About Alison

Hey there! My name is Ali, and I am a P1 occupational therapy student (first professional year) at USciences. I am originally from Vineland NJ, and spend my summers at the Jersey Shore. While I spend much of my time in classes and getting to know my fellow classmates, I am also very involved on campus! I am a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and currently the President of the Inter-Greek Council. Along with my role in Greek life, I also am a member of SOTA (student occupational therapy association) and a Student Ambassador. When I am not in the library, you will find me hanging out with my friends, family and sisters. I love the city of Philadelphia and grew up a Philadelphia Sports fan! I love to meet new people, feel free to get to know me!


Research Day 2014

Last Thursday marked the 12th annual USciences Research Day where students from all majors are encouraged to present the research they have been working on.  The occupational therapy program had many interesting submissions based on research conducted in various classes.  Each P2 doctoral candidate submitted research that each of use developed in the course title Evidence Based Practice.  With a lot of help and guidance from my teachers I was able to create a systematic review that synthesized evidence of preventative care with an emphasis on delaying age related cognitive decline.  I was very excited to present my work to my faculty and peers but this also allowed me to discuss some preventative care and OT to students and faculty that do not know all about OT.  This was a wonderful experience and I look forward to expanding my research from this semester into my future research.




OT Pinning

This Saturday was the 10th annual OT Pinning ceremony that marks the end to the didactic portion of the P2 classes education. From this point on, the P2 class will begin their fieldwork component to complete their masters or move on to their doctoral component.  This marks a very exciting point of our education where we get to go into the field and apply what we have learned.  

Congratulations to the OT class of 2015 and 2016!  Picstitch


Seeing Through Another Person's Eyes

    The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has identified low vision as an emerging practice field for occupational therapists.  Low vision includes any visual impairment that can not be corrected using glasses, contacts, surgery or medication.  These individuals must learn new strategies, compensation and adaption to maintain their saftey and quality of life. 

    In some of our classes we are required to move out of our comfort zone and role play a disability to get a better understanding of the impairment.  In our cognitive interventions lab, we were asked to put on glasses that simulate different low vision impairments and interact with our surroundings.  I put on diabetic retinapathy glasses that gave me a spotted, blurred picture.  We were asked to walk around campus and attempt to buy something to show how difficult a visual impairment can be.  This experience just showed me a small glimpse of what it is like to have low vision so I can better understand my patients when I am a working clinician. 


Splinting Lab!

Occupational therapists often work with patients with various diagnoses that may present a complication in the upper extremity.  The OT can help these patients by forming a custom splint for their individual needs and disability.  Last week we finally got the oppurtunity to make 4 different splints! We were all very excited to learn how to make them.  Through some trials working with the material below are some of the  results! 




MLK Day of Service

    This year was the first year USciences had no school on MLK day to allow students to participate in MLK day service projects.  USciences offered various service projects within our to help students give back to our community.  Some of the options included cleaning historical clark park, cleaning and resurfacing at the woodland cemetary, participating in a health fair for local community members and campus cleanup, just to name a few projects.   I spent my service day in the woodland cemetary where my classmates and I helped uncover a overgrown pathway in the back of the cemetary.  After alot of hard work and alot of dirt shoveling we were able to look back  and see the huge path we helped clear.  It was a really rewarding experience and always feels good to give back to the community that has been such a huge part of my college life.


Pictured: OT Students (and friends) helping uncover a forgotten path 


AOTA's Hill Day!



This Monday, September 29, 2013 the P2 Occupational Therapy class traveled to Washington D.C. and participated in AOTA's Hill Day.  This program This Monday, September 29, 2013 the P2 Occupational Therapy class traveled to Washington D.C. and participated in AOTA's Hill Day.  This program allows students, teachers and practitioners to join forces and advocate to our legislators about the current issues facing the occupational therapy profession.  Each student prepared an appointment with our federal representatives to express our feelings about the Medicare therapy caps, our desire to be seen as federally recognized mental health practitioners, sequester cuts that decreased school based OT and the urge for the NIH to be funded for research in rehabilitation science.     

    Throughout this fall semester, my clinical leadership course has prepared me to speak knowledgably on each of these topics to my legislator.  Even thought it was a crazy day on the Hill, I really feel that I was given the opportunity to play a role in leading OT into the future.  I am excited to one day see the benefits of advocating for the profession.  

Picture above: Members of the P2 Doctoral Class of 2016 take a photo behind the Capitol Building.  



Summer School

In the Occupational Therapy program, we have some required summer courses.  Last year, I spend 7 weeks on summer taking a neurology a course that really prepared me for the entire year.  In that course we had a lab where we were given an oppurtunity to disect a brain! It was so cool!

This summer I am taking another 7 week course that focuses on contextual interventions. This allows us to focus on a client's environment and how it influences their behavior.  In our lab, we simulate actions that our future clients might encounter.  Along with the class we also have a fieldwork experience where we go into a client's home and alter their environment to better fit their occupational needs.  This course allows me to explore creative and quick solutions that can benefit my client immediately.  

I only have a few weeks left of class before I am officially on summer break! 


Lab Practicals

In college you will find that there are many different styles of examination that you may not have had in high school.  In hands on lab classes it does not make sense to have a typically handwritten exam but instead you must show your skills.  The different testing style makes you show what you know using identification, verbal commands or going through steps.  Although most majors will come across lab practicals, they are a very frequent form of test taking in the OT and PT curriculums.  

In order to assure that their students are prepared to go on rotations, students must perform many tests and be tested on their compentence.  Only when a student passes all of these practicals are they ready to go into a work place.  Practicals are a great way to test a kinestetic learner who learns by doing! (like me)


Registering for Classes

Registering for classes seems like a huge production each year.  Everyone gets very anxious to pick their schedules and try to craft the perfect routine for their next round of classes.  The registering system is set up so that the athletes and honors students register for classes first.  Next, the oldest students on campus (5th years and some 6th years depending on their program).  After that each year also gets their chance to register from oldest to youngest.  Now that I have registered many times before there are a few tips I have to make sure your future registration goes smoothly.


1. Search for your sections ahead of time 

know which sections you are required to take and search for their available times. If there is only one section of that class make sure that is put in your schedule first

2. Go to your advisor before

your advisor is given to you to make sure that yor transition through school is easy! Make sure they pre-approve your schedule(if you are a freshman or sophmore) and ask their advice for registering.

3. Think about your personal habits

If you are a morning person, but your friends aren't, don't be discouraged to sign up for an early class.  Try to keep in mind what time you like to eat lunch, how far the classes are and when you can have a class break

4. Be Prepared an have a plan B

always be prepared with another alternative schedule in case you don't get into all of your prepared sections. Don't worry about not getting into a class though, I find that if you check the registrar it may eventually open up during Drop/Add Period

5.  Be Patient

this may be my most important tip! Make sure that you remain calm even if registration is stessing you out.  The truth is, if you are having a problem it is likey that everyone is having the same problem and it will be fixed! Staying calm will garuntee a more enjoyable registration process




Managing Your Finances in College

It is not hard to imagine that many students in college struggle with their finances and remaining on budget.  You may have heard the stories about eating ramen noodles, recycling old clothes and making your own fun in college.  I am hear to say that they are only sometimes true.  College is all about making desisions and sticking to a pre-determined plan.  As a student I sometimes find it hard to balance my finances as I take my classes.  This week Career Services and Delta Phi Epsilon sponsered a speaker to inform students about managing money while in college.  The speaker was able to give many helpful tips and encouraged the students to save their money while still providing for themselves.  Some of the tips he gave included: writing down your monthly expenses, ration expensive entertainment, learn about local specials, eat in more, and of course getting a job on campus.  He also suggested saving atleast 20% of each paycheck for something you want - his suggestion was a trip to Miami! 
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