Makayla Fick, a sophomore in the University of Mississippi’s exercise science program and a student-athlete with the Ole Miss nationally ranked women’s cross country and track and field teams, found out early in his college career that his major and his sport had a lot in common.
The information Fick learned as an exercise science major about the body and how to help him recover quickly from exercise helps him perform better on the track.
“I think my sport helps me stay mentally grounded and reminds me to keep it simple,” she said. “Both features are crucial for learning new information in exercise science and for passing tests.”
Fick organizes the 5 kilometer and 6 kilometer events for cross-country and the 800 meters and 1,500 meters for track and field. The Ole Miss women’s track and field team tied a program record by moving up to 7th in this week’s rankings compiled by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“Makayla is definitely a hard worker and a very disciplined person in her endeavors,” said Ryan Vanhoy, associate cross country head coach and assistant track and field coach for the Ole Miss distance team. is working after an injury which prevented her from running for a few months. His dedication to cross-training – swimming, cycling, etc. – to stay in shape while being unable to run has been impressive.
“She is also a very reliable person and a very good teammate who would do anything to help our program. Even through ups and downs in her first two years, she maintained a positive attitude and a great attitude to go along with her work ethic.
Fick’s passion for sport, research, and how the body works is why she chose to major in exercise science. She said her mother inspired her to choose an exercise science major.
“She made me read anatomy books from a young age, which initially sparked my interest in the field,” Fick said.
“I chose Ole Miss because I wanted to attend a university where I knew I would be challenged academically and athletically.”
The Murrieta, California native also ventured across the country to Oxford as it offered opportunities to develop further as a person.
“I wanted to use college as a way to see different parts of the country,” she said.
Exercise science is one of UM’s five major academic majors. The Exercise Science program prepares students for a wide range of health and fitness professions through a curriculum focused on the applied sciences of exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control and the psychology of exercise behavior.
Fick’s career aspiration, inspired by her love of physical activity, is to pursue occupational therapy, but she hasn’t committed to a specific path yet.
“Once I get through my foundation courses in my major, I’ll start to narrow down what I’d like to do after my time here at Ole Miss,” she said.
Fick considers exercise science an umbrella major because there are a plethora of career options that come from the field. She said the level of opportunities and professions that come with this major are nearly limitless.
Some exercise science career options include athletic trainer, exercise and sports physiologist, teacher, physician, and physical therapist.
The School of Applied Science also has a 4+1 program where students can receive their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years.
“I will be pursuing this program as I believe it is a great opportunity within Ole Miss’s HERSM (Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management) department,” Fick said.
Kris Brasher, Therapeutic Recreation Instructor and Practicum Coordinator for the Sports and Recreation Administration Program, said Fick is “the epitome of a truly complete student” who excels in his classes.
“She showed she was able to juggle academics and athletics in an almost effortless way, from the outside,” Brasher said. “Her smiling face, wonderful attitude, constant attention and class participation make her an absolute joy to work with.
“Makayla is one of a kind, and I know for sure she’s going to do great things with her life.”
For more information about the health, exercise science, and recreation management programs at UM, email Brasher at [email protected] or visit https://hesrm.olemiss. ed.