Avila Now

May 2, 2022

Q&A: Mackenzie Sibon, MSK ’21

Mackenzie Sibon.

Recent graduate, Mackenzie Sibon, came to Avila because she could enter into the 4+1 Kinesiology program and earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in five years. “I was able to earn my degrees in the shortest amount of time and also keep my student loans as low as possible,” said Sibon. “I love Avila. It’s such a special place.”

Why was Avila’s Master’s program the right fit for you?

I genuinely enjoyed going to class every day and was interested in everything we learned. I loved the versatile curriculum and the abundance of ideas we were introduced to.  

How did Avila prepare you for your career?

Avila opened my eyes to many different careers and opportunities that I can achieve with an MSK. Avila helped me build the skills and qualities that I needed to learn, think, and create on my own.

What professional goals do you have for the future, and how is your Avila education preparing you to pursue these goals?

I plan on continuing my education by earning my Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. I plan to intern and shadow at hospitals and clinics in Kansas City to determine a path.

I would love to be the clinical coordinator at an office or hospital. This long-term goal would be a great addition to my resume and would help me continue to grow.

Why do you want to be a therapist?

My right knee has been dislocated since I was in fifth grade. It has affected my quality of life. I was never able to run. I could never do most normal physical things that kids do because my knee would dislocate and become very swollen. I went to four different physical therapists, but I could’ve used someone to teach me how to get through my daily life. I think that if I had had a therapist to guide me, show me the right way, and tell me I could do it, it would’ve changed my life. So that’s what I want to do.

Feeling like you’re abnormal and feeling left out is one of the worst feelings you can have. Occupational therapists are extremely necessary. Patients need someone who knows how they feel about themselves and if they’re feeling depressed. They need someone on their side. Therapy is special because the patient has the therapist’s sole attention during that time. 

Who at Avila did you form an inspired relationship with, and how did they assist you?

Dr. Michael Norwood and Dr. Gerald Larson were both inspiring professors to me. I enjoyed going to class every day because they taught in ways that translated into the real world. I felt comfortable talking to both of them about any personal problems that I was going through. That allowed me to get my school work done while feeling supported. They were always there to answer any questions I had and motivated me to be better and reach my potential.

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