to be doing.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Hummus!  Also coconut water, kale, and salsa.  Ideally also something more filling.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I have always really wanted to fly.  When you’re a kid they tell you, “You can do anything if you practice enough,” so I would run around my backyard, waving my arms to practice flying.  Once, when I caught some air jumping off my couch, I decided that I’d reached a new level of flight.

Justin Waring-Crane, MAII ‘15

Two-Year Master's

Hometown: South Bend, Indiana

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

Yoga, busting my AMAAAZING dance moves, cooking, thrifting!

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.

Teaching Amy Irvin how to twerk during class break.

If we opened your fridge, what would we see?

Sesame sticks, Trader Joe’s sauvignon blanc, leftover curried potato salad.

If you could choose anyone (living or dead) to be your mentor, who would you pick?

Jennifer Lawrence. J-law I hope you see this!

Erica Wright, MAII ‘14

Two-Year Master's

Hometown: Cabin John, Maryland

What brought you to occupational therapy?

I can trace my initial interest in OT to an article I read in the April 1992 issue of National Geographic for Kids Magazine (I still have the issue). The article highlighted a charity that trained monkeys to help adults who were wheelchair bound live a more independent and engaged life. One member of the team that helped train the monkeys were these people called “occupational therapists”. I researched what else occupational therapists do and have been hooked ever since.

What area of practice are you interested in?

Primarily pediatrics (the younger the better) but I am also interested in adult rehab in a hospital setting.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?

Playing and coaching soccer, playing squash, dancing in empty elevators, people watching at the beach, watching movie trailers and anything sporty that gets me outside.

What Hogwarts house would you be in and why?

I took a tour of the Warner Brothers studio when I was in high school and I got to try the real sorting hat on. It put me in Slytherin. I cried.

What are two truths and a lie about yourself?

I met President Clinton at a bowling birthday party. I coached David Beckham’s son. I went to high school with the Marriotts.

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