Health and Exercise Physiology

  • Kaitlyn Lafferty

Katie Lafferty ’21

Current Position

Graduate Student

Graduate School & Degree

Gwynedd Mercy University, M.S. in Occupational Therapy

Impact of Ursinus

I am currently in graduate school. I am attending Gwynedd Mercy University to obtain my Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. I would not be a part of the occupational therapy program at Gwynedd Mercy University if it was not for the HEP department. Not knowing about the Health and Exercise Physiology major at Ursinus, I started out as a Biology major. After learning about the HEP major and the types of classes they offered I switched majors the second semester of my freshman year. Although I was still unsure of what I wanted to do after college at this point, I knew that the HEP major offered a range of classes which could be used to obtain about any job in the health care field that I would want. The variety of professions one could obtain with this major drew me in. Within the first semester of being in HEP classes I really felt at home, as I was able to form relationships with my professors inside and out of the classroom. Dr. Ivaska and Dr. Carpenter were two of the first professors I had in this major and they not only set up a path for success in their classes, but also success in life by offering up any help they could give no matter what. I then went on to meet Dr. Kolwicz who further showed that professors are not only in your life to teach you the course materials, but professors are also people to provide support in everyday life. Not being a student athlete, I decided to join research on campus to be more involved. I joined the HaMM Lab with Dr. Kolwicz. It was neat to be able to apply the knowledge I was learning in classes to research, which assisted me to conceptualize the information. The close-knit family that the HEP department has allowed me to be successful, I never worried about passing a class because I knew that the professors were there to help and further explain topics outside of the classroom. The knowledge I learned in majority of the HEP classes I took have helped me greatly so far in graduate school, as the information learned is applicable to everyday life for everyone. The relationships I formed with the HEP department is something that I will forever be grateful for, as I know that even as an Alumni, I can reach out to them for advice, references, etc.

Piece of Advice

Get involved and enjoy your time at Ursinus. I was a part of the UC Ambassador program for one year, a tutor for Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and was a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa Honor Society, Whitian Society, and Tri Sigma Sorority.