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Meet Ruth Powell, an Alaskan Graduate!

Name: Ruth Powell

Age: 22

Tell us about your major…

I got my undergraduate degree in Health Sciences. That’s a Bachelors of Science. I want to go to school now to become a doctor in physical therapy, and I recently just chose Pacific University to do that. 


What school did you go to? 

I went to the University of Alaska Anchorage. 


What was your favorite thing about college?

My favorite thing about college was being able to pick my own schedule. I didn’t have to wake up at six o’clock in the morning anymore and I could take classes that actually meant something to me, and were specific to what I wanted to do in my career.


How was it going to school in Alaska?

Going to school in Alaska was definitely hard because it gets really dark there in the winters. But I went to UAA because I got some really great scholarships and I think one of the best parts of Alaska is that they really provide incentives through money and grants for the kids to stay in Alaska and go to school there. They have that pull because you don’t wanna spend a bunch of money in your undergrad, you’ve gotta save that money for your grad school.


What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming year and getting accepted into a program for Physical Therapy?

What I’m looking forward to the most, is being in a new state and being in a new city and being able to experience a totally new culture. I also can’t wait to meet all of the upcoming physical therapists. You know we’re a small community so I think it’ll be a really great way for me to make friends and meet some possible future colleagues. Overall I really just can’t wait to further my education and get to my end goal.


What advice do you have for undergraduate students?

I think my biggest tip for undergraduate college students who want to go into the medical field is to shadow. Shadow some professionals. If you think you want to be a registered nurse, go shadow one at a hospital, to make sure that it’s really what you want to do, because then you’ll know what kind of work they do. If you want to become a doctor, go and ask a doctor in your community if you can interview them and see what their daily life is.


Did you ever change your major?

I did. First I wanted to be a nurse when I was a freshman in undergrad, but I really knew that it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. So I kind of used that time to branch out and look at other fields to see what really fit me as a person and my personality. So it’s kind of really cool that I found physical therapy because now I know that it’s really what I want to do. 


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