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Kinesiology Department

2017 Kinesiology Graduation Reception

The Rice University Department of Kinesiology celebrated our 61 graduating seniors across our two programs (Health Sciences and Sports Medicine), our largest graduating class in recent years, at a special reception held in Brochstein Pavilion on Friday, May 12, 2017.  Those in attendance included the graduates, their families, the faculty and staff of the Kinesiology Department, and members of the Dean’s office of Natural Sciences.

We celebrated another successful academic year that ended with a total of 211 majors between our two programs.  We are proud that our department continues to grow, and wish our graduates continued success!

Hermance 2017During the reception we recognized our two Hermance Award winners: Anjali Bhatla (Health Sciences) and Leah Mikesky (Sports Medicine).  Both students have not only excelled in our programs but have also shined among their peers here at Rice University. 

Anjali Bhatla double majored in Health Sciences and Policy Studies, and in 2016, she was named a Truman Scholar, one of the most prestigious and selective scholarships in higher education.  She is a State Farm Youth Advisory Board Member, a Rice Distinguished Trustee awardee and a National Coca-Cola Scholar. Anjali founded the Rice chapter of the END7 campaign, an international advocacy campaign that aims to raise awareness and funds for the seven most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).  She was also awarded a Loewenstern Fellowship during her time at Rice to pursue international service work in Nicaragua.  Anjali plans to pursue an MD/MPH dual degree and ultimately develop and implement policies that help make health care systems more equitable and efficient.  She will attend medical school in Pennsylvania this Fall.

Leah Mikesky majored in Sports Medicine, and she had the opportunity to play on the volleyball team here at Rice, while being involved in community service and shadowing in the medical center.  In May 2017, she was inducted into the Texas chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, which is considered as the nation's most prestigious honor society.  As an Alternative Spring Break in 2015, Leah went on a mission trip to Romania with Rice FCA. On this trip, the mission team worked alongside Livada orphan care and taught physical education classes, hosted after-school programs, and volunteered in a Baby Hospital catering to the nearly 500,000 abandoned or orphaned children in Romania.  She also won the “R” Association/J. Fred Duckett Postgraduate Scholarship and was named Rice Scholar Athlete of the Year.  Leah will be attending medical school during the next academic year with focus on orthopedic surgery.

We also recognized Sports Medicine seniors Chrystine Gallegos and Tommy Nguyen for being honored with Distinction in Research & Creative Works, and mentioned those Kinesiology seniors who were inducted into the Texas chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences in the US & is widely recognized and considered as the nation's most prestigious honor society):  Leah Mikesky, Carmella DeSerto, Katherine Ip, Ariyaneh Nikbin, and Nam Kyung Lee.

We are so proud of our outstanding graduates and wish them all luck with all future endeavors!  Congrats 2017 graduates!

For more pictures of our event, please visit our department’s Facebook page by clicking here.

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