Locals Featured in New Year’s Events

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Harrison Phelps

Harrison Phelps, of Laguna Beach, a student of occupational therapy at the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos, will ride on the Occupational Therapy Association float in the Tournament of Roses Parade, which steps off at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2.

Moorea Howson
Moorea Howson

And Moorea Howson, the high school’s 2015 homecoming queen, will join other homecoming queens in Memphis for the pre-show and halftime show at the Liberty Bowl. Georgia and TCU face of Monday, Jan. 2.

Phelps said his professional inspiration to pursue occupational therapy came after volunteering with a Manhattan Beach foundation that taught surfing as psychological and physical therapy to military veterans and children. “It fit my personality,” said Phelps, 25, who completed his undergraduate degree in sociology at the University of Hawaii.

He lives in Oceanside while completing the two-year master’s program and when time permits brings friends along to his favorite break at San Onofre. This past week, though, his spare time was devoted to float decorating in Irwindale. While watching the parade on television is part of his family’s New Year’s Day tradition, he’s never attended before, he said.

The float marks the 100-year history of occupational therapy.

Phelps, president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association on the San Marcos campus, organized float fundraisers, which led to the university’s selection by the professional group. He was named a rider based on his leadership at the university.

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