Looking to turn childhood dreams into reality, Cara Schaadt knew IUPUI could make that happen.
The nearby hospitals and IUPUI’s physical therapy program piqued Schaadt’s interest, and an acceptance from the Honors College convinced her to make the move from Monroeville to Indianapolis as an exercise science major in the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management.
As a freshman, the Chancellor’s Scholar began her IUPUI experience with the OTEAM-led Summer Bridge program.
“My Summer Bridge mentor encouraged me to apply for OTEAM and I got it. That’s how everything started, and I was a mentor for the next three years,” says Schaadt, who tells how this program led to many new opportunities.
Schaadt enjoyed living on the Honors floor of the University Tower. As a sports enthusiast, she participated in IUPUI intramural sports and showed off her athletic ability during the IUPUI Regatta as a rower for the Honors College.
“I’ve been involved in sports my whole life,” says Schaadt, who sees her athletic experiences as a path toward career goals in physical therapy.
Her involvement with IUPUI continued, serving on the Jagathon committee as the campus life chair, a student ambassador for the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, a student coordinator for Campus Recreation, and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma honors societies.
Schaadt also participated in the IUPUI Life-Health Sciences Internship program, leading to the publication of a paper co-authored by Schaadt and presented at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association.
As soon as you’re involved in one thing, other opportunities find you and you don’t have to go searching.
Schaadt has been involved with the Motor Activity Clinic, which provides quality physical activity programming for Indianapolis-area children with disabilities.
“I’ve mainly worked with kids with cerebral palsy, working on fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and stability,” said Schaadt, who has volunteered with the clinic for most of her undergraduate career.
With an acceptance into IU’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, Schaadt hopes to continue her dream of becoming a pediatric physical therapist.
“The biggest dream I’ve had since I was little was to open a hippotherapy, where kids or adults with disabilities can ride and take care of horses to help their motor skills,” says Schaadt, who hopes to mix her childhood love of horses and passion for physical therapy into a fulfilling career.
She says her involvement on campus paved the way for the many opportunities in her near future.
“As soon as you’re involved in one thing, other opportunities find you and you don’t have to go searching,” says Schaadt, “The Honors College really helped me open up new doors.”