I Am Elon with Kathleen Hupfeld ’16
In addition to her rigorous coursework and research, the junior exercise science major has been volunteering continually since junior high school, and plans to use her Elon education as preparation to study physical therapy.
Kathleen Hupfeld does not like to be idle. In addition to her rigorous coursework and research, the junior from Maryland has been volunteering continually since junior high school. The list is long: stroke rehabilitation, Special Olympics, Best Buddies, tutoring and therapeutic horseback riding, to name a few. “I really enjoy being busy and using all my time as effectively as I can,” she says. “These are all things I really enjoy, so it’s never like work.”
Kathleen, an exercise science major with minors in neuroscience and psychology, is well acquainted with hard work. She is the Kenan Scholar in her Honors Fellows class, which qualifies her for a full-tuition scholarship. The opportunities to engage with faculty to do in-depth research played a large role in her choosing to attend Elon, and she is conducting neuroscience research in brain stimulation with her mentor, Associate Professor of Exercise Science Caroline Ketcham.
She plans to use her Elon education as preparation to study physical therapy, a topic that has fascinated her since she was a young teen. “I was in physical therapy for a soccer injury in
middle school,” she says. “After my therapy, I began volunteering locally in rehabilitation, and that eventually led me to an exercise science major.”
Her friends would call her “crazy busy,” but she maintains she just likes to use her abilities to help others. And volunteering has a positive effect on her as well, particularly her involvement with Elon’s Best Buddies program. “I’ve learned a lot from Harrison Hill, my buddy, as well as the others. He is one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. He thoroughly enjoys his life, and he’s completely unafraid to be himself.”
By Kim Walker