Major: strength and conditioning
Hometown: Plain City, Ohio
Coming from a small town, Erica Stottlemyer had her eyes set on The University of Findlay’s small class sizes, pre-veterinary medicine program and the women’s soccer team after high school. In her freshman year, she decided that physical therapy would be the best major and she never looked back.
When picking UF, the idea of a smaller class size appealed to her. “I wanted the interaction with my professors and advisors, and it was important to me that they would know my face and not just my I.D. number,” she said.
Stottlemyer was also offered a scholarship to play for UF’s women’s soccer team and was very excited to be a part of the athletic department after an overnight visit.
After deciding that she would be happiest as a PT major, Stottlemyer’s advisors Robert Frampton, D.H.C.E., associate professor of physical therapy and Keith Beck, director and assistant professor of the strength and conditioning program helped her make a smooth transition that would be most beneficial for her academic future. Stottlemyer will continue at UF in the doctor of physical therapy program this fall.
“The support from many of my professors and advisors has been 100 percent, whether it was to ask for a letter or recommendation, helping me set up an independent study, or just sitting down with me when I was applying to the PT program,” she said. “I was never afraid to talk to a professor and I never got the impression that there were too busy to talk to me.”
Academically, Stottlemyer believes that she has excelled in many ways with the guidance of faculty members. She is currently a graduate assistant under Josephine Kershaw, Ph.D., associate professor of health care management.
Kershaw is also the advisor for the Healthcare Management Network and often encouraged Stottlemyer to take leadership roles. “She encouraged me to take the position of secretary and public relations officer,” she said.
Through her involvement with the Healthcare Management Network, Stottlemyer made connections with a PT director for a nursing home where she hopes to shadow with this summer.
Stottlemyer presented research regarding sustainable business practices at the Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity this year, also encouraged by Kershaw.
“This will be the first year I have ever presented at the symposium and working with Kershaw on her research as been a fabulous experience,” she said. “I am confident that the time spent working with Kershaw will help me in the future as a physical therapist.”
Throughout the past four years, Stottlemyer has been a member of the women’s soccer team and served as captain her senior year. “Playing for four years, you travel to many schools and play against some very intense competitors,” she said. Stottlemyer also explained that spending over 20 hours a week with the same 20 girls provides an extended family and a built-in mentoring system on campus.
Through her involvement, Stottlemyer has learned time management skills. “I have learned how to prioritize work and how to fit in what I want to do with what needs to get done,” she said.
“Going into a health profession, I think one of the most important things I have learned at Findlay is how to work in a team,” said Stottlemyer. “Learning how to work with different types of people and different group sizes helps you prefect your communication skills when dealing with superiors and peers alike.”
One of Stottlemyer’s pieces of advice is to get involved and experience different things. As a soccer player, she also found time to be a graduate assistant, hold officer positions in the Healthcare Management Network and be a member of the University’s Mortar Board chapter. “Don’t go home every weekend like many students do, stay and experience college,” she said.
“My favorite memories at Findlay revolve around my friends,” she said. “My friends help me deal with the stress associated with college academics and having the support around you and the people reminding you to have fun is one of the best things.”
Written by Sarah Foltz