During New Student Convocation each year, Smith Jackson, vice president and dean of Student Life, selects four new students to hilight. By describing their accomplishments, challenges and future goals, Jackson unifies the incoming class. Jackson said there are more than four outstanding students in the class of 2016, but these represent what it means to be an Elon University student.

In this four part online series, read about each of this year’s honored students. On Sept. 5, be sure to check the print edition for an in-depth story about Jackson’s selection process, the history of the tradition and more about those chosen to represent Elon.

Kathleen Hupfeld

Hometown: Columbia, M.D.

Q: Why do you think Dr. Jackson chose you out of all of your fellow classmates?

A: I’m honestly not really sure, meeting all of the other honors fellows I learned they’re all so interesting and have done so many amazing things. In my interview with Dr. Ketchum we talked a lot about my stroke research senior year that I did at an internship at a physical therapy place, so I don’t know, I guess maybe that sounded impressive.

Q: What was your research about?

A: I was doing an internship with a physical therapist who treated a lot of neurological patients and a private practice clinic near my house, so then I was researching Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease and stroke patients. I was researching the difference between traditional physical therapy practice and some of the new methods they’re coming up with. Traditional physical therapy is all the stretching and muscle toning and everything and the new ones are sending electrical impulses into muscles to make them move when you become paralyzed after a stroke, and I also went to Walter Reed Army Hospital in D.C. and saw their antigravity treadmills. It’s really cool, they have air pressure that comes up, and you can run with almost zero percent body weight if you don’t have movement in your legs.

Q: Did you have family at convocation? How did they react?

A: My family was really happy, they were freaking out. President Lambert called me on the phone to tell me I got the Keenon Scholarship, so they were happy then and they were excited again at convocation.

To learn more about Megan, pick up this week’s edition of The Pendulum newspaper.