KOTA Student Spotlight: Anna Balassa

KOTA Student Spotlight

Anna Balassa, KOTA Member and EKU OT Student

Questions and Answers with Anna…

1. Why did you choose OT?

I was introduced to the field of occupational therapy when I was about eight-years old. My brother, who has autism, began OT treatment after he was diagnosed. Consequently, I was familiar with OT at a young age. However, I was uncertain if it was a career I wanted to pursue. During my undergraduate career, I struggled to identify a career path as I had many different interests. For an internship my junior year, I shadowed an OT. My internship experiences helped me realize that a career in OT would allow me to do things that were valuable to me such as think creatively, promote health and wellness, and help improve others’ well-being. Also, a career in OT would enable me to help people like my brother who have developmental disabilities. These are the reasons that I have decided to pursue a career in occupational therapy. 

2. What area of OT do you want to go into?

I hope to work in an outpatient pediatric setting since I enjoy working with kids and young adults.

3. Previous experience

Currently, I work as a graduate assistant for the OT department with a focus on supporting a professor's research. 

4. Other interesting facts

  • I am the current president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association at EKU.
  • This summer (and the previous 4 summers), I have worked as a swim coach of a Louisville summer swim team. Coaching is one of my favorite things to do in the summer, and it enables me to use so many of the same skills that I will use as an OT!
  • I graduated from Transylvania University in 2016 with a B.A. in exercise science.
  • I love swimming, biking, and running, and will be doing my first Olympic distance triathlon this summer.
  • I have hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim.


Professor quotes about Anna:

Dr. Dana Howell: “Anna is a wonderful student. She always comes to class well prepared and receives high marks on all her assignments. Even more importantly, she has a friendly and caring personality. She is quiet but always engaged, listening, and interested. I think she is going to be a fantastic OT.”

Dr. Shirley O'Brien: "Anna is an authentic leader, assessing each situation to allow for success of her clients. She uses a strengths-based approach to all she does, be it OT or coaching swimming. She sees potential in others and uses her professional skills and knowledge to foster growth and success."


Reporting by Cory Heslin

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