Madeline Hines is a trailblazer. When she graduates this Sunday, she’ll be one of the first two students to receive her bachelor’s degree in exercise science.
Although she entered Heidelberg as a biology major, she switched to health and human performance shortly after. What never changed were her plans to pursue a career in the health care industry.
When Heidelberg launched the new exercise science major last fall, she was among the first to jump on board. The decision was easy, similar to what she felt when she visited Heidelberg as a high school student. “You just know,” Maddy says.
“With a new program, we get to pioneer it and help develop it for students in the future.”
To supplement her coursework, Maddy completed an internship through Mercy Hospital, with PT Rehabilitation Services in Tiffin. She was paired with occupational therapist Jess Heitman, who works with pediatric clients. Maddy got experience with a wide range of patients, from preschool to high school.
It was just the experience she needed to clarify her health care path: occupational therapy.
“The internship totally solidified for me that I want to work with OT pediatrics one day. I loved every second of it.”
Maddy applied to four occupational therapy graduate programs, and was thrilled to learn that she was accepted into the OT doctoral program at her first choice, The University of Toledo. “That was my goal from the beginning, to get into a doctoral-level program that is research-based and close to home.
“Mainly, I’m just excited that my program (at UT) will be shaped around everything that I love. Everything that I will be learning is something I could be doing in the real world.”
Some might tag Maddy an over-achiever. She’s graduating in three years with a challenging major. She balanced that with playing for three years on the ‘Berg women’s soccer team, serving as team captain her senior year. Yes, it was busy, sometimes even bordering on chaotic, but learning to manage her jam-packed schedule is a valuable part of the great preparation she received at Heidelberg. The other is through her coursework.
“The biggest way Heidelberg prepared me is by challenging me academically,” she says. One of her most rigorous – and relevant – courses was Dr. Pam Faber’s prosection class, during which students learn by working on human cadavers. It took her understanding of the material to a higher level.
“You just can’t learn that information from a text or photos,” Maddy said. “Dr. Faber is one of the greatest teachers. She really makes sure you know your stuff, and you can’t put a value on that in your education.”
With graduation less than a week away, everything’s coming together for Maddy. “It’s crazy to think all of this is happening, starting in a couple of months. It’s something I’ve been waiting to do for years, and it’s right there!”