Ebony Gilchrist knew Rutgers University-New Brunswick had the inclusive atmosphere she wanted in college as well as great programs across the Arts and Sciences to prepare for her life's work in the health professions.
Planning for a career in physical therapy
Ebony Gilchrist knew she wanted to pursue a health-related major.
She found the perfect fit in the Department of Kinesiology and Health in the School of Arts and Sciences.
I was drawn to Rutgers by the diversity and the many opportunities that are here.
“It struck me as a clinically adaptable field,” says Gilchrist, who plans to pursue a career in physical therapy. “I was really interested in the human body and I felt that biology would be more geared toward microorganisms and plants.” It helped too that Gilchrist, a graduate of Paramus Catholic High School, played sports and learned firsthand about physical therapy.
“I sprained my ankle twice and had teammates with more severe injuries like ACL tears,” she says. “I appreciated the role of physical therapy as a key component in recovery.”
Even before discovering her calling, Gilchrist had long wanted to attend Rutgers.
“I was drawn by the diversity and the many opportunities that are here,” she said. “Paramus Catholic was a very diverse school with a lot of clubs and offerings, and I wanted to carry that over into my college experience.”
As an applied kinesiology major, Gilchrist said she relishes the unique identity and focus of her field.
“In kinesiology, we look at exercise as a form of medicine and a form of treatment,” she says. “We apply physical activity to what we already know about how the body works with the mission of improving the quality of life.”
The department has grown significantly over the last three decades, and Gilchrist said it it’s very easy to form a community and support networks. “Some of my closest friends are in this major and we study together all the time,” she says.
She also appreciates the wide range of courses, some unique to the department, like “Movement Experiences for Individuals With Disabilities” and “Systems Physiology,” to a range of biology and chemistry courses from other departments.
“I feel like this major has really prepared me for the future,” she says. “Even if I change my mind about physical therapy, there are many students in this major who go to medical school, nursing, occupational therapy and other fields.
“There are so many different avenues to go down.”