Student Spotlight: Madalyn Navarro

While injuries may be a setback to some, to former competitive gymnast Madalyn Navarro, they sparked her curiosity in the field of physical therapy and helped guide her academic path at LSU. Now a senior studying Human Movement Science, Madalyn shares highlights from her time at the School of Kinesiology and advice for fellow students.

photo of Madalyn Navarro

Where are you from?

Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania

What year in school are you and what are you studying?

I am a senior studying Human Movement Science.

When are you projected to graduate?

May 2022

Tell us about your involvement in the School of Kinesiology or on campus, as well as any achievements you're most proud of.

This past summer, I had the privilege of taking Cadaver Dissection Lab. It was the best experience I have had at LSU. Being in the lab was super intimidating at first, but with the help of Dr. Thompson and my peers, it became so much fun. Toward the end of the course, Dr. Thompson selected me to help as a student TA for this Fall and Spring semester, and it has been a blast so far. I love teaching, as I coached gymnastics in high school and part of college, and this experience has allowed me to combine my passion for teaching and what I learn in school.

Outside of the School of Kinesiology, I am the President of the Women's Ultimate Frisbee Club. It was a new sport to me when I got to LSU, but the environment is super supportive and allowed me to pick it up quickly.

Do you hold any internships/work positions currently or have you in a previous semester at LSU?

I work as a PT tech for Peak Performance Physical Therapy. I also was a competitive gymnastics coach in my sophomore and junior years of college.

How did you choose to study Kinesiology?

Growing up as a competitive gymnast, I had my fair share of injuries and trips to the physical therapy office. I was always intrigued in the process of how to return to sport and astonished that the physical therapists knew how to get me better enough to do flips again. When applying to school, the two majors I was debating between were kinesiology and biology. I chose kinesiology because it focuses less on cells and more on how the body works. I am glad I went this route because I really enjoy studying for my kinesiology classes.

What are you looking to pursue after you graduate?

I hope to attend physical therapy school in the fall.

What advice would you give to your fellow students?

My best advice is to know that life is about balance. I spent a lot of my college career associating my value as a person with my academic success. And while studying is important, there are so many more aspects to a person than just their grades. Taking care of myself and finding more outlets for stress has made my college experience so much better.