Student Spotlight: Zach Pindar
Current Bachelor of Health Science’s Pre-Occupational Therapy senior, Zachary Pindar, reflects over his past three semesters as a Health Science student with a heart full of gratitude. While engaging with others throughout the halls of the HPNP, Zachary continues to witness a common call to service shared among faculty, staff, and peers. This communal yearning to touch lives inspires Zachary to push himself to serve as a healer in local and global communities, dive into academics with intense focus, and form lasting personal and professional relationships.
Out of all the possible health professions, why does Zachary want to go into occupational therapy? Through Zachary’s eyes, the profession adds a unique approach to the healing process. Occupational therapists creatively collaborate with patients towards optimal living through therapeutic activities that have personal meaning to patients. For example, if an occupational therapist were to work with a barbecue-cooking enthusiast with post-stroke balance difficulties, together they could use the activity of preparing a savory dish of pulled pork as a means of improving balance without the patient even realizing he was in the midst of therapy. Zachary’s belief of the necessity to heal not just the body, but also the mind and the spirit, fits perfectly into the framework of occupational therapy.
Across his junior and senior years, Zachary has explored the breadth of his future vocation through a variety of experiences. At the start of his junior year, Zachary became involved in UF’s Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA). From August 2014 forward, he has transitioned from being an active member to leading SOTA as President for the 2015-2016 school year. Zachary deeply values his participation in SOTA’s volunteer work with diverse populations in Gainesville which range from children with developmental disabilities, to adults with Alzheimer’s, to community members in food banks. As a result of engaging in SOTA events, Zachary has acquired a deeper respect of and love for occupational therapy.
Another growing point for Zachary has been his shadowing of inpatient occupational therapists in UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital’s CVA, TBI, and Orthopedic teams. While observing patients’ transfers, Activities of Daily Living, and therapeutic regimen, Zachary has encountered novel forms of therapy. Zachary believes each session at the hospital stimulates his curiosity in, and wonder for, the resiliency of the human form.
Outside the classroom, Zachary finds passion in spending time with loved ones, playing basketball, listening to music, and working with children of all ages. Furthermore, Zachary stresses the importance of spiritual development in his life. Weekly, he attends both a church and meditation group to stay grounded, connected, and more peaceful.
After graduating in May 2016, Zachary plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. He envisions his degree as the keystone of what he will bring to the world. Domestic and international humanitarian assistance will be lifelong themes. Within the United States, Zachary imagines working in a pediatric rehabilitation hospital in a neurology unit. This scenario would combine two personal passions: working with children and uncovering the mysteries of the human nervous system. Abroad, he dreams of working as an occupational therapist with amputees in refugee and Internally Displaced Persons camps. Zachary’s thirst to explore the globe through service would be quenched by this form of occupational therapy. Nevertheless, he is ready to walk through any doors that open for him professionally, and is exhilarated to see where graduate school education will take him. There is great need for occupational therapy services and social justice in every corner of the globe. Zachary is hungry to be a healer.