Master’s Degree Candidate, Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science
Michelle Powis was looking for a highly ranked and respected program to pursue her master’s degree. “When I walked in to Towson’s Institute for Well-Being and saw the facilities, I knew this program was exactly what I was looking for,” recalls Powis.
She has not been disappointed. “Outside the classroom, therapists work across disciplines. I like that we have options to work with other disciplines like speech-language pathology, exercise science, nursing and other health care professionals,” says Powis. “The small class sizes mean you are able to form relationships with professors, and advisors take time to make a personal connection with you.”
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in special education, Powis began her career working in a local Pennsylvania school district. “I discovered that I was more interested in working one-on-one with people. I want to help those with disabilities become more independent in their daily activities and find meaning in their lives.”
Occupational therapy and occupational science students are required to gain experience in a variety of settings. At Towson’s Hussman Center for Adults with Autism, Powis has helped adults with autism gain social skills and become more independent community members. “Through activities like cooking, we are teaching higher-level cognitive skills,” she notes.
A member of the Phi Theta Epsilon Honor Society, she has also been active in the community. “I’ve attended Wheelchair Rugby, which sends a powerful message that individuals with physical disabilities can participate in competitive sports,” says Powis, who is now applying classroom learning to her personal life. “This is a demanding discipline, but it’s all about a healthy balance. If I am telling clients to live a balanced lifestyle, I need to be a good role model and practice what I preach.”