Yarden Tepper, a senior majoring in allied health sciences, plans to attend graduate school for physical therapy. Tepper has been involved in gymnastics since the age of two. As a competitive high school gymnast, she fractured her back in two places and was told her career was over. But with hard work and an excellent physical therapist, she was able to go back into the sport, competing through high school and college. This inspired her to seek out a career in physical therapy with the hope of helping other athletes in a similar position. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.
What attracted you to UConn? Initially I was attracted to the school strictly for financial purposes as an in-state student. But, when I came to open house still undecided as to which school I would attend, I fell in love. I thought the campus was beautiful and I met the nicest people. I was drawn in by the immense school spirit everyone had, and I was not let down when I officially became a student here.
Why did you choose your particular major? I always knew I wanted to be a physical therapist, but in the back of my mind I had concerns that I would change my mind. I wanted to keep my options open to a career within the health care field. Allied health sciences provided me with the leniency that I was seeking. I also felt a strong connection to psychology since high school. This led to a decision to minor in it. Allied health requires me to take multiple psychology courses, allowing me to obtain the minor I wanted with only a few additional classes.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? Being a part of the club gymnastics team was very memorable. I have been involved with the sport since I was two, and started competing when I was seven. I wasn’t ready to let it go. The team provided me with opportunities to travel and compete in the sport I love throughout college. Not to mention, I made the most amazing friendships with my teammates and even coaches.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. Being a CAHNR Ambassador has given me endless opportunities to gain leadership skills, network and meet people in general. Being a member of Alpha Phi has introduced me to so many people not only within my sorority, but outside of it too. Because of this I’ve always known people in my classes. This allowed me to form study groups and also gain encouragement from other students to help me excel in my studies.
What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? I had a really hard time adjusting to the course load when I was a freshman. Fortunately I was introduced to many of the great tools such as the Q and W centers, as well as worked closely with my advisor to find my stride.
When do you expect to graduate? What then? I plan to graduate this May! I plan on entering a doctor of physical therapy program immediately. Hopefully one day I can pursue a career in sport rehabilitation.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I am fluent in the reading and writing of Hebrew, and I spent a summer in Florence, Italy, as part of the Study Abroad Experience.