What is your background, how did you come to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, what was your major and how would you describe the highlights of your undergraduate education?
I chose the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University because of the location as well as the great reputation it has. I knew that for the field I was going into, this was going to be the best route possible for me and would give me the best opportunities to seek post-graduate education. I love the community of St. Joseph. It truly feels like one big family and my home away from home. Highlights of my undergraduate education would be completing research through my exercise physiology course, as well as participating in everyday college activities, such as attending football and basketball games and spending time with friends.
Why study pre-physical therapy at a liberal arts college?
One of the best parts about studying pre-physical therapy at a liberal arts college is getting to explore different opportunities in the classroom that other universities may not be able to provide. I appreciated the very small class sizes and ability of the professors to work with me one on one whenever I needed the extra help. I feel that my undergraduate education was diverse, yet I was able to take a variety of classes that I was interested in while completing my degree.
What makes the pre-PT program at CSB/SJU unique?
I would say all the professors I had were extremely passionate about what they teach and would go the extra mile to make sure that their students were going to succeed. When professors care so much about their students’ success, it makes students want to come to class and learn. There have been several new upgrades within the exercise science department that have made it possible for students to explore the occupation while participating in research and clinical-type practices.
What has your experience with the CSB/SJU pre-PT program faculty been like?
The faculty at CSB/SJU is incredible – I cannot say enough good things about the professors I have worked with in my pre-PT program. You can really tell how much they care and are willing to put in the extra time and effort. Whether it was classwork, setting up schedules through advising, or applying for graduate schools, I always felt like I was set up for success.
How would you describe the workload and/or academic expectations related to this pre-professional track?
Just like several of the other science-specific majors, the workload is going to be demanding at times. For graduate schools, particularly with pre-PT and how competitive it is, it is extremely important to start off on the right note. Doing well in my introductory classes was really important for long term success within this undergraduate program.
What has been one of the greatest challenges you have faced in college?
Time management is extremely important, particularly with the major I chose. There were several semesters where I was taking 17 credits, which didn’t include 1-2 labs that were 3-plus hours as well. Having to balance my course load, along with making sure I was taking care of myself, was challenging at times.
What advice do you have for students considering the pre-PT program?
This is one of the most rewarding programs in my opinion. The classes can be tough, but the feeling after completing them and knowing you did your best is incredible. The faculty are so knowledgeable that it makes me confident in what I’ve learned and that I will take it with me into graduate school. It can be hard at times, but don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What are your plans for after you graduate from CSB/SJU, and what are plans after graduate school?
I will be attending the University of Jamestown in Fargo, North Dakota, for my Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT), and will graduate in the spring of 2025. After graduation, I hope to move back to my hometown of Sauk Rapids (Minnesota) and work at a clinic that specializes in sports medicine.
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University
Chair, Exercise Science & Sport Studies
CSB HAB 10A