Olivia Quarrick

“The classes I am taking make me feel so passionate about a future in medicine because they are hands on, engaging and taught by wonderful faculty who keep myself and others excited to go to class every day.”

Morgantown, WV
Undergraduate Degree:
Exercise Physiology

Why did you choose exercise physiology, and what makes you excited about pursuing this field?

When I initially began college, I was a biology major who was unsure of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I enjoyed my entry level courses, but still felt like something was missing. I didn’t feel passionate about the things I was learning. I had some friends who were majoring in EXPH, and they told me about their kinesiology class and others they were currently enrolled in. I had a moment where I found myself wishing I was taking those classes – they sounded so interesting! I then decided to change my major to exercise physiology, and I am so happy I did! The classes I am taking make me feel so passionate about a future in medicine because they are hands-on, engaging and taught by wonderful faculty who keep me and others excited to go to class every day. I wake up excited every day to work toward my goals and aspirations. Working hard in my classes and in my job at Ruby Memorial now are ways that I can set myself up for success after graduation, and that inspires me to go the extra mile.

Have you participated in any hands-on learning opportunities that you’ve really liked?

In our physiology lab, we are taught how to take blood pressure and heart rates, as well as learning about many fitness tests that a provider may have a patient do to diagnose illnesses or provide a baseline for future health improvements. I thought it was so wonderful being able to gain those skills in a class that is used every day in a healthcare setting. In our strength lab, we were able to learn exercises to engage certain muscle groups, as well as get a good workout in. The strength lab has been my most exciting lab to date.

How do you think your degree is preparing you for your future?

The exercise physiology program prepares students for any future in healthcare. From the hands-on learning in physiology lab, to the strength and gross anatomy labs, students in this program really get a little sense of all aspects of medicine. Most of the prerequisites for graduate programs in the medical field are all covered by the courses in this major, which is great when many students are still deciding what those next steps are after graduation.

What advice to do you have for prospective students interested in exercise physiology?

If you have any interest in a professional healthcare graduate program, or just love learning about the body and fitness, choose exercise physiology. The classes are engaging and so interesting but challenging enough to prepare you for any future graduate schools. There are so many opportunities for hands-on learning in this program and advisors and faculty to guide you to finding your passion.

Do you have plans yet for after graduation? 

After graduation, I want to attend Physician Assistant school. I aspire to be a PA in this great state and give back to the community I’ve grown up in that has given me so much.

Have you received any honors or awards during your time at WVU? What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

I have completed my Honors Foundation program, as well as been on the Dean’s and President’s List. I am involved in the Pre-PA Club, the Exercise Physiology Club, Global Medical and Dental Brigades for the upcoming Brigade to Honduras, Nolan Burch Greek Leadership Academy, as well as Chi Omega Panhellenic Sorority, where I was formerly the recruitment chair on the executive board, and Alpha Epsilon Delta. My sophomore year, I was a peer mentor and teaching assistant for the Honors College.