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Graduates in the Spotlight : 2019 Graduates in the Spotlight

Jaclyn Fernandez

image of Jaclyn FernandezHOMETOWN: Bethel, Connecticut.

MAJOR: Health Promotion Studies, concentration in Allied Health

MINOR: Psychology

WCSU DEGREE: Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion Studies

ACTIVITIES: National Society of Leadership and Success member, volunteer at Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury, WCSU Soccer (2015-17), Student-Athletic Academic Committee member (2015-17), work part-time at Motion PT Group in Danbury

INTERNSHIPS: Interned at Danbury Orthopedics in the physical therapy and rehabilitation center (now Motion PT Group) during final semester at WCSU where she aided and observed the physical therapists, assisted in the treatment and education of patients, and observed multiple orthopedic surgeries

HONORS AND AWARDS: Dean’s List every semester; graduating Magna Cum Laude; 3.81 GPA; Mary Edna Cargill Scholarship recipient; attained 4.0 semester GPA in fall 2017, spring 2018 and fall 2018

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Jaclyn Fernandez says that growing up she was perpetually active and loved playing sports, especially soccer. “Playing since I was five and competitively for nearly 14 years, I had my fair share of elated memories, but also some unfortunate and dissatisfying ones,” she says. “I sustained and endured numerous injuries that required me to complete physical therapy rehabilitation programs in order to get cleared and back on the field. Through completing those programs and having a general interest in sports medicine as well as health, I decided to major in Health Promotion Studies with the hope that I can one day help someone who needs it.”

Fernandez says that while her career path was not completely solidified at the time, when she needed to decide where  to attend college, she thought about finances, convenience and general interests. “WCSU not only was close, allowing me to commute, but it also was in-state, offered numerous pre-health programs and pathways, and granted me the opportunity to play soccer at the collegiate level.”

While playing NCAA Div. III soccer, participating in campus activities and clubs, and undertaking an internship, Fernandez not only managed to accumulate multiple 4.0 GPA semesters, but also completed her program of study in three-and-a-half years. Most of it was hard work, but some of her success might be attributable to good advice, too. “Throughout my time at WCSU, Dr. Emily Stevens was not only my professor and adviser, but also a mentor,” Fernandez says. “She was a major influence in my academic decisions, giving me advice and knowledge that led me to be successful while also encouraging me to continue my education.”

Asked what she will remember most about her WCSU experience, Fernandez says, “One of my most memorable experiences was being granted the opportunity to partake in an internship at Danbury Orthopedics through the HPX program. While there I not only got to experience the physical therapy field first-hand, but I also was able to learn a lot. I was very fortunate to come away from the practicum with such interesting and influential experiences that forged my passion to continue my education toward a career in physical therapy, even more so knowing the difference one can make on another’s life.”

After graduation, Fernandez says, “I will be furthering my education at the University of Rhode Island in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, beginning in May 2019.”

Her advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Don’t be afraid to make sacrifices or take chances, and take advantage of every opportunity given. College goes by so quickly, but by working hard, staying determined and taking time to experience life, it truly is one of life’s greatest experiences.”