University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

OS/OT Student Blog


Boston Strong →

Apr 15, 2014, by Jen · Leave a comment

Today marks one year since the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon. This morning when I was reading the news, I came across this article: “Boston Bombing Victim’s Defiance One Year On”. This article and video was especially meaningful to me because a victim of the bombing discussed her experience with occupational therapy. In the video, both the victim of the bombing and the occupational therapist discuss their experience working together. This reminded me of why occupational therapy is so important and why I am so happy to be going into this field.

Here is another great article I found: “With A Dream On Hold, Bombing Victim Remains Optimistic”. The occupational therapist in this article provides a great definition of occupational therapy: “Occupation therapy means the little occupations that make up your day — getting to the toilet safely, getting in the bathtub safely, adaptive strategies to get dressed when you can’t quite reach your feet because of pain or other limitations,” Buttiglieri explained. “We teach people how to do their daily living tasks. Get back to their daily routine”.



Preparing to Travel →

Feb 25, 2014, by Jen · Leave a comment

I cannot believe how fast this semester is flying by. This Saturday I will be leaving for a two-week externship. The goal of the externship is to build leadership, communication, and professionalism skills and independently explore topics that have been presented in our Leadership Capstone course this semester. This is different than another fieldwork or clinical experience. The externship allows you to create your own unique experience. Many people use this as an opportunity to travel abroad. I have many classmates that are going to Africa and working witch children with disabilities. I also have classmates that are traveling to Asia and Europe. I decided I would stay on this continent for my externship. I will be heading to Alabama to explore research within Auburn’s School of Kinesiology. I am very excited for this experience. I have never flown outside of California on my own before, so it will be a little out of my comfort zone. I am really looking forward to this opportunity and cannot wait to share my experiences with you when I return!


Presentations, Midterms, and Papers… Oh My! →

Feb 21, 2014, by Jen · Leave a comment

With Spring Break rapidly approaching, it has really sunk in how fast this semester has gone by. The faculty do a great job of making sure the assignments we have in different classes are reasonably spread out, so I never really feel too overwhelmed by the course work. Last week I had a paper due, this week I have a group presentation, and next week I have a midterm. I have also enjoyed the variety of assignments. Most of my grades in undergrad were determined by tests alone. Because of USC’s small class sizes, professors have the time to give feedback on presentations and projects instead of exclusively grading multiple choice tests. Not only does USC evaluate what we have learned in a variety of ways, but the faculty also makes sure to teach us in a variety of ways. For example, this week is my Dysphagia (swallowing) course a group of students presented some current research, the professor spent some time lecturing, and then we did a lab where we practiced the content we had just learned about. I believe this is one of the best ways to learn.


Occupational Therapy and Science Council →

Feb 4, 2014, by Jen · Leave a comment

This time of year gets very busy with the Occupational Therapy and Science Council (OTSC), which means as Council Co-Chair I have quite a lot of responsibilities. OTSC provides students with an opportunity to network, interact, fundraise, and develop leadership skills. Some events we have planned that are coming up include the International Forum, philanthropic activities during OT Month in April, and the End of the Year Party. These events take a lot of planning and would be impossible without the effort of the entire OTSC board. Positions on the board include the co-chairs, treasurers, secretaries, GSG Senators, fundraising chairs, social chairs, professional development chairs, international relations chair, historian, philanthropy chairs, faculty liaisons, AOTA representatives, and OTAC representatives. I am so proud to be a part of such an awesome organization.


Electives! →

Jan 28, 2014, by Jen · Leave a comment

The first two weeks back at school flew by. The course I’m taking this semester are:

  • Hand Rehabilitation
  • Dysphagia Across the Lifespan: Pediatrics Through Geriatrics
  • Leadership Capstone
  • Advanced Seminar in Occupational Science
  • Contemporary Issues: Occupational Therapy in Early Intervention
  • Independent Study at California Children’s Services (CCS)

What is so great about this semester is that the majority of courses I am taking are electives, which means I was able to customize my schedule to my interests. In my Early Intervention class, we had an assignment that involved us reading an autobiography written by a person who grew up with a disability. The story I read is titled “I’m Walking as Straight as I Can: Transcending Disability in Hollywood and Beyond” by Geri Jewell (who had a role in the show The Facts of Life). I found the story to be extremely interesting. Geri Jewel has cerebral palsy (CP) which is a motor impairment syndrome that arises during the early years of a person’s development. I am also getting a chance to work with numerous children with CP in my independent study at CCS. It is great to get to learn about a topic in class, read about a person’s actually experience, and also have the opportunity to have hands-on experience.

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USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
1540 Alcazar Street, CHP 133
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003
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Phone: (323) 442-2850 · Toll free: (866) 385-4250
Fax: (323) 442-1540
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The USC entry-level master's degree program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE). ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.®, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, (301) 652-6611 x2914,

Professional program graduates are eligible to apply for certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.®



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