Grad profile: OT degree opens doors to meaningful work and lifelong friendships

Katie Siri-Ngammuang, Faculty of Health

- November 1, 2022

This article is part of a series focusing on fall grads of the Dalhousie Class of 2022. Read all our profiles here as they are published, and visit the Convocation website for more information and to access the live webcast

Grad name: Katie Siri-Ngammuang

Degree: MSc (Occupational Therapy), Faculty of Health

How significant is it for you to receive this degree?

I’m incredibly honoured to receive this degree because it opens the door for me to start a career that I’ve been passionate about for a long time.

What were the highlights of your degree?

My role as student representative in DOTSS (Dalhousie OT Student Society) and being a member of other student groups was a great way to get to know both my classmates and faculty. Being able to co-deliver our valedictorian address alongside one of my closest friends, Michael Cormier, was a massive highlight and is a memory that I will always treasure.

What will you miss about your time at Dal?

I’m definitely going to miss the people! We made such amazing lifelong friends throughout the degree and got to learn from such wonderful OTs over the course of the two years. I think of all the times we spent prepping for OSCEs, studying in the Tupper Link, dancing at OT Ball, and celebrating our wins and successes. Even during lockdowns there was so much support from one another. I’ll miss those times we spent together.

What brought you to Dal and to your program specifically?

I grew up in Halifax and did my undergraduate degree at Dalhousie. I love the size and atmosphere of both, and I love being close to the ocean. I chose the OT program after working alongside a pediatric OT in 2015 and realizing what a unique and special field of healthcare it can be.

What topics/research/work did you become passionate about during your education?

I became passionate about working with newcomers thanks to my preceptors Sara Abdo and Dominique Shephard, and all the ways in which OTs can advocate for accessible healthcare and human rights. On that same vein, disability justice was a big topic that I dove into and learned so much about, thanks to my instructors, preceptors, and many classmates.

What’s next for you?

I’ve since relocated to California after an amazing experience through USC’s SOTI program. Now I’m going through the process to obtain my state license here. I’m hoping to work in a pediatric setting but am also open to mental health or maybe acute care.


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