Sau Leung (Stefanie) Cheung is a graduate student at UNH in the occupational therapy (OT) program.
Cheung has always been passionate about OT, so entering the program at UNH was a natural fit.
“I received OT service when I was younger. I feel like it was really helpful for me and it was not like other therapy that was really boring or standard. It has really addressed me as a person and what I need to function in life and I feel like that was really helpful for me, and I want to bring that knowledge to other people.”
Cheung largely credits the faculty for her success in the program.
“The entire OT faculty has been extremely helpful. All of them are super nice and they know us on a one on one basis.”
Cheung has done a lot of research at UNH with the help of the faculty.
“I came up with this very non-traditional OT research process about the perception of flight attendants’ service to people with disabilities. It was basically about what services are provided to people with physical disabilities on board and in flight.”
“The study explores the on-board experiences of airline crew in serving travelers with physical disabilities, focusing on their level of knowledge, competence and perceived needs. The study aims at understanding perspectives from the service provider, recognizing barriers experienced by individuals with physical disabilities during air travel, and advocating for the rights of individuals with physical disability in accessible traveling.”
In addition to classwork and research, Cheung has volunteered abroad as a way to gain more experience in OT while also helping communities that need it most.
“This past summer I was in Sri Lanka in a disability home to provide OT services. It was really interesting to be somewhere that has such a lack of resources. We needed to be creative with how to provide therapy because we didn’t have much to work with.”
One of the things that Cheung likes the most about OT is how broad the subject can be. Because of this, she has some advice to anyone who is interested in the program.
“Just try whatever you like. OT is such a broad area and you can go into so many fields, so just be creative with that and have fun with it. You need to use your creativity to provide a good therapy process and if it’s something that you are passionate about, people will see that and benefit from it.”