As she began her college career, Christina Buchignani knew she wanted to be part of a helping profession. Her younger brother, Ryan, was born with a disability and she saw first-hand the challenges the world presented, not only for people who needed support, but their families as well. Her mother fought hard for Ryan working to change rules and policies to ensure his equitable treatment and social well-being. Christina saw the positive impact these changes had on his life.
Ryan passed away shortly before she declared a college major. When Christina asked her mother for advice, she told her that while there were many helpers in the world, the ones who had done the most for Ryan were the occupational therapists. They had listened to Ryan’s needs and advocated on his behalf. Christina took her mother’s advice and started on her path to becoming an occupational therapist.
After working as an OT for several years, Christina transitioned to an inpatient rehabilitation facility. There she was inspired by her fellow therapists’ passion to pursue advanced education. While she’d always planned to attend graduate school, the demands of work and homelife made it a challenging idea.
After some research she not only discovered that OTD programs were available online, but that Eastern Kentucky University offered one. The fact that EKU was in her home state, had great student testimonials, a high-quality curriculum and high-caliber professors made EKU Online her first choice.
From asynchronous classes to the professors’ knowledge and respect that their students have lives and careers outside of the classroom, EKU Online’s OTD program was designed with working students in mind. However, because it had been 25 years since Christina was last in school, she still had concerns about the technology aspect of online learning.
“That concern quickly dissipated as I learned about all the resources available at EKU to make it easy. The university has all sorts of tech support resources and tutorials for everything under the sun. Not to mention, the professors and peers are ready and willing to help when needed,” she said.
Christina not been disappointed with her choice. The professors have been accessible, supportive, encouraging and inspiring. While the program has been challenging, the support from the university, professors and fellow peers have already helped her become a better practitioner.
She has kept an open mind about how to use her degree and skills after graduation; but she knows she’ll be able to use all she has gained during EKU Online’s OTD program to continue serving others in ways that promote occupational justice and support health, wellness and quality of life for everyone.
“I set forth on this academic journey with the simple goal of obtaining a degree. Being immersed in such rich learning opportunities amongst professors and peers with diverse and impressive backgrounds has taught me many unexpected things. It has reignited a passion for learning, leadership and positively representing the field of occupational therapy. Not only that, but I now have a network of peers all around the United States. People I would have never known if it weren’t for this program. These are people I can call upon for resources, support and even professional collaboration in the future. The program has armed me with the skills and confidence to lead and to use theory and evidence in practice effectively. That in and of itself is worth the investment.”
— Christina Buchignani, EKU Online OTD student
Interested in a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy?
Earn your online bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for more than 15 years. EKU offers one of the top post-professional doctor of occupational therapy programs in the nation. Our challenging doctorate degree options prepare practitioners to take on leadership roles and our flexible, online format provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.
Complete the form to learn more about how EKU Online’s OTD Program can help advance your career.