Katie Hein says years of playing softball helped prepare her for a future career
as a physical therapist.
“I know all about getting hurt,” she says with a laugh. “I’m good at that.”
Katie, a senior biology major from Marietta, has been involved in athletics since
she was a child. Because she is, by her own admission, accident prone, she’s had
firsthand knowledge of the world of physical therapy.
“I’ve injured just about every part of my body, so I’ve spent a lot of time with
therapists. I became very interested in the human body and how it can heal itself.”
Here at the college, she’s had some opportunities to explore that interest.
“I’ve done a lot of rehab in the (athletics) training room, and I was able to
shadow a physical therapist in town during one Jan Term,” she says. “It was
an orthopedic setting and I enjoyed working with all the different types of patients
– we had everything from athletes to shoulder and knee replacement surgeries. I
got a lot of experience in many different types of areas. It was great.”
Katie came to LaGrange to play softball and quickly made her mark. In 2008, she
earned Great South Athletic Conference all-conference and GSAC all-freshman honors;
in 2009, she was GSAC Pitcher of the Year and earned GSAC All-Academic honors,
and in 2010, was selected to the GSAC all-conference team for the third straight
year and earned GSAC All-Academic honors for the second straight year.
But while she has been happy with her life as a Panther, she says she is most
impressed with what the college can offer student-athletes all around.
“I don’t think you could have a better experience at a college as an athlete.
Here, it’s not just about athletics; it’s about the entire student-athlete experience.
You’re able to play athletics at a very high level, but you’re also able to be
a student, to get involved and to learn leadership skills. Academics are important,
too, so you can focus on your schoolwork as well as your sport. That’s a really
Katie will be moving to Nashville, Tenn., in the fall to pursue a doctorate in
physical therapy at Belmont University. While she’s excited about what’s coming
next, she says the friendships she’s formed at LaGrange will last a lifetime.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize that when you go to college, you’re going
to establish relationships that are going to help you in the future. I’ve gotten
to know my professors really well, and they’ve helped me, not just in school, but
also to develop personally. They helped me get into graduate school, and
they helped guide me in the direction that I need to go. That, and the friendships
I’ve made, will be a solid foundation for where I’m going in the future.”