Julia Hansen

Julia Hansen plans to use her knowledge in kinesiology and psychology to become a physical therapist. When Julia isn’t studying, she likes to go to Iowa State sporting events and coffee shops, or spend time outdoors being active.

Get to know Julia

  • Major: Kinesiology
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Ames, Iowa (Story County)
  • Career goal: Physical therapist
  • Clubs/activities: Undergraduate research in neurophysiology lab, CHS Ambassadors
  • Awards/honors: Winifred Tilden High Scholar Award, Dean’s List
  • Favorite place on campus: Parks Library
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Elizabeth Stegemöller
  • Favorite class: KIN 366, Exercise Psychology
  • Why Iowa State: kinesiology program, family alumni

Julia Hansen finds career path in kinesiology to share compassion for physical therapy

Julia Hansen, a junior in kinesiology and health, minoring in psychology at Iowa State University, found her passion for physical therapy when she experienced an injury herself. Julia, had to attend physical therapy after experiencing issues with her joints in high school. Throughout her physical therapy treatment, she wasn’t expecting to find an interest for her future career.

“It was amazing to see how [physical therapists] bring patients back to functionality and a higher standard of living that many take for granted,” Julia said.

Julia said that her physical therapist was a source of inspiration by allowing her to see connections between patients and care providers develop over time. After determining the best path to studying physical therapy in medical school was majoring in kinesiology and health at Iowa State, Julia did not hesitate to get involved. She is a member of the Kappa Delta sorority, where she expresses her caring personality through community outreach and philanthropic events. 

Julia also took part in undergraduate research with Elizabeth Stegemöller, assistant professor of gerontology, regarding the effects music and dancing has on people with Parkinson’s disease. Julia initially volunteered in the dance research group, but now aims to focus on how music can affect handwriting shape and size in people with Parkinson’s disease.

“Seeing and conducting your own research is an awesome opportunity,” she said.

Her passion for health professions eventually led her to become a College of Human Sciences Student Ambassador.

“I wanted to connect more with prospective students and talk about my experiences in CHS,” Julia said.

Julia believes sharing her variety of experiences from her sorority service to research to hospital job shadows will help guide many visiting high school students on the right path.

“Get out there, and see what about [your prospective major] excites you, and what about it makes you see yourself in that role someday.”

Julia said that seeing the impact physical therapists have on people’s lives and well-being is incredibly rewarding, and she looks forward to making that impact herself.

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