Hometown: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Program: M.S.Ed. Kinesiology and Physical Education/Sport and Exercise Psychology
Year in school: First-year master’s student
What inspired you to pursue this degree/career? I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and I’m just really into athletic training. It wasn’t until the senior year of my undergraduate, when we had a guest speaker who was a sport psychologist, and it just clicked for me. It was a light bulb moment. It was the best of both worlds.
Why did you choose the NIU College of Education? There are not a lot of graduate schools with an Exercise Psychology program. I did a little research on the faculty here, and it was Dr. Jacobs who stood out for me. She is a really cool teacher, and has inspired a lot of my work. She is able to pull so much from her personal insight, and I’m glad she gives us the real picture and doesn’t just sugarcoat it.
How has your NIU College of Education experience been so far? The NIU College of Education experience has been a patient one. I’ve learned that they offer many opportunities, but sometimes you have to make your own. I can say the support they offer through teachers, peers, and experience is a great one. They’ve helped me challenge myself.
What are your career goals, and why? My career goal is to be a sport psychologist. I’ve always been interested in the mental aspect of things, and psychology does that for me, and I’m not a diehard sports fan, but I do enjoy my sports. I played flag football in high school. This gives me an opportunity that keeps me in the athletic training field.
What are you learning here that you know will help you to shape your career? What I’m learning, honestly, is that this is exactly what I want to do. The difference between undergraduate and graduate is that you’re really deep-diving into what you’re planning to do for the rest of your career. I’m doing qualitative research, focusing on mental toughness and athletic performance, and I do plan on getting my doctorate, so this is a really good foundation. I’ve been learning a lot.
Why would you recommend the NIU College of Education? I just like the tight-knit type of family in my classroom. I have most of the same classmates that I came into school with, and it’s really nice to be going through this with the same people. If I have a problem, I can always go to them – and we can relate.
What advice do you have for future students? I use the same advice for networking as well: Just go for it, because the worst they can say is, ‘No.’
Are you involved in any activities at NIU? I’ve decided to really put myself out there and do a lot. I’m teaching with the after-school Girls Boxing Club at Clinton Rosette Middle School. I’m a CA over at Northern View; that was new this fall. I’m on the Community Council at Northern View, I’m an intern for Marketing and Game Experience in Athletics, and I’m a research assistant in my department. It’s a really busy semester, but it’s something that I’ve asked for and prayed about, so I’ve just got to get it done.
Fun fact/hidden talent/cool secret: To know me is to love me.
Do you know an amazing student who should step into the COE spotlight? Email ceduEdNews@niu.edu with names and Z-ID contact information of your nominees.