Jacqueline Leyva '16
Major: Exercise Science and Coaching
Hometown: Tustin, CA
Future Athletic Trainer and Professor
Minor: Exercise Science
President of the Athletic Training Club, VP of Education for Delta Sigma Tau, member of Iota Tau Alpha Athletic Training Honor Society, Psychology Club and Intramurals
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
During my senior year of high school, I got an email from the lacrosse coach at Mount. We talked and I eventually came down for a tour. I loved the atmosphere and the beautiful campus when I came on my first visit. People were so friendly and willing to help you even if they didn’t know you. Mount Union also has a well-developed athletic training program. I wanted to try something different and definitely step out of my comfort zone, so I thought this would be the best way to experience different things.
A Strong Community
What I like most about Mount Union is the staff and student body. I have created such close relationships between staff members that I see them as my parents or as mentors. The students on campus are so supportive of each other and are involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. I meet someone new every day because of this.
Favorite Campus Spot
My favorite place on campus is the third floor of KHIC. I like sitting on the chairs that face the windows because I get the view of campus, and I get to see its beauty when the sun starts setting. It’s peaceful and relaxing while I work on homework or just ponder my thoughts.
The professors really do care about you and your education. I like that the classes are so small that professors really know everybody in their classrooms. If someone is late, most professors allow the other students to call and check on that person. The professors give you a lot of extra opportunities to get help if you are struggling, as well.
Preparing for Success
Mount Union allows me to work hands-on with the athletes that come into the athletic training facility. The faculty really focuses on staying on top of your game, and they push you to get better. They allow us to think outside the box and become successful, independent individuals.
I chose athletic training as my major because I am a big sports maniac. I grew up with sports being a big part of my life and I have always had interest in learning about the body. The body can be so complex, especially by the large amounts of stress that people apply to themselves, yet our body still manages to function properly. I always wanted to help people, and I figured this was the best way to do that with sports still being a part of my life.
My favorite hands-on experiences in my major are when we deal with real emergency situations because opportunities like that allow us to react and treat our athletes in a quick manner. Whenever something chaotic happens, I get an adrenaline rush. But, I have to make sure I stay collected in order to keep everyone else calm. Every experience is different, yet I still learn what I can do better for the next unexpected emergency situation. After every big emergency, we discuss how we could make improvements and what we did right, which helps us grow as a group.
I enjoyed my Therapeutic Rehab and Modalities class because we got to learn about all the machines in the athletic training room and got to apply them to athletes during their practices. We also had a lot of lab days where we applied techniques to each other so we could explain how the modalities should feel to our athletes. This class taught us that every athlete is different and we have to learn how to respond to each individual differently.
My favorite professor is Morgan Bagley. Morgan has always been there for me since the first day, and I practically see her as a mother figure. She is my advisor and I can always come to her when I need help, even if it is not class-related. She pushes me to always do better, and makes sure I am prepared for whatever gets thrown at me in the athletic training field. She is always giving me opportunities to grow by sending me potential internships and scholarships to apply for.
Liberal Arts and Professional Preparation
Combining a liberal arts education and professional preparation allows each of us to develop into well-rounded individuals. By having a combination of the two, it allows us to branch out by learning some topics that we might not have initially been interested in.
I eventually want to be a professor and an athletic trainer for a college. I also want to coach basketball or lacrosse. I am interested in teaching athletic training because I want to express my passion in the classroom and on the field. I cannot see myself stuck behind a desk all day, and this profession allows me to be on the field and deal with hands-on injuries. I also want to share why it is important to have athletic trainers in any sporting event. I grew up with sports being a part of my life and playing them definitely shaped me to the person I am today. Sports taught me life lessons, and I want to share my love for sports to other adolescents, especially when they do not have someone they can look up to.
Mount Union allows me to work hands-on with the athletes that come into the athletic training facility. The faculty really focuses on staying on top of your game, and they push you to get better.