Small School, Big Opportunities


After a Certified Athletic Trainer at her high school helped her to recover from a potentially season-ending basketball injury during her senior year, Elizabeth Doughty '15 of Westford, Mass., decided to make Athletic Training her life's vocation.

"Athletic Training combines two of my passions: doing well in academics and athletics," Doughty explained. "In this field, I get to help patients in the way my high school ATC helped me."

And MCLA, she says, is the perfect place to pursue her studies.

"My academic experience here at MCLA has been amazing! I love my major because of how small and tight-knit it is," Doughty said. "I really like how close I am with my classmates. There are five other athletic training major sophomores, and we spend a lot of time together. We help each other with everything - even non-athletic training classes - and it is the best feeling to know I can rely on them.

"My major is also great because of how hands-on it is," she continued. "I started off as a freshman doing observation each semester. Now, as an upperclassman, I do clinical hours, so I get to do more hands-on things like stretching and help patients with rehabilitation."

Doughty wants others to know, "Just because MCLA is a small school does not mean that there are not big opportunities here!"

Already, she's had the opportunity to attend a number of conferences, including one at the University of Colorado-Boulder last summer, before the start of her sophomore year. "I learned so much, and networked with many other college students from across the region and the nation."

Back at MCLA, Doughty is an active participant in campus life, where she's the president of the Class of 2015, a general member in the National Residence Hall Honorary, and a staff leader for the LEAD (Leadership, Education, Action and Development) Academy. And, she sits on a NEASC standards committee for the reaccreditation of MCLA.

Upon her arrival on campus as a freshman, she joined the biology club.

"I thought it would be good to meet upperclassmen and other freshmen with similar interests as me," she said. "I got that, and more."

As a freshman, Doughty traveled with the club to the Museum of Natural History in New York, in the fall. "In the spring, we went to Washington D.C. for a weekend, and visited Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo."

She also serves as a residence adviser in Hoosac Hall, where she's learned there's much more to the job than being on duty several times a month.

"I help build community on my floor and in my residence hall by putting on programs and being there for residents," she said. "I feel as though being a resident adviser has made me a more (well) rounded person because I have grown so much. I have learned to balance all of my commitments, as well as have a large number of people rely on me in different ways.

"These positions mean more to me than I can express," Doughty continued. "They taught me so many things about life outside of college. Being a resident adviser has taught me balance, how to be more patient, emergency management, how to get along with different types of people, and so much more."

Doughty loves the MCLA campus. "Whether there is a Student Activities Council (SAC) event, or just a group of people who want to play a game or go to the pool, there is always something to do."

What should prospective students know about the College?

"MCLA is really a home away from home. Professors really do care about each student," she said. "There are people here just like them. I was afraid coming to orientation that I would be alone here. But, I found some really amazing people who have the same interests that I do."