ALMA — Rileigh McGeorge looks back fondly on her decision to transfer to Alma College from a Division I university.
The move has allowed McGeorge, a sophomore student from Eagle, Mich., to play her favorite sport, lacrosse. It’s also given her the chance to pursue her goal of becoming a college athletic trainer, by providing state-of-the-art laboratories to study in and one-on-one time with esteemed faculty.
“I thought transferring was a really easy process, and the transfer coordinator was super easy to work with,” said McGeorge, who intends to major in integrative physiology and health science (IPHS), with a physical therapy focus. “I’m pursuing a really interesting major and on a team with great coaches and teammates. I don’t regret my decision at all.”
McGeorge said she found her passion for athletic training at her previous university, but — as a walk-on, with a stacked roster of players in front of her — she couldn’t find playing time. She was a highly touted lacrosse player at Grand Ledge High School, however, and had a deep desire to continue playing. So, she reached out to Ashley Johnson, head coach of the women’s lacrosse team, and initiated the transfer process.
Last year, McGeorge started in nine games and scored eight goals. She’s having fun playing and being involved in community service activities she said, but more important, she has found a deep well of support at Alma.
“Coming to a Division III school offered me the chance to play that a Division I school just couldn’t. I’m really happy to be able to play here,” McGeorge said. “My teammates are super-tight and we all have different majors. It’s an interesting, diverse group of people.”
McGeorge said she chose to major in IPHS for its “all-encompassing” approach to the healthcare profession, and for its faculty, who are “very dedicated to their students, and helping them advance their careers after college.”
She also chose to major in IPHS for its human anatomy laboratory, which allows students an extraordinary opportunity to see, dissect and explore real cadavers. Each Alma College student within a pre-professional track is required to take a human anatomy course, which includes work in the cadaver lab.
“At the start of the term, we get four cadavers,” McGeorge said, “and as you go through units in lecture, every week, you meet and study a different part of the body. Instructor Brittany Luckett, as well as assistant professors Brianna Harfmann and Jennie Vranish are wonderful about letting us get in there.”
McGeorge has only been at Alma for about a year, but she’s already had the chance to dissect a brain, eyes, hands, feet and other body parts. To some, it may seem a little morbid, but for her, it’s perfect.
“It’s really cool, in a surreal way. We’re really lucky to have this program here,” she said.