Meet our Student: Monique Chabot

Monique is in the PhD in Architecture and Design Research program within the College of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Why did you choose Jefferson?

This is my second Jefferson degree; I received a Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Jefferson back in 2010. From past experience, I knew that Jefferson would be give me a quality education. Given the fact Jefferson celebrates interprofessional education and collaboration, I also knew that they would be willing to consider a healthcare practitioner in a design program and provide me an experience that would be student-centered and relevant to my career goals.

The design programs have always been celebrated and full of really interesting projects that serve the community. There is also an entire Institute dedicated to my area of interest (smart technology and aging in place) through the Institute of Smart and Healthy Cities, so all these factors combined made choosing Jefferson an easy choice.

Where are you from originally?

I am originally from Katy, Texas! But I have lived in the Philadelphia region for over 10 years now.

What is the best part of your studies?

The best part has been the opportunity to essentially have a crash course in the design world. The PhD program has allowed me to take electives across the different design programs from Industrial Design and Sustainability to Interior Architecture and Architecture. I am thoroughly enjoying the chance to merge pieces of all these disciplines for both my future research in the environment for aging in place and to enhance my current practice as a home modifications occupational therapist. My customized plan has given me a small taste of everything, and my education is making me a better researcher, clinician, educator, and burgeoning designer. It has been a dream come true for me. I have loved every second so far!

What’s something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I worked at Baskin-Robbins for about 5 years through high school and college, going from crew member to shift leader to cake decorator. I can still rattle off all 31 flavors from that time frame. World Class Chocolate is the best!

Tell us about a project you’re working on or award/honor you’ve recently received:

Last year, I was in the first year Master’s of Industrial Design studio and worked with a partner to design an electronic telescoping reacher for someone with Fibrodysplasia Ossifcans Progressiva. I fulfilled a lifelong dream of designing assistive technology, and the project was one of the projects chosen for the 2022 Celebration of Innovation. We also won the Audience Choice Award at the American Occupational Therapy Association Inventors Showcase in June 2022.

I am also beyond thrilled to be working with my advisor, Dr. Ku, on his Jefferson Institute of Smart and Healthy Cities Fellowship Grant examining smart technology in the homes of older adults this year.