Anne MacRae, Human Science

Photograph of Anne MacRae

Anne MacRae

Human Science Alumni 1992

A working occupational therapist and teacher, Anne MacRae was already well established in her field – but she needed a PhD to go as far as she wanted to go.

She was accepted by a number of graduate programs, but couldn’t find one that respected the work she’d already done. As far as they were concerned, she was one more amateur walking through the door.

“I went to some planning meetings, and my God, it was like nothing I’d ever done before was of any value to them,” she says.

Saybrook was different.

“Saybrook is a much better match for people who want to delve into practice and theory based on their own experience,” she says. “I had some extraordinary professors who understood that their students already brought something important to the table. It fit my needs much better.”

She also valued the way Saybrook allowed her to stay working in her field while she studied. “I was working full time as a teacher, and a clinician, so I definitely needed flexibility – the program worked out very well on a practical aspect.”

Since getting her PhD in Human Science, Anne has served as the Post-Professional Program Director at San Jose State University, where she is a professor of Occupational Therapy, and has received major professional commendations – including multiple Fulbright Awards. She’s worked with the University of Malta to develop its Occupational Therapy program, and with Malta’s Ministry of Health to improve services to the mentally ill in that country. She’s also a practicing therapist, with both national and state certifications, who has worked with hospitals, non-profits, and in private practice

She was qualified to do much of this before she ever applied to Saybrook – but she says her Saybrook education has changed the way she practices at every level.

“It wasn’t just letters after my name: A lot of what Saybrook originally worked with me on now informs my work at San Jose State and my consultation elsewhere,” she says. “To this day I give workshops on the phenomenological attitude, and how that’s core to all client centered professions. All healthcare professions, all human-service professions, need to have an understanding of people’s experiences – and that’s what I learned at Saybrook.”