A Better Choice


When Caitlin Culver '12 of Johnsonville, N.Y., was looking at colleges four years ago, her high school guidance counselor suggested MCLA.

"MCLA was the better choice because it wasn't as far away from home as others and it was less expensive," Culver said.  "I'm so very glad I chose MCLA because it has been nothing but good for me and what I want to do."

On the road to becoming a physical therapist, Culver entered MCLA's athletic training program. After she graduates this spring, she'll work at Williamstown Physical Therapy for a year before heading to graduate school to study physical therapy.

"Since I've been an athlete all my life and dealt with athletes and their injuries all through college, athletes are the kind of patients I would love to work with because I can relate to them more," Culver said. "They are motivated to get back to playing so it makes my job more enjoyable."

The captain this year for the women's cross country team, Culver ran cross country all four years at MCLA.  "I started running cross country back in eighth grade and have done it every season through high school and now college. Running has helped my education because I can apply things I know to my teammates if they need anything looked at or have a question."

In addition, Culver is part of the National Residence Hall Honorary, a member of the Dance Company and on the Townhouse Advisory Board.

For the past two semesters, she's served an internship with Williamstown Physical Therapy, as a physical therapist aide. Her duties include taking patients through their exercises and applying electrical stimulation, as well as ice or heat, if needed.

"I started at Williamstown Physical Therapy last January as an intern. That turned into a summer job until the fall semester started back up again. I couldn't go back during the fall because of cross country, but this spring semester I was placed there again," Culver explained.

"I have learned so much from this internship," she continued. "The therapists here are very open to letting me watch and learn from them.  Those are the times where I learn the most, from observing the therapists or sitting in on evaluations of new patients.  Seeing all of these things and getting this amount of time in a PT office will definitely benefit me when I go to graduate school and into my career. Because of these internships with them, I will be better off than others."

She is happy she chose MCLA.

"It's so beautiful here in the Berkshires and you can do a lot of outdoor activities," Culver said. "The small class size, especially for my major, is awesome. The extra hands-on experience and the one-on-one attention with the teachers help all of us out so much."

Culver is glad she decided to major in athletic training on her road to becoming a physical therapist.

"Some highlights for the athletic training program are the excellent professors that teach us and the clinical experience we have to do," Culver said. "Completing 1,000 clinical hours is a lot of time and extra work, but it has taught me so much valuable information that I can take into my physical therapy career. This has been such a great experience for me over the last four years."