Integrative Physiology and Health Science

Jennafer Young

My hometown when I was a student was

Dundas, MN

I graduated in


I studied

Integrative Physiology and Health Science and Psychology

I currently live in

La Crosse, WI

I am now

I am working toward a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy

Since graduating from Alma

Alma was a leap of faith for me. I had never intended to attend college out of state, but Alma was the right place. With its tight-knit community, strong academics, and a growing spiritual life on campus, I knew I would be able to thrive in this atmosphere. Some of the highlights of my Alma education were the small campus and level of commitment from the faculty. The professors were truly helpful, accessible, and personally invested in my education and my life. 

My Alma education

My IPHS degree was a perfect foundation for my graduate studies in occupational therapy. The science foundation I gained at Alma has prepared me to delve deeper and apply physiology and health science concepts in an OT context. Already I have taken graduate-level courses in physiology, anatomy, and biomechanics. I cannot express how much my IPHS degree helped me in these courses! Though I learned a significant amount of new information, the courses were much less overwhelming since I already had a solid background in these topics. This allowed me to excel in these difficult courses and to even assist my classmates. In the two semesters I have completed, I have already seen direct connections to topics discussed in several IPHS courses: human physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, exercise physiology, molecular aspect of muscle physiology, therapeutic exercise, and therapeutic modalities. Essentially, I am building upon concepts taught in nearly all of my IPHS courses! I am so grateful for the endless hands-on experiences provided by Alma, especially the cadaver lab and countless research projects in the human performance lab. This hands-on learning helped engrain many of the core concepts. I truly was well prepared by the IPHS program in order to enter my occupational therapy field of study.

My favorite place(s) on campus included

The Chapel was by far my favorite spot on campus. Whether I was gathering with other students for Sunday night worship services, or simply playing piano in the empty, quiet sanctuary, I knew it would be peaceful and refreshing. My other favorite campus spots included the marching band practice field, the human performance lab, and the study rooms in Wright Hall.

My favorite professors(s) included

Dr. Luetkemeier was one of my favorite professors because he was so passionate about physiology – especially the kidneys! I met Dr.L on my campus visit, and he was highly influential in convincing me to attend Alma College and to select a major in IPHS. I never understood how someone could be so excited to lecture about the kidneys and urine at 8:30am, but his enthusiasm was contagious! Mr. Batchelder was another one of my favorite professors because he was very understanding and encouraging. He also filled each of his psychology classes with stories from his clinical practice. This made our topics applicable and exciting. Last but not least, Dr. Jensen was one of my favorite professors. Though I did not look forward to taking physics my senior year at Alma, his skill amazed me. Dr. Jensen has a knack for capturing students’ interest, teaching complicated topics in a straightforward manner, and making students laugh. He also was the most accessible professor I have ever met. His office hours were always filled with students whom he gladly guided until we mastered the physics concepts. I am so grateful that he transformed a class I was dreading into a class that I somewhat enjoyed.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

At the end of my junior year, I had the privilege of co-leading the Alma College Christian Leadership seminar (ACCL). I had attended this seminar as a freshman and had developed lifelong friendships while learning valuable leadership skills and growing in my faith. I was so blessed to be able to give back to the campus and to my peers by co-directing this seminar two years later. From discussions with Dr. Abernathy to service projects to team-building games, it was a powerful, exciting, and exhausting week.