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Commencement Speaker: Amanda "Mandy" Woll

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Ever since middle school, being an active community member was very important to Mandy Woll. Mandy joined numerous service organizations while she was a student at Archbishop McNicholas High School prior to enrolling at Northern Kentucky University, and her desire to be a part of her community persisted while she was a student.

“The campus is so active and full of life,” she says. “There are so many organizations to get involved in to fit what works best for you and what you are interested in.”

The Cincinnati, Ohio, native majored in athletic training and was motivated to go NKU because of familiarity with the university through her family. Her sister gradated from NKU in 2015, and her father was an NKU employee who retired in 2019. Familial ties were not the only factor in her decision, however.

“I also loved the campus and the environment of small classes and the many opportunities that NKU provided me,” she says.

While studying in athletic training, Mandy learned that her future field of work combines rehabilitation, emergency care and diagnosing injuries all in one. She initially had one idea of what should wanted to do with her degree, but her time at NKU made her shift her future career aspirations.

“I had the full idea of going into physical therapy after graduating with my bachelor’s in athletic training, but throughout my program and taking the anatomy classes along with my clinical rotations at local high schools and NKU, I appreciated the profession so much more,” she says.

Mandy’s commencement speech is centered around community—the same word that comes to her mind when thinking about NKU. Looking back, Mandy’s favorite memory of her time NKU was bringing and meeting Karamo Brown, culture expert on Queer Eye, to campus in 2018. She was the director of an NKU Activities Programming Board committee that brought Brown to campus. Her memories do not stop there, she adds.

“I had so many ups and downs throughout my journey here, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They helped me grow into the person I am today,” she says.

“NKU is a special place, and anyone who has gone here or will go here will find out that NKU students, faculty and staff are amazing people who want the best for you and help you get there.”

Mandy said she will miss various faculty, advisers and organization members within NKU, especially Rachele Vogelpohl, Alma Mattocks and Collin Herb—all professors within the School of Kinesiology, Counseling & Rehabilitative Sciences.

“They have taught me so much and made a huge impact on not just me as a person but as an athletic trainer,” she says.

After graduation, Mandy hopes to be an athletic trainer for college or high school students.

“I am very excited to enter the adulting world but also can’t thank everyone that I encountered at NKU enough for everything they have done for me and how they helped shape and help me grow into the woman I am today,” she says. “NKU is a special place, and anyone who has gone here or will go here will find out that NKU students, faculty and staff are amazing people who want the best for you and help you get there.”

About This Article

Trey Crumbie

Contributor, NKU Magazine

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Published May 2021
Photography by Scott Beseler
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