Student Spotlight: Mary Claire Upton

For Human Movement Science senior, Mary Claire Upton, studying anatomy at LSU was a no-brainer, as she was looking to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. However, she didn’t realize how impactful her time in the Cadaver Lab would be, both academically and professionally. Read more about Mary Claire’s experience below.

photo of Mary Claire Upton

Where are you from?

Alexandria, LA  

What year in school are you and when are you projected to graduate?

I am a senior and am graduating this May.
What is your degree concentration?

Human Movement Science 

Tell us about your involvement in the School of Kinesiology and on campus and 

Throughout my undergraduate career, I have expanded my leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom. Inside the classroom, I earned a job as a teaching assistant for the Cadaver Prosection Lab. Outside of the classroom, I was an executive board member for LSU’s Phi Mu chapter. I am also a member of the Kinesiology Club, Pre-Occupational Therapy Club and Student Christian Medical Association. I earned a spot on the President's Honor Roll and Dean's List multiple semesters.  

You mention being a TA in the Cadaver Lab. Can you tell us more about that experience? 

My favorite part of my undergraduate studies has been my time as a Cadaver Lab Undergraduate Teaching Assistant. I took Cadaver Prosection in the Fall of 2020 and Cadaver Dissection in the Summer of 2021. I was excited to take these courses because I loved anatomy already, and I knew it would be a great opportunity to prepare myself for graduate school. These two courses allowed me to put my anatomy knowledge to work and to learn even more.  

I was then honored to be chosen as a Teaching Assistant for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 Prosection Labs. In this role, I help students explore their knowledge of the human body’s anatomy and grow more confident in their working understanding. My time as a TA has not only helped me expand my knowledge and appreciation of the human body, but it has also helped me grow more confident in my leadership and communication skills. I highly recommend these classes to any person planning to enter the healthcare world. I want to thank Dr. Thompson and Dr. Jackson for this opportunity! 

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

I am an OT tech at Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic. 

How did you choose to study Kinesiology? 

I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy since high school. Studying Kinesiology made the most sense and interested me; I am so happy with my decision! 

What are you looking to pursue after you graduate? 

I am pursuing a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Medical University of South Carolina after graduation.  

What advice would you have for your fellow students? 

Make sure you find balance between academics and prioritizing yourself. School can be overwhelming, but finding time for yourself will help you be the best student.