Office of Alumni Engagement

Brianna Harfmann

My hometown when I was a student was:

Midland, MI

I graduated from Alma in:

2011

I studied:

Exercise and health science

I currently live in:

Alma, MI

I am now:

an assistant professor in the IPHS department at Alma College.

Since graduating from Alma:

I went to graduate school at the University of Kentucky (UK) and completed a Ph.D. in physiology. I defended my dissertation in 2015 and went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship in the Internal Medicine department at UK. During this time, I also served as an adjunct professor for Bluegrass Community and Technical College and Transylvania University. Then, in summer 2017, I returned to Michigan to join the faculty of the IPHS department at Alma College.

My Alma education:

brought me out of my shell and exposed me to new things. It inspired me to pursue the career I have today. It provided me with necessary knowledge in my field, as well as life skills critical for success. I can honestly say attending Alma College was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

My favorite place(s) on campus included:

the EHS (IPHS) office, the chapel and Stone Recreation Center

My favorite professor(s) included:

Dr. Ball, Dr. Davis, Dr. Luetkemeier, Dr. Nichols (Doc)

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

Singing Loch Lomond at Loch Lomond during spring term with the Alma College Choir.

How Alma has helped with my current plan/job/graduate school/etc.:

Alma College is the reason I made it to where I am now. I never considered becoming a professor before college. I started at Alma thinking I wanted to do something in the healthcare field, and originally began working towards becoming a physical therapist. However, I was given the opportunity to participate in research and lead review sessions for the EHS (now IPHS) department and learned that I loved the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. I was inspired by my professors and wanted to be a part of higher education like them. I had strong relationships with my mentors that made me comfortable discussing the possibilities with them, and their encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to pursue this career. Now I am lucky enough to be a part of the Alma College education and strive to live up to the example set by those who educated me.

How I have given back to Alma since graduation

I hope to give back to Alma by being a part of the education that inspired and supported me; I hope to provide that inspiration and support to my own students.

Advice I would give a new graduate:

Be confident in what you have learned during your time at Alma. Step outside of your comfort zone. I have grown the most when I have exposed myself to uncertainty. Pursue what you love. Don’t settle for a career you don’t enjoy.