Alumna flies to U.P. islands for work

Occupational therapist Stephanie Vaughn, '15, flies to the U.P. to work with students at Mackinac Island Public Schools.
Occupational therapist Stephanie Vaughn, '15, flies to the U.P. to work with students at Mackinac Island Public Schools.
Image Credit: Courtesy photo
Occupational therapist Stephanie Vaughn, '15, describes her job as "quite an adventure" this time of year as she's forced to hop a plane to Mackinac Island for appointments with students.
Occupational therapist Stephanie Vaughn, '15, describes her job as "quite an adventure" this time of year as she's forced to hop a plane to Mackinac Island for appointments with students.
Image Credit: Courtesy photo

Occupational therapist Stephanie Vaughn, '15, describes her job as "quite an adventure" this time of year as she's forced to hop a plane to Mackinac Island for appointments with students.

Vaughn works for War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie and serves as the OT for school districts in the southeastern portion of the Upper Peninsula, including Mackinac Island Public Schools.

The ferry boats stop running to the island when ice forms on the Straits of Mackinac, and this year that came earlier than usual — in November.

"When the water ices over, I have to take a plane from St. Ignace to the island for appointments with students," said Vaughn. "Once I arrive, it's a two-mile walk to the school. A snowmobile is available, but I love to be outside. I'm not one to sit still for too long."

Vaughn's love for the outdoors came from growing up in Munising; she and her husband were happy to find jobs in northern Michigan. 

Vaughn has been flying to Mackinac Island about three times per month since November — something she's enjoyed since starting her job four years ago at War Memorial Hospital. She also works with students on Drummond Island and flies each week to Bois Blanc Island to work with students there.

She said Grand Valley's hybrid OT graduate program was a perfect fit for her.

"The program allowed me to work full time while I worked toward my degree," she said. "The OT faculty members are very supportive of alumni and they encourage us to network to share the latest information in our field, and that is very beneficial."