Student Spotlight: Q&A with Ashley Walczybock, Master of Occupational Therapy Class of 2022

We're getting to know students from every program at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Submit your own details for Student Spotlight consideration by filling out our brief form.

Ashley Walczybock
Master of Occupational Therapy student Ashley Walczybock

Q: What five words best describe you?

A: Adaptable, adventurous, creative, diligent and versatile.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? 

A: Camping, cooking and baking, hiking, puzzles, and spending time with friends and family.

Q: Why did you choose Wayne State University?

A: Wayne State holds a special place in my heart, as I earned my bachelor's degree here in 2020. I love the atmosphere in Midtown — it’s a hub for community relations. Our college and the Master of Occupational Therapy program offer numerous opportunities to reach out and work with the people of Detroit. I think that is something unique and advantageous, as I am in a health care centered program, and we are able to help people in the community by providing them services that otherwise would not be available.

Q: Why did you choose occupational therapy? 

A: I was inspired to pursue a career in occupational therapy because I have always been interested in the health care field and I aspire to help people. Specifically with OT, I love how diverse it can be, as it is ever-changing and I can work with various populations in different settings. Through OT, I can tap into my creative side but still utilize science and evidence-based research to help an individual achieve independence and succeed in their goals, which is a gratifying opportunity.

Q: Tell us about a classroom, lab or clinical experience that you enjoyed. 

A: Late last year we completed our first round of clinicals and it was an awesome experience. I was placed in an outpatient orthopedic/neuro clinic and a pediatric clinic. Being able to work alongside a registered OT for two weeks helped me apply the knowledge I’d learned throughout the program.

Ashley Walczybock's scholarship thank-you slide
Last year, Ashley earned the Barbara Jewett Endowed Scholarship. Click the pic to see her Donors & Scholars message on YouTube.

Q: If you had 24 hours free from work and school obligations, how would you spend your day?

A: I would take a day trip to Disney World!

Q: Share a recent accomplishment that made you proud of yourself.

A: Last summer, I hiked 16 miles in one day in the Smoky Mountains.

Q: What are your career aspirations?

A: As an entry-level OT, I would love to be able to find a job in a pediatric setting, as it is a passion of mine to work with children who have disabilities. From this potential position, I can achieve my professional goals of helping children and adolescents become confident and independent in any activity they desire. It is also important for me to find a facility that promotes professional growth, as I one day would like to take on the role of being a clinical instructor for students or a director of a clinic.

An occupational therapist helps patients engage in everyday activities that are important to them, using a variety of productive and creative activities. The WSU Applebaum Master of Occupational Therapy program application cycle runs from Aug. 1-Nov. 1, with classes starting the following May. Learn more by attending a college information meeting, held for prospective students at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.

An anchor in urban health care

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 25,000 students.

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