Emily Carley

Emily Carley is studying to become a physical therapist. When she isn’t studying, Emily enjoys playing with her dog, watching Netflix with her friends, and reading a good book.

Get to know Emily

  • Major: Kinesiology and health
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Council Bluffs, Iowa (Pottawattamie County)
  • Career goal: Physical therapist
  • Clubs/activities: Intramural soccer
  • Awards/honors: Dean’s List fall 2017-present, Iowa State Top 2% of Class 2018-19, Winifred Tilden High Scholar Award
  • Favorite place on campus: Any bench outside
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Warren Franke
  • Favorite class: KIN 366, Exercise Psychology
  • Why Iowa State: Liked the campus and all of its activity

Emily Carley studies body movement and mind to thrive as a physical therapist

Since high school, Emily Carley has known exactly what she wants to do in the future. Now she’s balancing work and study to get there.

Emily’s mother is a physical therapist. Emily had always been interested in her mom’s work because she loved seeing how physical therapists were able to help people who are at a point of physical vulnerability.

Currently a junior at Iowa State University, Emily mixes kinesiology and psychology studies to better prepare her for her dream career. With her heart set on physical therapy, Emily progresses in her academic career, staying actively interested in how kinesiology and psychology can overlap in her professional life.

“[I enjoy] figuring out ways that I can increase the chances of somebody exercising by inputting some psychology, and knowing the psychology behind why they feel certain ways,” Emily said.

Emily is interested in specializing in women’s health or cardiology, as those have been her favorite sections of her anatomy and physiology classes.

Emily continues to accumulate job shadowing hours at the Thielen Student Health Center, working with providers who administer physical therapy and sports medicine services. This work has deepened her admiration for the kinesiology program at Iowa State.

“Just getting to watch the different interactions between the patient and the [physical therapists], it’s just really interesting to watch the dynamic and the bond that forms between them,” Emily said.

Shadowing physical therapists has confirmed Emily’s lifelong interest in physical therapy; she’s certain that she is on the right path for her.

“[Shadowing] kind of cemented [the idea] that I wanted to be in PT. When I’m in that setting, I’m very comfortable,” Emily said.

She encourages others who are interested in kinesiology to branch out, like she did with her psychology minor, and not be afraid to go after what excites them.

“Don’t be afraid to get out there. I’m a pretty shy person, but I think in college I’ve been able to expand [myself]. … Getting out there has really changed me as a person, and helped me grow in my major.”

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