The NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to recognize Jaqueline Angulo (MS '23) and Dominique Burke (MS '23) as this year’s recipients of the Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarship. The award, named to honor the memory of our department’s generous founder and former chair, Frieda J. Behlen, recognizes high-achieving MS and MS/OTD students with a demonstrated commitment to contributing to the NYU OT community.
Read on to meet Jaqueline and Dominique and learn more about their studies, professional aspirations, and what this accomplishment means to them.
Which parts of your NYU OT studies are most exciting to you?
Jaqueline: I have been interested in most, if not all, courses thus far in the NYU OT Program. I have learned more about OT than I ever knew existed. With that being said, the most exciting topics for me have been pediatrics and orthopedics. Specifically, I have become very excited by lectures where the two fields have overlapped, looking at orthopedic injuries specifically within the pediatric population. Both courses opened my eyes to the wide scope of each field, as well as different factors that interplay to guide both pediatric and orthopedic intervention.
Dominique: The most exciting parts of my NYU OT studies have been courses taken in the second year. With a focus on evaluations and treatments, I have enjoyed my mental health, neuroscience, geriatric, cognition and rehab courses. These classes have peaked my interest as they are all quite important and directed towards my future areas of focus which are mental health and geriatrics. Each course has a lab component that has allowed me to increase my understanding of assessments and improve upon my interpersonal skills needed for future clients.
What are your professional goals as an aspiring OT?
Jaqueline: Aligning with my interests mentioned above, I hope to work in a pediatric population setting. After listening to a guest lecture about OTs in the NICU, I am interested in gaining experience in hospital-based pediatrics settings such as this emerging area of practice for OTs. I plan to take additional certification programs such as NDT and Assistive Technology in order to better serve the populations I work with. I also hope to one day open a bilingual private practice with the specific intention to provide a space for Spanish-speaking families to receive the services they need without language barriers affecting their experience and the quality of care.
Dominique: As an aspiring OT, there are a few professional goals I hope to succeed in. To start I would like to work with the geriatric population specifically in a subacute facility as I first gained my interest in OT at a nursing and short-term rehab facility. My past experience as a CNA and RNA allowed me to work closely with an older population which I truly enjoyed. In addition I understand the interdisciplinary efforts of not only therapy but nursing and maintenance teams as well. For that reason, another goal of mine which is a big goal would be to one day become a health administrator for a nursing facility or possibly own my own facility.
Another goal of mine is to mentor young people of color and introduce them to the profession of occupational therapy. Along with teaching African Americans the importance of being self advocates and providing tools and resources to them. I am a firm believer that representation matters and by becoming a mentor I hope more African Americans would want to pursue our profession.
What does winning this scholarship mean to you?
Jaqueline: It is truly an honor to receive this scholarship. This scholarship has made me feel as though my efforts thus far have been valuable, that the long hours of studying and the dedication to this program/field is for a purpose. I have been passionate about becoming an occupational therapist for as long as I can remember, and winning this scholarship allows me to feel validated in choosing this profession. Finally, I hope that winning this scholarship makes my parents proud. I hope this shows my mother that I am doing my best to follow in her footsteps and that I am striving to be as amazing of a therapist as she has been.
Dominique: It is an honor to receive this scholarship that will continue to further my academic journey to becoming an OT. It is very important as it shows me that while your academic grades reflect your knowledge it is also important to use that knowledge to serve the community. Occupational therapy serves all people within the community so why not start building upon those connections while in school? I have always stated that I wanted to be a student beyond the classroom and by doing so I have been able to help the community and contribute to the goals of the NYU OT community.
Support the Scholarship
Department of Occupational Therapy founder and longtime chair Frieda J. Behlen was known to personally provide financial support to help students complete their studies. We hope to further honor her legacy by continuing to increase the size and number of Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarships awarded with the generous contributions of our alumni community.