Allyssa Madden wants to become a physical therapist. She is taking the first step in that career by pursuing a degree in biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine and a minor in athletic training at Eastern New Mexico University.
"I really like the idea of helping others get back to their normal lives after an accident. I had to go through physical therapy to get back to playing sports, and that is how I decided what I wanted to do," shares Allyssa, who is involved in intramural sports at ENMU. "I just hope to be someone that people trust and want to come to. I want to make a name for myself in Phoenix, Arizona, once I graduate, and become the best physical therapist I can be."
The sophomore has enjoyed the courses she's taken at Eastern, particularly the Anatomy and Physiology classes and labs. "I am very interested in learning about the body, especially the bones and how everything works together," she explains. "I also love that we have a cadaver lab and are so hands-on as undergraduates. I work a lot better when I am hands-on learning instead of just listening to lectures. Dr. Matthew Barlow [associate professor of physiology] also always makes sure we are engaged and know what is going on. I have learned so much in his classes, and they have become my favorite."
She credits Dr. Barlow as one of her mentors at ENMU, saying, "He is an amazing professor who I learn a lot from." Another mentor is Mrs. Kimberly Potters, instructor of mathematics, who Allyssa has taken classes with multiple times.
The President's Ambassador is also inspired by Jacquelyn Campbell, coordinator of recruiting events in the Office of Enrollment Services. "I turn to her a lot," explains Allyssa. "She has helped me through so much. She is my boss and the person that I turn to if I need advice or to simply just talk."
Her job as a President's Ambassador is rewarding since she loves "representing this amazing University. I am so glad that I made the choice to be here rather than anywhere else."
Allyssa was raised in Alamogordo, New Mexico, before moving to Dexter, New Mexico, during her senior year of high school. She has three siblings: an older sister, a younger sister and a younger brother. Her father, an ENMU alumnus, is a special education teacher in Alamogordo, and her mother, who graduated from Western New Mexico University, is a social worker.
The Greyhound chose to attend Eastern because it was close to home and was a "smaller university where we get a lot of help and get to know our professors."
She enjoys the friendly environment at ENMU that "makes it feel just like home. I love being a part of a university that takes such pride in everything from our athletics to our academics. I love being a part of this little family, and that happens instantly when you walk onto campus."
Allyssa, who has been on the dean's list every semester since fall 2018, offers the following advice to Future Greyhounds interested in her field of study: "Find a group of others that are in your same boat and build that relationship and stick with them. This is a challenging major, but if you have friends that you can get together and study with and help each other understand certain things, it helps and leads you to become successful in those classes. And no matter how hard it is, don't get discouraged or give up, just continue to ask questions and push yourself."
Her favorite spot at ENMU is the Campus Union (CUB). "That is where I met most of my friends my freshman year since I would sit there just waiting for classes," she says. "There is always something going on in there. Plus, it has all the food and great coffee!"
When she isn't at the CUB, Allyssa is spending time with her German Shepard/lab puppy, Duke, going to the MaxPAC facility to work out and hanging out with her friends.
Her dream is to travel, sharing, "I have never really been anywhere super spontaneous, and I want to do that before anything."