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Undergraduate Research

TTU kinesiology senior Callie DeWinne; photo by Toni Salama

Kinesiology Senior Callie DeWinne
To Serve as Chancellor's Ambassador

Written by Toni Salama

Callie DeWinne has abundant reasons to be glad she's a Red Raider. The kinesiology major in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, will enter her senior year as winner of the Dr. Sarah Kulkofsky Scholarship for Social Sciences.

A native of San Antonio, DeWinne is a recent Mortar Board inductee and, come fall 2019, will serve as a Chancellor's Ambassador.

Her work as an Honor's College undergraduate research scholar has been published in the May 2019 issue of Experimental Brain Research. The project, "Pre-crastination and procrastination effects occur in a reach-to-grasp task," was led by principal author Jarrod Blinch, assistant professor of kinesiology.

DeWinne says she worked with Blinch for a year on that project and has begun a second under his direction.

"Now we're doing a study on the best way to measure reaction time," she says.

The Kinesiology Route

When she was in middle school, DeWinne suffered a back injury and needed physical therapy to correct the problem.

"I fell in love with physical therapy then, and I could see myself doing that in the future," DeWinne says.

As she began to explore colleges, she learned that kinesiology was one of the main prerequisites for a career in physical therapy, DeWinne says.

"I also really love anatomy and learning about the body, so kinesiology was a good fit. Right now I'm currently taking applied exercise physiology, which is really interesting because it has a lab attached to the class where we do exercise testing," she says, adding that not everyone finds it as absorbing as she does.

"I'll tell my friends, 'I'm going to go run a mile in class.' And they're looking at me like, 'What? Are you crazy?' But that's what that class is," she says.

Why Texas Tech?

Like many high school students, DeWinne says she found it hard to choose a college. She didn't want to get lost in the crowd or be treated only as one more head to count.

"I had no idea where I wanted to go. I applied to seven schools and it came down to between here and A&M," she says. "And Tech as a whole just showed me that they wanted me. They showed me that if I attended this school I wouldn't just be another student but I would be a person."

Her search revealed that Texas Tech's kinesiology program rates among the nation's best. For example, Tech's graduate program in kinesiology placed No. 6 nationwide by GraduatePrograms.com. And a more recent ranking from Univeristies.com put Tech's undergraduate kinesiology program also at No. 6 nationwide.

"I knew it was one of the largest departments on campus. So I knew they'd have the people and the professors and advisers to help me," she says. "Also, given that the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is right next door, I knew that if I had any questions about physical therapy that they would be able to help me out and that it would be easy access."

DeWinne found the slower pace of Lubbock a welcome relief from the hubbub of much-larger San Antonio.

"I feel like you can build a community a lot easier in Lubbock than you can in a busy city, and it's just a really nice and inviting place," she says. "At first, I was worried about the distance in coming here and being so far away from home, but they really make you feel like part of the Tech family here."

Her conclusion: "I would say that the distance doesn't really matter."

Going on Faith

Along with her considerable academic achievements, DeWinne is coordinator of the fall 2019 Raider Awakening Retreat, a faith-based gathering sponsored each semester by Raider Catholic, a ministry of St. Elizabeth Catholic University Parish. The weekend event typically attracts a crowd of 300 or so.

"It's put on by college students for college students," DeWinne says. "It's a time for students to get into groups and just really get close. There are a lot of activities, and it's a fun weekend."

She also has served in leadership roles on the Catholic Student Association, most recently as the public relations coordinator, and belongs to the nondenominational Christian sorority Sigma Phi Lambda.

With grad school in her sights, DeWinne says she will begin to set aside some of her leadership roles in preparation for that transition a year from now. She already knows where she'll be going—or rather, where she'll be staying.

"In the Honors College they started an early Admission Decision Initiative. And so I applied through that last summer for the Health Science Center for the physical therapy program or doctor of physical therapy program, and I was accepted," DeWinne says. "So I am set to hopefully go there. I just have to do well on my GRE and then I'll be good." 

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About the Dr. Sarah Kulkofsky Scholarships

The Dr. Sarah Kulkofsky Scholarship was established by family members after the late Kulkofsky, an assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies, passed away at the age of 30 on Jan. 13, 2011.The Dr. Sarah Kulkofsky Scholarship for Social Sciences was established in 2016 by one of Kulkofsky's former students. Both scholarships support Texas Tech University undergraduates engaged in faculty guided research projects.

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