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Meet Kathryn Butler: Our May Leading Woman

Name: Kathryn Butler

Major: Health Science, with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Science

Hometown: Saint Louis, Missouri

What are your career/life goals?

I plan on becoming a physical therapist someday! A physical therapist is someone who helps patients gain mobility, and helps patients manage pain levels through exercise. A physical therapist can have many specialty areas such as pediatrics, pelvic floor, orthopedic physical therapy, and even oncology physical therapy. Physical Therapy offers so many opportunities to continue to grow and gain knowledge. In the future, I hope to get accepted into a graduate program for a doctorate in physical therapy. I hope to someday become specialized in pelvic floor physical therapy so I can help individuals gain back strength that has been lost through childbirth and other factors. I hope someday to become a licensed physical therapist so I can continue to help people heal and strengthen their bodies.

What is your favorite part about Health Science? / Tell us about why you chose your major?

I decided I wanted to become a physical therapist my junior year of high school. I tore my ACL that year and attended physical therapy for 8 months. During that time I became close with my physical therapist. She taught me so much about why she loved physical therapy. She was constantly explaining new concepts to me, and she explained why she chose physical therapy. I found myself not wanting to leave physical therapy even though I had healed. I wanted to help others just as my physical therapist had helped me. I went from having no mobility to being able to run again! I would have not been able to move my knee again if it had not been for therapy. One of the main reasons I chose Health Science at Mizzou was because I would be able to explore other emphasis areas. After learning about other health science careers I decided that physical therapy was the path that was the right choice for me. I have loved the classes that I have taken that are centered around physical therapy. I find myself wanting to learn more and more about the profession. I am so excited to one day get to pursue a career that I am passionate about.

Why did you decide to get involved in Best Buddies?

My greatest passion in life is helping others. This is evident because I based my career choice on the sole purpose of getting to help others on a daily basis. The joy that I get knowing that I can help make someone’s life easier makes me ecstatic. The most rewarding experience of my life has been joining Best Buddies here at Mizzou. Best Buddies is a group here on campus that helps intellectually and developmentally disabled people. I get to attend bi-weekly meetings with the chapter. For all of us, Best Buddies is truly important in our lives. My buddy has shown me that no matter what walk of life you have come from, everyone needs a friend. During COVID-19 times everyone needs a sense of belonging. Being a part of Best Buddies has shown me that helping others can truly change their lives. COVID-19 has taken so much of our lives away. I have gained a friend that has taught me that no matter what is going in the world, a reliable support system can make a difference in your life. I am proud of taking the initiative and seeking out organizations that fulfill me. I just sat down one day and got on the Best Buddies website and applied. Within 2 weeks I got assigned a buddy. I am passionate about helping others, and I am proud that I ventured out of my comfort zone by joining an organization where I knew no one during a worldwide pandemic. I have no regrets about joining such an amazing organization. Best Buddies has shown me that helping others changes your life and theirs.

What is your favorite part about Best Buddies?

My favorite part about Best Buddies is getting to form relationships with the buddies. I have met some amazing individuals since joining Best Buddies. I have a buddy that I get to talk to on a regular basis. It is so rewarding getting to see everyone meet every other week and get to talk about what has happened in that time frame. The buddies always have a smile on their face and their happiness is contagious. I love surrounding myself with positive people so this organization has helped me so much. Best Buddies is an organization that I continually look forward to every week. The meetings for me are not an obligation but instead they are a blessing to get to go to. If I would not have found Best Buddies I would be a totally different person. I am so thankful for Best Buddies because without it, I would not have the friendships that I have today.

What other organizations or hobbies are you passionate about?

On campus I am involved in Mizzou Student Foundation, Best Buddies, Pre Physical Therapy club, Flow, and MizzouThon. I am super passionate about exercise and I love finding new exercise classes here at Mizzou. I love to cycle, run, and play tennis. To me, exercise is a great way to manage stress and help my body stay as healthy as it can be. I am also very passionate about finding new books to read. Over quarantine I re-read the Harry Potter series and loved it.

How have your experiences in Theta changed you?

Theta has helped me become the person I have wanted to be. Theta has given me so many resources that have helped me pursue a professional career. I have heard about so many organizations from Theta. The people I have met in Theta are some of the best people I have ever met. My friends are kind, thoughtful, smart, caring, and so hardworking. They are the people that I go to when I have a long day. Theta has changed me for the better.

What does Theta mean to you?

To me, Theta means being able to become the best version of yourself. The members of Theta support each other and help each other. The point of the kite that I most relate to is personal excellence. To me, personal excellence means trying to be the best person you can be. Personal excellence means getting to try new things and discover new hobbies that fulfill you. Having wonderful fulfilling friendships, curiosity, and not being afraid to fail are all components of personal excellence that mean a lot to me.

Do you have any advice for the underclassmen?

As a person who gets stressed out a lot, my advice to underclassmen would be to try not to worry about the little things that happen. I often go through life planning for the future that I do not live in the present. A goal that I have for myself is to try to be more present in the moment and not miss out on what is going on around me. My freshman year I studied all the time and sometimes missed out on fun events happening. My advice would be to go to those events and meet new people. The memories that you make in college are not going to be about what assignments you complete. Instead, it is going to be about who you do them with :)

Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?

My favorite Theta memory is getting to meet 5 of my best friends here at Theta. I met them while getting ready for homecoming. We all become fast friends and I found myself starting to love college more. As a freshman I was homesick and trying to find my way. The 6 man helped me have more love for Mizzou. They are a friend group that makes me a better person every day.


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