“What I love about occupational therapy (OT) is that it allows me to help people ways that enable them,” said Jasleen Kaler, a second-year Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences (MDCHS) graduate student from Marysville WA. “It is the perfect combination of my academic studies — the arts emphasis on culture, behavior, emotions, and intangibles; and the sciences focus on evidence, anatomy, and methodology.”
Jasleen, who earned her undergraduate English degree from Washington State University, was drawn to Mary Baldwin’s OT program by its engaged faculty, community collaboration, and the prospect of an entry-level doctorate. The opportunity to work interprofessionally with students in the physical therapy and physician assistant programs at Murphy Deming was also a big selling point, she said. As a member of the charter OT class that began studies in June 2014, Jasleen has enjoyed playing a role in shaping the program for future students.
“The faculty and staff at MDCHS has done a wonderful job of nurturing community connections,” Jasleen said, noting the benefits of having professionals and clients from nearby Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center frequently interact with her Adaptive Technology and Environmental Modifications class. Inviting clinicians from local health care facilities to teach courses and provide real-world case studies as well as community practicum experiences are hallmarks of the Murphy Deming curriculum.
“My studies at Mary Baldwin have convinced me that there is no such thing as ‘can’t,’ and that, as an OT, it is my job to support each client in working toward his or her goals.”