Junior Jacqueline Keene — The University of Olivet is a Win-Win

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Junior Jacqueline Keene is an exercise science major with a goal to become a physical therapist. While she’s only halfway through her college journey, Jacqueline has already filled her resume, network and passport with many great experiences.
Hear more about Jacqueline’s college journey.
My hometown, Swartz Creek, is a small town outside of Flint, so Olivet felt much like home right away, especially when everyone was so welcoming. I instantly fell in love with the campus when I came for my visit because I loved how beautiful and small it was. Olivet had a major that put me in the correct path for my career, and I get to play volleyball so it was a win-win for me.
I decided to major in exercise science as I’m pursuing a career as a physical therapist. I had to do my own round of physical therapy when I was in sixth grade, and ever since, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I want to help people grow stronger and feel better so I knew this was the career path for me. I find the human body truly fascinating, so a career in the medical field is perfect for me. I’m very dedicated to my studies which will pay off in the end when I get my doctorate.
I’m on the women’s volleyball team, president of Phi Epsilon Kappa (PEK), Olivet’s Health and Human Performance honor society, and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). I started playing volleyball when I was in fifth grade, but I really didn’t think about playing in college until I was a sophomore in high school. During my club season sophomore year, my coach passed away, and it really drove me to play in college. She was the first coach to ever push me to play at the next level so when she passed, I told myself I would play for her. Being president of PEK is something that will be new for me during this upcoming school year, as well as being a member of SAAC. I had many leadership roles in high school, so being president of PEK is something I’ll be comfortable with and is something I’m excited to do. I have lots of ideas for PEK, and I’m ready to put them into action.
One of my most impactful experiences during college was in December of 2019 when the volleyball team took a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and it was very eye-opening. We were able to volunteer at an orphanage by painting one of their houses and feeding all the children and staff dinner, which was a treat for us all. I also volunteered at the Special Olympics Field Day that Olivet hosted in May of 2019. I loved being able to work with all the children and seeing their faces light up when you pinned their ribbon on them was very heartwarming.
In addition, I currently hold two campus jobs that have played a great role in shaping my college experience. This past year, I had the opportunity to be a tour guide for the football team. I really enjoyed doing that because I got to show off and talk about our beautiful school to the football recruits. This upcoming school year I will be teaching two self-defense classes, one in the fall and one in the spring. I’ve been training in martial arts for 14 years, and I currently hold the rank of fourth-degree black belt, which makes me a master. Because of this, I’ve been certified to teach. I believe that every person, especially females, should know the basics of self-defense so they can walk with confidence and be able to protect themselves in any situation. I have to thank professors Nick Juday and Kevin Rabineau for this amazing opportunity because without them this never would’ve been possible.

Jacqueline while volunteering at an orphanage in South Africa.

Professors KayDee Perry and Nick Juday of the Health and Human Performance Department have truly been a great help to me these past two years at Olivet. They’re always there to encourage me and help me get through tough situations in school. My coach, Megan Merchant, has also been a great help by always being there to push me to be my best. My life at Olivet wouldn’t be the same without these three amazing people.
The University of Olivet is truly your home away from home. We’re all one big family because we are such a small school and close community. Everyone knows everyone, so you’ll never be alone. It’s something I really like about Olivet because you know that no matter what’s going on, you’ll always have someone in your corner.
Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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