Hannah Rossignol (AT 2022)
First impressions of Hannah Rossignol paint the portrait of a warm, energetic woman who loves to learn and enjoys blending her diverse creative talents. Although she majored in Occupational Therapy for undergraduate and graduate studies at University of New Hampshire, she also completed a minor in architectural studies, spending a term in Copenhagen, Denmark to explore design of accessible public spaces. To complement her training, Hannah earned a UNH Online graduate certificate in Assistive Technology in 2020, using some of these credits towards a master’s degree.
Rossignol completed her OT internships at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio and Concord Hospital Health System in New Hampshire and did her work study at the Institute on Disability at UNH. Fully certified in spring 2022, she is currently a per diem occupational therapist at both New England Rehabilitation Center in Maine and Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire. Blending the dual experience of rehabilitative and acute care is an excellent professional opportunity that spans a wide spectrum of patient needs. The conversation spontaneously sparks a smile as Rossignol reveals that her oldest patient is one hundred and one years old.
"An occupational therapist supports their client by helping them successfully engage in activities with personal significance, such as working, cooking or showering. Reviewing their needs through a holistic lens that factors in both physical and cognitive barriers, our job is to find the “just right challenge” that will motivate the client and support their goals. To meet them where are, I must intuit how far and how fast to encourage each person with the appropriate assistive technology."
Rossignol was a volunteer with the UNH Chapter of Magic Wheelchair that forms student teams to design and build costumes for children in wheelchairs in celebration of Halloween. She also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, making trips to several states to build houses for people in need. This natural blending of multiple talents underscores Hannah’s desire to be an active member of her community and successful in her career.
As a student in the UNH Assistive Technology online graduate certificate program, Hannah welcomed the flexibility of asynchronous courses that allowed her to balance study assignments with her work schedule. Rossignol opted into the program’s campus-based, hands-on explorative workshops when students exchange ideas with their cohort and instructor. Enriching online course work with face-to-face campus visits offered a satisfying blend of learning experiences.
"The diversity of student backgrounds in the online Assistive Technology program at UNH fosters a lively exchange of perspectives. I loved the freedom of asynchronous classes because I could manage my own time; pacing the assignments allowed me to process the information and dig into topics of special interest. The benefits of the Assistive Technology program to a student’s professional work are measured by the energy they put into it so my advice is to plan your study schedule and stay ahead of the work."
Sharing her thoughts about the future, Hannah excitedly talks about becoming a travel occupational therapist to learn from global professionals. Her long-term goal, however, is to bring together her medical and architectural interests as a home design consultant to ensure patients are as safe and self-sufficient as possible in their own environment.
"The future is wide open. My journey is to seize the opportunity and advocate for what I need. I strongly believe that anyone willing to dedicate their energy can achieve their goals."
Written by Gwendolyn Goguelet