University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

OS/OT Student Blog


Aloha ‘Oe, Until We Meet Again →

Sep 12, 2014, by Jonathan · Leave a comment

Over the Summer, I was fortunate enough to receive an opportunity to do my level II fieldwork (3 month full time internship) at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. The experience was nothing short of epic; Hawaii is an amazing place with so much untarnished beauty, friendly people, great food, and amazing surf! I was afforded an opportunity to immerse myself within an occupational therapy physical disabilities setting, where I was able to improve my skills as a future clinician. It was an extremely rewarding experience working with the heroes who have served our country, who shared with me so much wisdom, knowledge, and gratitude as I got to know/work with them in therapy. In addition, I was welcomed in like family by the rehab team at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, who made me part of their Ohana from day one.

I’ve been told many times that the culture infused at the workplace will ultimately make the work place, and I can honestly say that at the Honolulu VA, they’ve established the right culture and have found the winning formula: Give aloha, receive aloha. If you can show people that you care, that you believe in them, and that your efforts are fueled by your passion, it really is incredible what can happen.

OBT with the OT team
Here I am with the awesome OT team, presenting my final project: The Occupation Based Toolkit - Helping People Reach their Goals through Meaningful Activity.

Surfing at Rockpiles
Surf’s up!

Grubbin at Lanikai
Chillin’ and grubbin’ on some Poke at Lanikai beach

Jump off of the Rock at Waimea
Waimea jump off of “The Rock”

Floating Lantern Festival
“Many rivers, one ocean.” The Hawaii Floating Lantern Festival brings together people to honor loved ones who have passed, including the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country.

With that said, I definitely miss Hawaii, my vets, my rehab Ohana, and the friends that I made over there, but it does give me plenty of great reasons to visit again soon! Who knows, I may even even call it home one day wink

Aloha for now,


Riding the Wave →

Sep 1, 2014, by Jonathan · Leave a comment

Greetings and aloha everyone!

Welcome to my very first blog post! I Being that this is my first blog post, I figured I’d start with the story behind why I’m here today:

As an undergraduate, I attended Cal-State Fullerton, where I majored in Kinesiology. During my time at CSUF, I developed passion and love for surfing. In fact, surfing became such an important occupation in my life (defined as meaningful activity) so much so that I decided to take the surfing class offered at CSUF four times! During each semester taking the class, I was assigned to do a project that would increase my awareness and education regarding surf culture. For one of my projects, I decided to write a paper about surfing and explain a therapeutic purpose as to why I engage in it. In my research I came across the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, an organization that utilizes ocean and surf therapy to facilitate meaningful activity and foster therapeutic relationships for children with special needs and Veterans who are living with PTSD. After doing more digging, I found out that the program was started by an occupational therapist who was a product of USC’s OT Doctorate program (USC’s very own alumni, Dr. Carly Rogers!) To realize that you can utilize something that you love to do and use it as a means to help people pretty much solidified my career aspirations of becoming an OT. Coming full circle, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Rogers when she spoke to our class during my first summer session within the program! Here’s a snap of Dr. Rogers and I, the OT that ignited my journey. Thank you, Dr. Carly Rogers!

Dr. Carly Rogers and I

As I continue on my journey as an OT student, I can definitely say that it’s been a fun, enlightening, and rewarding ride thus far, and I’m stoked that I’ll be able to share with you my experiences. As I continue to enjoy this ride, stay tuned for more of my adventures as I continue to grow within our program and profession.

Enjoying the ride

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I greatly appreciate it. For more information regarding the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, please visit their website.

Take care and aloha for now!

- Jonathan

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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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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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