Interview conducted by Art & Life Editor Chris Klepach.
Q: What year did you start at Kirkwood?
A: Well, for this program, I started in January of ’18… Because I already have a four-year degree, I was able to just set it up so I could take two classes each semester but, I need to be able to do that, I needed consistency because I have my own pet grooming business. So, I wanted to have a consistent schedule, to have time for classes and a time for work to make income. So, this is my fifth semester, this semester has gone by really fast! (laughter)
Q: Why did you choose Kirkwood
A: Honestly, I love Kirkwood. The pricing, obviously, is a draw. Part of this one was because I already had a four-year degree. I didn’t want to go back and get another four-year degree, but I wanted to do something with health and fitness. It was kind of perfect because I didn’t have to spend huge amounts of money and huge amounts of time, and their classes are pretty flexible. Although, for my degree, I had to drive quite a bit from classes from Iowa City.
Q: What are your plans after KCC?
A: I’m still trying to be open to either something that is either more like health coaching, which would be more the corporate or business world or personal training and working in a gym. I feel like I could do either. Part of why I like this degree was because I feel like I could do a lot of different things with it. You can go in a lot of different directions. One of my internships was working in a senior home, so working with all seniors, with exercise, and it was really great, I loved that. I kind of would like to work a little bit with the general population like doing personal training, but, whenever you get into personal fitness, if you’re not healthy, if you don’t eat healthy, then you’re just beating your head against the wall.
Q: What inspired or motivated you?
A: My mother died of cancer ten years ago… She had it twice, thirty years apart. The first time she had it was before she was forty and then she basically got back the same kind of cancer but didn’t know it until thirty years later. My dad had type two diabetes, and he had breathing problems, he had arthritis and he had all these things and didn’t take very good care of himself, but he died six years later. After seeing what my parents went through, I kind of just started thinking “What can I do to prevent these things? There has to be some things that you can do to prevent it. It can’t be all out of our control.” I’m a hundred percent right. It’s mostly under your control. You can’t control your environment, but you can control the things that happen in your own life, what you put in your body and what you do with your body. That’s my focus, being healthy and having a good quality of life, so that, really, is what inspires me. When I see people that are in such horrible shape, with so many disease states, that keeps me motivated.”
Q: Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood.
A: Well, I went to Kirkwood to do the pet grooming… It’s been a great career, like its been really great. The problem with it is that it’s very physical, and you’re doing the same things everyday with your body. You start to wear out certain parts of your body. I’ve had tennis elbow for over a year, which is why I realized years ago that I need to get out of it, I can’t do that forever… Honestly, it was a great career because it was very flexible, I worked for myself, I didn’t have to deal with other people and their problems, (laughter) and mostly deal with the bad customers and some bad dogs… It worked out really well and it was time to move on.
Q: What does being named Outstanding Student mean to you?
A: Honestly, it is an honor, because I do work really hard. I study all the time. Because I know that this was what I want to do, I really want to learn as much as possible. To know that someone recognizes that in me, is really nice. Makes me feel good, makes me feel like I did exactly what I set out to do.
Quote by Vicki’s professor Denise Glew:
“Vicki is a stellar student who has maintained an extremely high GPA. She has excellent people skills and really has a passion for health and fitness. She is the type of student every professor wants in their class.”
Categories: Outstanding Students