McKenna Meier

McKenna Meier aspires to become a pediatric physical therapist. When she isn’t busy studying, McKenna enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly running and hiking. 

Get to know McKenna 

  • Major: Kinesiology, pre-health and exercise science options
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Billings, Montana
  • Career goal: Pediatric physical therapist 
  • Clubs/activities: CHS Ambassador, Be The Match On Campus Club, Pre-Physical Therapy Club
  • Favorite place on campus: Forker Building and Hach Hall
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Kira Werstein
  • Favorite class: : KIN 258, Principles of Physical Fitness and Conditioning
  • Why Iowa State: Expand horizons, connections in Iowa 

McKenna Meier shadows pediatric physical therapist, discovers dream career in kinesiology

During high school, McKenna Meier took a medical careers class that allowed her to job-shadow various health professionals. It was because of this opportunity that she discovered her passion for kinesiology, and furthermore her interest in becoming a pediatric physical therapist. 

“Through this class, I got to see a wide variety of health careers, some that were more commonly thought of, and some I had never heard of or knew they existed,” McKenna said. “I got to shadow three different physical therapists in outpatient clinics which helped me decide that physical therapy was a career that I wanted to explore.”

Her interest in pediatrics stems from a combination of her history in babysitting and one of the job shadowing opportunities she completed during high school. McKenna particularly enjoys the creative aspect of getting to work with children and form treatment plans for them that are both stimulating and fun. 

When it came to deciding where she’d like to attend college, she knew that she’d prefer to expand her horizons and look outside of her home state of Montana. With both Iowa State alum in her family and family who still lived in Iowa, McKenna had visited before and seen the campus. 

“This was the time in my life that I knew I had the opportunity to go to school anywhere and I wanted to take advantage of living in a new place for a few years,” she said.

Adapting quickly, McKenna joined various clubs and organizations to expand her circle here on campus. Joining the Pre-Physical Therapy Club allowed her to explore potential graduate school options, as well as prepare her for the process. 

She is also a member of Be The Match On Campus (BTMOC), an organization that coordinates marrow donor drives both on campus and throughout the Ames community. McKenna learned about this organization in high school, as BTMOC had a presence in Montana, and knew she’d like to join regardless of where she ended up, to help make a difference in people’s lives. 

McKenna also helped make a difference in people’s lives through her job as a CNA in a transitional care rehab facility. She credits this experience highly and encourages others who’re interested in the kinesiology field to consider to take on a similar role. 

“I would also highly encourage anyone who wants to work in health care to either work or volunteer in a hospital, nursing home, clinic, etc.” she said.”Being a CNA was such a good decision and allowed me to learn a ton about health care, working with others and important life skills.”

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