After 20+ years in retail management, Kendra Holmes came to Avila for a new lease on life through the Master of Science in Kinesiology program. During the program, she found a strong desire to serve others in the public health sector.
“Avila prepared me for my career by giving me confidence in myself.”Kendra Holmes, MSK ’21
Holmes graduated from Avila with her MSK in 2021 and is now a Contact Tracer for the Wyandotte Health Department. “I conduct interviews with those who have tested positive for contagious diseases. I serve as a liaison between those patients and the epidemiologists. I also assist with referring additional testing as needed,” said Holmes.
Would you outline your career path and how your MSK enhanced it?
My career path is to work in the health sector, and to serve others. The caring nature of the professors enhanced this need to serve. I feel I was equipped with knowledge from the classes and participation in these classes to be more vocal in a setting I may not have been comfortable in.
Why were Avila and their MSK program the right fit for you?
Avila and the MSK program were right for me because they allowed me to continue to work full time while balancing my home life. The accelerated program allowed me to reach my goals more efficiently and effectively. Meeting in person once a week and being able to complete the work on my time, but with deadlines, was great. I was able to plan out my schedule and stay focused. This program allowed me to transition into the health sector. I felt that I needed to do something besides retail.
How did Avila prepare you for your career?
I worked 20 years in retail management before and during Avila. I started working in the health sector during the last two years of my studies. I felt comfortable in that new role because of Avila and my professors. My professors fostered an environment where you can be vulnerable and discuss strengths, weaknesses, and concerns. I felt I could take on a new role and be successful.
What professional goals do you have for the future, and how is your Avila education preparing you to pursue these goals?
I would like to eventually transition into academia and be a professor of Kinesiology. I believe in serving and helping others. I want to make a difference and share knowledge. My education at Avila prepared me for this by giving me two prime examples from my professors.
Who at Avila did you form an inspired relationship with, and how did they assist you?
Dr. Larson and Dr. Norwood have inspired me in ways I never imagined. They are supportive, encouraging mentors. They are both wonderful examples and I learned more about myself in two years than I thought I could. I was challenged to think outside the box and rely on skills I didn’t know I had.