Undergraduate Admissions

Kara DeRosa's Blog


The End Is Near

Hi all!

As I sit here writing this blog, it’s hard not to start tearing up.  In just under 3 weeks, I will be walking across the stage to receive my college diploma (EEK!)  I have a ball of emotions lately from sad to excited to nervous to happy.   The past four years have truly been unforgettable and I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything.

I recently read a blog post “The Real Reason You’re So Afraid To Graduate.”  It addressed how sure you’re scared to graduate and enter the “real world” and you’re going to miss hanging out with your friends all the time.  But it says the real reason that the idea of graduating is so scary is this: “At some point in the past four years, while you were busy giggling from exhaustion as you and your best friends ordered pizza to the library at 2am, this place became your home.”  

This could not be more true about the University of Scranton.  I can honestly call this place my home away from home and I think every student who’s about to graduate from here would agree.

Now, don’t get me wrong I have a lot of exciting things to look forward too as well (I told you my emotions are all over the place.)  Senior Week, an event hosted by the university, is a great time to enjoy the end of the school year and spend more time with friends before we actually have to graduate.  And at graduation, I will finally be able to say that  all my hard work over the past 4 years finally paid off. I am also excited about the next chapter in my life, Grad school.(Lucky for me, I will be staying for graduate school here at the U.)

So, if you are a student reading this, I hope the message you take away is to enjoy every single second of your college years because I have never heard anything more true than “they go by way too fast.”

Have a great week everyone & good luck on all of your finals! :)

Kara

There Is No Option

When I’m swamped with work and feel like I’m never going to get everything done in time, sometimes I question why I’m putting myself through this.  I find myself asking if it’s going to be worth it in the end.  If I do poorly on a test or don’t understand something I’m learning in class, I question if occupational therapy is the right profession for me.

But after last night, I don’t think those thoughts will ever cross my mind again because I know that deep down, being an OT is exactly what I want to do with my life.

In my Advanced Therapeutic Techniques class, we learn a lot about different neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.  My professor still works as an occupational therapist at John Heinz Rehab here in Scranton.

In our class last night, we had a guest speaker who is the mother of one of my professor’s patients.  Her son, Damon, sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident 2 years ago when he was just 17 years old.  She talked to us all about his injuries and the long road to recovery that he has been on and is still on.  She told us her her motto “There is no option. Damon will get better.”  has helped to get her through each and every day.

She showed us pictures and videos of the miraculous progress that her son has made over the past 2 years.  When she showed the video of Damon taking 8 steps across stage to recieve his high school diploma, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.  And then she said something that really hit home for me.  She said, “None of this would have been possible without all of the therapy that Damon has gone through.”

It was then that I knew that being an occupational therapist is what I want to do.  I want to make a difference for people, like all of Damon’s therapists made a difference for him.  I want to someone to tell me, “Because of you, I was able to do something that I wanted to do.”

 

AOTA Conference Time

So, as you all know I am an occupational therapy major and a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association.  Every year, the AOTA holds a national conference where occupational therapists and students come together for a eventful weekend.  This year the AOTA Conference is being held in Baltimore, Maryland, not too far from us here in Scranton.  This is exciting as it allows an opportunity for student and faculty to attend the conference for the weekend and take part in all it has to offer.

There are many reasons to attend an AOTA Conference, even as a student.  First, it is an absolutely fantastic learning experience.  Presentations are made about a wide array of topics so you can attend those that are of interest to you.  There are poster sessions where various posters on research projects are displayed around the room for you to look at and ask questions about.

Second, going to conference is a great way to make connections with occupational therapists who are working in the field.  Although I still have another year of school, I think it is never too early to start making connections with professionals who may be able to help with employment or in other ways in the future.

Also, it is a great idea to attend conference while you are still a student because you get discounted rates for the hotel and the actual conference.  Especially this year since  Baltimore is within driving distance!  Anyway, I am really looking forward to attending the conference and sharing my experience with you all.

As a side note, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams will be playing the playoff semi-finals game tonight, Wednesday February 26th.  The men’s game will begin at 5:30pm and the women’s at 7pm.  Come out and show your school spirit wearing your “Wolf Pack” shirts to show your support for both teams.  They both had amazing seasons and we wish them the best of luck as playoffs begin.  Good luck to both teams!

Have a great week!

Kara

 

The Beginning of the End

Welcome back to the spring semester of the 2013-2014 academic year.  This semester is really bittersweet for me.  I am more than excited to be back but the beginning of this semster marks the beginning of my last semester as an undergraduate student at the University of Scranton.  Although I will still be here next year to complete my graduate year and get my master’s degree in occupational therapy, it just won’t be the same.  Looking back on these past 4 years, I can not think of a single thing that I would want to change.  I have learned more than I ever thought possible about myself, other people and life in general and I have the U to thank for that.

Enough of me being senitmental.  This week marks the 3rd week of classes and I can’t even believe it’s been that long.  Granted, we haven’t had a full week of class yet due to the large amount of snow we’ve been hit with but classes so far have been going well.  This semester I am taking two OT courses: Geriatrics Practice Course and Advanced Therapeutic Techniques. I am also taking Saints & Holiness, Exceptional Lives & Family Health.  I am excited to see what these courses have in store for me this semester.

Over intersession, I completed my final Level I fieldwork at Allied Services Skilled Nursing Center right here in Scranton, PA.  I was able to stay in my off-campus aparment for the 2 week duration of my fieldwork and had about an 8 minute commute every morning so it worked out very well.  The best part was that I absolutely loved it.  At first, I was skeptical about working with the elderly population but this experience was definitely an eye-opener for me.  I am absolutely re-considering what type of facility I want to be working in when I graduate.

That’s the great thing about fieldwork; you get to experience many different settings and what it would be like working as an occupational therapist there to help you decide what works best for you.  Before I came to college, I was sure that I would be working with children when I graduated.  However, I am not so sure that is the case anymore and I have my fieldwork to thank for that.  I am looking forward to completing my first Level II Fieldwork this summer at the Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island in New York, where I live.

Have a great week everyone and stay warm!!

Kara

What OT Means To Me

As a senior, I have been thinking a lot lately about what I really want to do when I graduate.  I know I still have 1 year of grad school here at Scranton (which I am NOT complaining about) but it’s still scary to think what I’ll be doing after that.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.  Even when I first started applying to colleges, I thought for sure that I would end up back in a classroom teaching.  That was until I learned about occupational therapy.

I first learned about OT through my mom.  She is a one-on-one nurse for a young boy with special needs.  There was an OT working in the school where she also worked and my mom thought that it would be the perfect fit.  After doing a bit more research, I decided to give it a try.

Looking back now, I think deciding to be an occupational therapy major was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made.  Going to my first OT class freshman year was intimidating because  I was still not sure exactly what an occupational therapist was or if I even wanted to be one.  To be honest, it has taken me almost 4 years to truly understand the meaning of OT.

If I had to describe in my own words what OT is I would say that it is a holistic therapy that incorporates the use of purposeful and meaningful occupations in order for the client to return to maixmal independence.  For example, as an OT working with a client who just had a stroke and needs to work on strengthening his upper body, instead of just having the client do exercises, such as lift weights, to improve strength, the OT would have him engage in a purposeful activity, such as dressing.

What I love most about OT is the client-centered approach.  The main reason that I want to become an OT is to make an impact in someone’s life by helping them in some way.  By having a client-centered approach to therapy, I feel like I will be able to make a difference for someone.

So as I’ve been thinking more about post-grad life, I remember the many lessons that I have learned these past 3 years and the many more I will learn in the years to come.  I now know for sure that I want to be an occupational therapist when I graduate and help people is as many ways as I can.  I think that as an OT, I can still fulfill my desire to be a teacher by teaching my clients what they need to know in order to regain their independece and improve their overall quality of life.

Have a good week!

-Kara

Habitat For Humanity

Hi there!

Hope everyone is having a good week & staying warm.  The weather sure has started to get cold up here!  Although, I don’t think I can really complain about a 10 minute walk to class in the cold after I learned about the event that took place on campus Monday night.

The Habitat for Humanity Club held an event on the Dionne Green Monday night where students slept in boxes overnight to raise awareness about the needs of the homeless. Although I did not personally take part in the event, I heard that it was a very humbling experience for those who did.

Learning about this event made me want to become more involved with Habitat for Humanity.  Through volunteer work, this club aims to build homes alongside families who otherwise would not be able to afford them.  I think that this is a great cause and I am excited to have the opportunity to more personally become involved through the University.

As for some upcoming events on campus, this weekend the Liva Arts Company will be presenting the musical “Godspell.”  The play will be performed November 7-9 @ 8pm and November 10 @ 2pm at the Elm Park United Methodist Church, located on Linden St. right across from McGurrin Hall.  Tickets can be purchased for just 5$ in DeNaples Center on November 4-8 from 11am-2pm.  I can say from personal experience that every event I’ve attended of the Liva Arts Company has been spectacular and I am sure this performance will be no different!

This Saturday, Novemeber 9, USPB will be hosting the annual Royal Ball from 8-11pm.  The theme of the ball this year is The Golden Twenties.  So get your outfits ready and join us for an event that will make you wish you had been born 100 years ago.  There is a good time to be had by all!

That’s all for now! Have a great week!

-Kara

Halloween Week

Happy Halloween week!

Before I start talking about getting into the Halloween spirit, I want to talk about an event that I attended last week, the Occupational Therapy Specialty Fair.  This event, held in Collegiate Hall, is a great opportunity for OT students to talk with professionals in the various fields of OT.

At the Specialty Fair, OT practioners set up tables and give presentations about the particular setting they work in, what kinds of patients they work with and what a “normal” day of work is like for them.  There were presentations given by OT’s who work in the physical rehabilitation setting, mental health hospitals, home health care, pediatric settings and others.  It is a great way to learn about all the different areas you can work in as an occupational therapist.  As a senior OT student, I felt it helped me to narrow down where I would like to work when I graduate.

Last week, the University of Scranton Programming Board hosted one of my favorite events of the year, Midnight Madness.  This is Scranton’s version of a pep rally and is a fun time for all.  All of our NCAA Division III athletic teams were presented along with performances from Urban Beats, Sub-Urban Beats and the Dance Team.  Students were also able to participate in fun activities including a three-point shooting contest and a pie eating contest.  And of course, everyone who attended walked away with a free t-shirt!

Now, to get in the Halloween spirit, this weekend was the Safe Trick or Treat event on campus.  Student volunteers bring children from the area through the dorms, stopping at each room to collect some candy.  The kids have an opportunity to show off their costumes and participate in the Halloween trick-or-treat tradition, while guaranteeing their safety on Scranton’s campus.  I always enjoying participating in this event because the children have such a great time and knowing that I am helping to put a smile on their face is a great feeling.

Hope you all have your costumes planned for Halloween! Enjoy the rest of your week…don’t eat too much candy :)

-Kara

 

Fall is Fun!

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re week is going well!

This past weekend I got to participate in two great activities.

On Saturday, my friends and I took a trip to Roba’s Family Farm.  Located just 20 minutes from campus, this is a great place to spend time outside doing fun fall activities. You can pick pumpkins, go on a hay ride, get lost in the corn maze, play with animals in the farm center, and enjoy some delicious honey crisp apples or homemade cider doughnuts.  It was a great day to spend time off campus enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

For those of you interested in taking a trip Roba’s Farm, the Commuter Student Association and Recreational Sports will be sponsoring a trip on Friday, October 25th from 5:00-9:00pm. Tickets are available for only $5.00, which includes transportation, admission, hayride, corn maze, and campfire snacks and refreshments.  Both commuters and residents are invited to attend.  To purchase tickets, sign up on one of the following dates:
             -October 18, 11-2pm First Floor DeNaples
             -October 21-25, 11-2pm Second Floor DeNaples

 

The other event that I was able to be a part of this weekend was Open House.  As a senior occupational therapy student, I was in one of our OT labs talking with parents and prospective students about some of the many great things the U has to offer.  I shared some of my experiences as a student and especially focused on what to expect as an occupational therapy major.  It was great to be able to share my stories with students looking to come here and help to answer any questions that they had.

Any students interested in attending Scranton should come for an open house visit.  This is a great opportunity to see the campus, learn about programs and clubs that are offered, and talk to current students about student life as well as admissions, financial aid, and coaches from the 18 Division III athletic teams.  The next Open House will be held on Sunday, November 3, 2013.  Click on the following link to RSVP and reserve yourself a spot at this great event.

http://admissions.scranton.edu/visit/open-house.shtml

Have a great week!

-Kara

 

Weekend Recap!

Hi everyone!

I hope your semester is going well.  Can you believe we’ve just about hit the midpoint of fall semester?! It feels like just yesterday I was writing about syllabus week.  As always, there have been many exciting things happening around campus and in the Scranton area.

Since this past Friday was the first Friday of the month it seems fit to talk about First Friday Scranton.  On the first Friday of every month year round, First Friday Scranton features a variety of cultural events in some of Scranton’s restaurants, cafes, galleries, and other small businesses.  It is meant to promote a free art walk and serves as a way for artists to connect to prospective venues and art lovers to seek entertainment.

To learn more about First Friday Scranton, you can visit their website: http://firstfridayscranton.com/about-first-friday/

This past Saturday was the 2nd Annual Michael Mulhall 5K Fun Run/Walk held at Nay Aug Park.  Students, alumni and friends alike came out to support and remember Michael, a graduate of the University of Scranton who passed away in 2010.  All proceeds from the run go towards funding a memorial scholarship in his name for a Scranton student pursuing a degree in education or special education.  It was a beautiful sunny day and a great way to support such a good cause.

Here’s a link to the University webpage with more information about this event: http://www.scranton.edu/alumni/StayConnected/Mulhall.shtml

I want to wish everyone who has midterms/tests this week good luck! Only 4 more days until Fall Break!

Have a great week!

-Kara

ANOTHER YEAR BEGINS

Welcome back to another school year and to all freshman students, welcome to the start of the best 4 years of your life!

This is an exciting year for me because it’s my senior year! It’s hard to believe that I will graduating in May.  Lucky for me, I will still be attending the U for my graduate year to recieve my Master’s in Occupational Therapy.  This will be my 4th year as a student blogger and I am excited to continue to share with you all that Scranton has to offer.

I think that one of the most important ways to make the most of your college experience is by getting involved.  With all the clubs and extracurricular activities that Scranton has to offer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.  And the best part is, they’re easy to find and join.

The my.scranton website has a new program called “RoyalSync.”  This is a way for students to access and join clubs and organizations online.  It offers an easy way to get club updates, meeting times, see event photos, and more.

I am excited to say that I am joining a new club this semester, “Picture This: Scranton Royal Signs.”  I am taking “American Sign Language 101″ this semester so I decided that becoming a part of this club would be a helpful and enjoyable way for me to practice sign language.  Throughout the year, we will learn a number of songs and then perform them at various events.

Another way to get involved besides joining clubs is through volunteer and service programs.  On Tuesday, September 10th, from 11am-1pm the Volunteer and Service Fair will be held on campus for all students to attend.  This is an event at which more than 60 non-profit organizations come to campus seeking student volunteers.

Each year more than 2,800 university students perform more than 170,000 service hours. Some organizations that I have completed service hours at in the past include Timmy’s Town Childrens Museum, Griffin Pond Animal Shelther, the Advocacy Alliance Recovery Center, and Elm Park Church.  Volunteer and service is a great way for students to give back to the Scranton community while also allowing an opportunity to meet new people and have rewarding experiences.

Have a great week!

Kara :)