Two students, Kelsie Craighead and Matthew Bounds, excelled in their studies in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences and earned the ranking of 2019 Top Graduates.
Kelsie completed a degree in Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics. Prior to attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Kelsie was a collegiate athlete which led her to focus on nutrition. Her passion for health grew and upon transferring to UT and she knew this would be the field for her. During three of her years as an undergraduate, Kelsie worked with UT’s Sports Nutrition Department on the student fueling station team and with the sports nutrition staff. This led to her favorite memory while at the university; running through the “T” behind the football team.
After graduation, Kelsie will complete an dietetic internship at the University of Kentucky where she will complete a supervised practice experience of 1,200 hours in different rotations including: food service systems management, community nutrition, and medical nutrition therapy. Once completed, Kelsie will sit for the National RD (Registered Dietitian) Exam. She hopes to secure a position as an RD in a hospital setting but her dream job is to become a RD in Major League Baseball. .
Kelsie is thankful for all of her professors throughout her time at the university. She feels Melissa Beth Hansen-Petrik, clinical associate professor in Public Health Nutrition, helped sparked her interest in clinical nutrition and she is grateful for her influence and help along the way to her success.
Her advice to future students pursuing her degree, “Start making connections early and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.”
Matthew completed a degree in Kinesiology with the goal of becoming a physical therapist. Instead, Matthew has chosen to pursue a career in the medical field. He contributes his professor, Mark Alston, “who’s courses were interesting and taught me to study and most importantly, allowed me to discover my fascination of the human body” for this choice. Upon completion of his degree, Matthew will sit for the MCAT exam and once he has passed, will begin applying to medical schools this fall with hopes to matriculate the following August.
During his first three years as an undergraduate, Matthew worked at Champion Physical Therapy as a PT tech. He is grateful for this position which allowed him to work with patients, guiding them through their experience while developing his skills in communicating with those from all walks of life. In his senior year, Matthew volunteered at the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he could explore the field of medicine while gaining first-hand experience through observation in the operating room. Matthew feels these positions were vital to guiding his career path and allowed him to work in his desired fields and develop professionally.
His advice to future students pursuing your dream, “Get involved and explore! The college provides ample opportunity for exploration into various fields. My largest regret is that I did not study abroad. The kinesiology major is largely flexible and if at all possible, I highly recommend that studying abroad be taken into consideration.” While he may regret not pursuing those opportunities and the memories they could have provided, one memory will always be a favorite, “the hiring of coach Jeremy Pruitt…GBO!”