What are you involved in on campus?
Athletic Training takes up a chunk of my time because we do a lot of hands-on work, but I’m the secretary of the Organization of Athletic Training Students (OATS), which is the student organization for all of the Athletic Training students. Not only does OATS organize fun activities but it also brings in speakers for educational opportunities. Outside of Athletic Training I work at MUSKET Student Theater as the technical director.
How has your Athletic Training major prepared you for your post-graduation goals?
Kinesiology’s Athletic Training degree is unique as to how it prepares us for our route after graduation because it is such a hands-on program. It is so skill-based that if you want to do something in the fields of sports medicine, athletic training, or medicine in general, it’s a really amazing preparation because it all starts as soon as you step on campus. You learn actual practical skills, practicing with real people and athletes who are as close to being a professional as you can get. It’s such an amazing opportunity. I will graduate this year with over 1,000 hours of hands-on experience, so in terms of preparation I feel like I’m ready for whatever job I end up with.
What makes the School of Kinesiology unique?
One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most is the personal connection I’ve had with the professors, advisors, and administrative staff. The school is small enough that students and staff can get to know each other. My advisor knows me and it feels like a more personal, helpful conversation rather than answering a bunch of questions quickly. When I go to the administrative office, people say hi and ask how I’m doing. I can imagine a bigger school wouldn’t feel nearly as close and community-based as the School of Kinesiology.
What is your most memorable moment within the school?
I think getting to be a part of Michigan’s sporting events through my Athletic Training experiences. The sports and athletics at Michigan are about as close as one can get to a professional level, so getting to do things like work the sidelines at a basketball game or work a gymnastics meet and play an active role in those situations as an undergrad has been amazing. Every time I get to be out there on the floor at a gymnastics or basketball game I think this is such a cool opportunity at 19, 20, 21 years old.
Tell us about your favorite experience in your program.
I have been able to take four classes with Dr. Brian Czajka, clinical assistant professor of Athletic Training and director of Athletic Training education. By the time I took my fourth class with him, I knew him so well that it didn’t feel like I was just coming to class every day. I knew all the people in my class and it was an environment where I never felt weird and was comfortable raising my hand and asking clarifying questions. All the students felt the same way and we were comfortable with the whole situation, and that was a special class and semester. It’s cool to be in a class where I feel so comfortable and learning material with people that I know.
Kinesiology’s Athletic Training degree is unique as to how it prepares us for our route after graduation because it is such a hands-on program. It is so skill-based that if you want to do something in the fields of sports medicine, athletic training, or medicine in general, it’s a really amazing preparation because it all starts as soon as you step on campus.
How have you changed academically, professionally, or personally since starting at U-M?
There were times, especially in my first and second years, I was treating this more like high school where I would show up, do the work, and move on. As I’ve taken more classes, and as they have gotten more difficult, I’ve gotten better at understanding what kind of work and engagement you have to put into the material outside of the classroom in order to succeed. As you look at the classes I’m taking now in my third and fourth years, I’m engaging with the material more seriously and focusing more on things inside and outside the classroom to get my work done.
What is your favorite thing to do in Ann Arbor?
I love going out to eat with my friends. There is less of that going on now [due to COVID-19], but you have Main Street and the whole downtown area filled with restaurants. I love going down and seeing all the people walking around. I also love having access to Nichols Arboretum. Those are two very different things and I think it’s great you can go walk down a really populated Main Street with a ton of great restaurants and 10 minutes later you can walk through a gigantic park that feels secluded. I love that both of those are accessible to each other.