A natural-born leader

A ball of energy who has combined her passions for the military, behavioral health and occupational therapy.


‘I love JMU. I cannot imagine myself anywhere else but here. It’s the right distance from my home in northern Virginia. It’s the right kind of people. It’s hard to explain how willing people are to help you out here.’

What kindled your interest in occupational therapy?
I reached out to the Army hospital at Fort Belvoir one summer to see if they had any occupational therapists I could shadow, and they immediately said, “Sure, come to our two-week summer program and see.” It was great, and I came out of that thinking this is definitely something that I could see myself doing. I just really have a desire to help people.

Does occupational therapy in the Army world differ from the private sector?
Not really. It’s more the physical aspects of occupational therapy, with soldiers coming home who may have lost a limb and need to learn how to live with that. It’s also older vets who maybe have had a heart attack and can’t fully function anymore. There are actually two paths—more of the psych route that they call behavioral health or you can go with the more traditional rehabilitative route. I’m leaning more toward behavioral health.

Are there a lot of labs in JMU health sciences?
It depends on which classes you take. Anatomy, physiology or microbiology all have lab components, and you have to take two of the three. Then there’s a block of classes that you can select from, some of which have labs. I’m in a physics class, which has its own lab. I prefer labs. I’m way more of a hands-on learner.
Has ROTC been good for you?
Absolutely. You are one big, huge family. It’s been fun. It has pushed me a lot more physically and mentally than I thought I would ever be pushed.

You have had a busy four years.
ROTC works with you to immerse you in the JMU culture. You can do everything you want to do and also do ROTC. Our instructors are amazing at helping you find your passions, find balance and working with you so that you’re able to do so many things that move you.


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