Keland Scher, MSOT/S 2013
Hometown: Englewood, CO/Monroe, CT
What advantages does the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis offer you that other programs don’t offer?
The Program offers so many opportunities to volunteer and various panels of both patients and professionals surround this school offering many advantages to learn and grow.
Why did you choose the Program?
I went to a professional conference in Chicago and heard the head of the St. Louis children’s hospital tell her story and struggles with Cerebral Palsy. It was an emotional experience that drew me into the St. Louis community. The reputation of of the Program also drew me there.
What can you say about the quality of education you are receiving?
The quality of education is very high. There is a combination of lectures, hands on experience, individual work and group progress, allowing me to learn and grow from various teaching modalities.
What is the learning atmosphere like? (people, resources provided, attitudes of faculty and staff, approach to teaching, quality of mentorship relationships, etc.)
The staff is very approachable and the faculty and staff are made up kind, caring and intelligent mentors. I have made various relationships with professors that I feel will remain with me far past my time at Washington University School of Medicine.
What do you like best about attending Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis?
I like that at the Program I am able to blend my skills from the past into the skills I am learning for the future. For example, I was afforded the opportunity as part of my research to teach circus skills to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. I am a teacher and a social circus artist. I am encouraged to use my therapeutic use of self to learn, develop and grow.
As a group, how would you describe your classmates?
My classmates are hard workers with a strong sense of independence and problem solving skills.
What do you like best about your classmates?
My classmates are filled with leadership skills and a great sense of work ethic.
How would you describe the faculty?
The faculty are compassionate and have a variety of strong skill sets for both research and fieldwork.
What do you like best about the faculty?
What I like best about the faculty is their ability to listen and guide me.
What about the school do you most want prospective students to know?
This is a fast paced program that gives the students a great foundation for problem solving and teamwork skills.
What do you think of living in St. Louis?
St. Louis is a city filled with inexpensive, exciting opportunities. I have enjoyed finding and exploring events and various communities. This is a diverse city just waiting to be explored.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I plan to work in a pediatric setting, most likely outpatient, but perhaps a school or sensory clinic. Eventually I plan to combine the circus equipment skills in the settings I have entered in order to help motivate and increase the self-efficacy of children with various disabilities; ultimately improving their quality of life.
Anything else you would like to add?
This is a second career choice for me. I was a college professor teaching physical theater and circus. I am 36 year old and so excited to be able to take all these skills into a therapeutic setting in order to improve the lives of children or seniors with disabilities.