The Student Ambassadors in the Department of Occupational Therapy are a select group of students that provide guidance and valuable insights to prospective students. The Student Ambassadors are responsible for providing department tours, advising prospective students, contributing to communication activities, and representing the department at recruitment and marketing events. To schedule an advising appointment with a student ambassador, please e-mail OTAdmissions@missouri.edu. Sean Evans 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Holts Summit, MO Describe your favorite part of the program and/or profession: Some of the things I love about the profession would include the large diversity of the areas that we will be able to work in so there is no shortage in areas, populations, and jobs for us to take part in. Also, through classes and observations I just find the overall work with the clients to be so much fun in everything that can be done, the amount of problem solving that can take place during the work, and coming up with the most effective treatment options. Describe your path to occupational therapy: My journey started out at William Woods going to be an athletic trainer but soon found out that is not what I wanted to do. I then went to Moberly Area Community College to get my associates while I figured out what I wanted to do. After graduating from there is when I came to Mizzou. At first I was going for physical therapy. But one day I was doing observation hours and saw an OT working. They were having an individual play with a beach volleyball which immediately peaked my curiosity. At the end of the day I went to talk to the OT about why they were doing that. They explained that as well as a lot of what they did. I was hooked and knew from that point this is what I wanted to do. It has been a long road getting to this point but definitely worth it. Maren Gandlmayr 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Ballwin, MO Describe your path to occupational therapy: As freshman at The University of Missouri I did not originally know exactly what my future career path would be, but I soon discovered the profession of OT. In one of my first health science classes, an occupational therapist came into our class to present on the profession and my interest was immediately sparked. Advice for future students: Get involved in everything you can! You can meet amazing people and have great experiences through volunteering, working, research, and so much more! Gabrielle Keith 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: St. Charles, MO Describe your favorite part of the program and/or profession: Since starting the program I have already learned so much about what the field of occupational therapy has to offer beyond my original idea of the profession. The professors have been great; they are very supportive and have so many great stories about their experiences in the field to share. Describe your dream OT job: My undergraduate degree is in behavioral neuroscience and psychology, so I would love to use my degree to pursue a specialty in neuro – either pediatrics or a neuro rehabilitative unit working with TBI, spinal cord injuries, and stroke. Morgan Montaudo 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Palm Harbor, FL Describe why you chose MUOT: I chose MUOT because of the genuine staff and the program’s commitment to the community. The professors are so personable and want to see each of their students succeed. MUOT’s community outreach programs (SWIM and Go, Baby, Go!) were so different than other programs I had seen at other schools and I wanted to get involved with them. Describe your favorite part of the program and/or profession: My favorite thing about OT is that we are able to make an impact in individuals of all different ages, cultures, and backgrounds to help them live their lives to the fullest. Occupational therapy combines aspects I find joy in, such as teaching and problem solving, while also collaborating with a team of health care professionals. Victoria Trost 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Des Moines, IA Describe your favorite part of the program and/or profession: Right now, my favorite part of the program is our professors. I’m continuously blown away by the textbooks they have written, the research they’re doing and the foundational theories they helped develop in OT. It’s also extremely motivating to study with students that really care about what they’re learning. Group projects were always a pain to deal with in undergrad but in graduate school everyone works together and is eager to understand new ideas. Describe your dream OT job: Right now, my dream OT job is to have an OT farm. I hope that the farm will have a garden, hippotherapy, aquatic therapy, and animal therapy with a variety of animals. It will be a place where every activity is designed as OT because almost any farm chore can be OT. My vision is that it can serve foster and adopted children, especially with those with disabilities, and that it can be a temporary respite or long-term home. Nathan Dare 1st Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Puxico, Missouri Describe your path to occupational therapy: In high school I shadowed an OT at Kenny Rogers Children’s Center in Sikeston, Missouri. Seeing how big of an impact an OT can have on both the child and family made me fall in love with the profession. The rest is history! Advice for future students: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK! You will be stressed, you will always be looking for more time in the day, but you will make it. Do your readings, stay engaged in class, and enjoy your time with phenomenal professors and even better classmates. Katie Gowdy 1st Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Ashland, MO Describe your dream OT job: Currently, I am thinking that I want to work with the adolescent population with a focus on mental health, but there are so many possible fields that I am keeping my options open! Advice for future students: There will be a big learning curve in the first few weeks of OT. Spend some time getting to know your classmates and trust what your professors say. You will be one big OT family in no time. Shoneia Jones 1st Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Chicago, IL Describe why you chose MUOT: My dream is to work with children. MUOT has a huge involvement with pediatric OT. Through projects such as Go Baby Go, SWIM, and the Tiger OT clinic, I knew I would get an immense amount of exposure to the clientele I hope to work with. Describe your favorite part of the program and/or profession: My favorite thing about the profession of OT is the variety. There are so many different aspects of occupational therapy that we can explore- from work in mental health, schools, research, and so much more. The assortment of opportunities never allows for a dull moment. Alyssa Turner 1st Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: St. Joseph, MO Describe your path to occupational therapy: I had a family member with a disability, so even from a very young age I was aware of people with disabilities. I volunteered with dance classes for children with different disabilities at my dance studio in high school and knew I wanted to work with that population. It took me a while to realize that OT is what had been my dream job that I thought I had just imagined. Describe your favorite part of the program and/or profession: I love that OT is a career that can look very different depending on the setting. Occupational therapy works with people throughout the lifespan in various settings, so getting bored will never be an issue! I also love how much creative problem solving is used every day. Britney Ward 1st Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Ozark, MO Describe your path to occupational therapy: I always knew I wanted to be in the healthcare field, but it was not until college when I found out about OT. My freshman year I had a mentor who was in the MUOT program and she first sparked my interest in the field. I was leaning towards speech therapy and went to shadow an SLP, but while I was there, I got to observe an OT session as well and I immediately was sold! As I learned more about the profession, I was so intrigued by how many settings and areas OTs can be involved in and realized how much it could have benefited my family growing up. From then on, I knew that OT was the field I wanted to be in so that I could get involved and help families and individuals return to their desired occupations. Describe why you chose MUOT: I chose MUOT because of the great program, personable and incredible faculty members, and the great things I heard about MUOT graduates from practicing OTs in the field. I also thought the Tiger OT clinic was a great opportunity for hands on learning and something that I believe really sets our program apart. McKenzie Wright 1st Year Occupational Therapy Student Hometown: Camdenton, MO Describe your favorite part of the program and/or profession: My favorite part of the program is just how conversational and intentional the professors are. It is clear they are passionate about teaching us how to be the best OTs possible and the energy is just contagious! Describe your dream OT job: My dream OT job changes from week to week, but currently I hope to work with older adults with neurological conditions.