Bronco Spotlight: Cara Masselink

Cara Masselink

BS and MS in occupational therapy, PhD in interdisciplinary health sciences, 2019

Assistant Professor at Western Michigan University

I am an assistant professor in the Occupational Therapy department.

What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?

Involvement in graduate and research assistant programs taught me additional teaching and research skills outside of the classroom that supplemented my coursework. Dr. Ben Atchison, past chair of the occupational therapy program, and Dr. Linda Shuster, who served as chair of my dissertation, were advocates and supporters as I went through my masters and PhD program.

Which of your skills had the biggest impact on your success?

Each of the three emphasis of the IHS PhD Program, teaching, research, and policy, have been integral to my professional activities. 

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?

Teaching opportunities in my masters and PhD program, as well as the graduate and research assistantship opportunities, influenced my desire to teach and do research at WMU. I really admired the desire for excellence, as well as the ways I was supported as a student, and wanted to influence others' lives in the same manner.

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?  

Keep asking questions, and when it feels overwhelming, take one step at a time. It's not easy, but it's good. 

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