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Student of the Month

August Student of the Month: Alison Jansen

By August 11, 2023August 17th, 2023No Comments

What is your background?: I am originally from Bozeman, Montana, but moved around growing up and lived in Lacey, Washington and Layton, Utah. Then eventually Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I grew up with a military dad, reasoning why I moved around a bunch. I have four siblings, including two brothers and two sisters. I attended John F. Kennedy high school for four years and during my senior year at the Kirkwood Linn Regional Center in the Patient Care Academy. I went straight into Kirkwood Community College after graduating in 2020.

What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: My senior year of high school I attended the Patient Care Academy at the Kirkwood Linn Regional Center. I found out about the program through my counselor at my high school. I also learned more about what Kirkwood has to offer through two different job shadows. Throughout high school, we were always educated on what Kirkwood had to offer and the many programs we could attend. I chose Kirkwood because I was able to complete my degree while being close to my family and friends. I also valued that Kirkwood created a community for the students and offered various activities and resources. Although Kirkwood is not a typical four-year university, they create an atmosphere and offer many of the same highlights as a four-year school. I heard highly about the healthcare programs at Kirkwood and the opportunities I would have, finalizing my choice to choose Kirkwood.

What is your program of study and what interests you about it?: I am currently in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. I have always had a passion for science and healthcare, but also highly value caring for others. As an occupational therapy assistant, you must tune into your curiosity and creativity to develop the best treatment for patients that have undergone life changing circumstances. Usually with healthcare, we focus on medicine and getting patients as medically stable as possible, but with occupational therapy they look further and focus on what the patient wants and needs to do to have a higher quality of life. Occupational therapy practitioners get the opportunity to know their patients on a more personal level and develop a treatment plan to ensure they can resume their life roles, while still being as safe and independent as possible. I have always advocated for mental health awareness and feel it can be a huge aspect when a patient is on their healing journey, with occupational therapy this is valued and considered. I love occupational therapy as well because we get to have fun with different adaptive equipment, assessments, tools, games, crafts, and more. I can also work in various of settings and with many populations once I graduate. With occupational therapy I also get the opportunity to further my education throughout my career as the field is forever adapting and changing with research.

Are you involved in anything else on campus? If so, what, and why?: I am not currently involved with anything on campus but am hoping to participate in a club soon!

Are you involved in anything off campus?: I work as a phlebotomist at BioLife Plasma Services currently and enjoy volunteering around my community when I get the chance.

What do you do for fun?: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends whenever I can. I spend as much time as I can outdoors and exploring towns surrounding me. I enjoy hiking, fishing, working out, walking my dog, and trying new sports. I was a swimmer growing up, so I love swimming when I get the chance. I also enjoy arts and crafts including painting and jewelry making. I love to attend antique shows and go garage sale shopping when I get the opportunity to. I enjoy trying new foods and shopping.

Where do you see yourself in five years?: I plan to move to Omaha, Nebraska, after I graduate and hope to work in a pediatric setting. I hope to go back to school and attend an online program to obtain my bachelor’s degree in either childhood development or psychology. I hope with my bachelor’s degree to teach in an occupational therapy program or to be a fieldwork educator. I would love to relocate back to Montana in the future to join the rest of my family.