Annelise Klenk

Annelise Klenk hopes to work as an occupational therapist in the future. When she isn’t studying, she enjoys trying out new restaurants, reading anything by Colleen Hoover, spending time with her friends and family, and being outdoors. 

Get to know Annelise

  • Major: Kinesiology and health, pre-health
  • Class: Senior
  • Hometown: Hudson, Iowa (Black Hawk County)
  • Career goal: Occupational therapist
  • Clubs/activities: Dance Marathon, Pre-Occupational Therapy Club, CardioRACE Research Lab, CHS Ambassadors
  • Awards/honors: Dean’s list 
  • Favorite place on campus: Memorial Union side deck
  • Favorite class: KIN 372, Motor Control and Learning Across the Lifespan
  • Why Iowa State: Campus felt like home and family history

Annelise Klenk confirms career path through participation and research, determined to make a difference

Annelise Klenk was deeply inspired to pursue a profession that involves helping people after experiencing the loss of two great friends when she was young. The senior, majoring in kinesiology and health, recalls visiting her friend in the hospital and seeing the positive impact healthcare professionals can have on patients and their loved ones. 

“It was really awesome to see the way [my friend] interacted with his healthcare professionals,” Annelise said. “Just to see the way they responded to him was super cool. I just love the idea of working in a healthcare setting.” 

Annelise took great consideration in deciding which specific path she wanted to take within kinesiology and health.

“When I was a sophomore, I was researching looking for the perfect career that would kind of bridge wanting to work with people and also healthcare,” Annelise said. “So, I landed on occupational therapy.”

Annelise has been involved in many organizations that helped confirm her career path decision. Some of these include: Dance Marathon, Pre-OT Club, and CHS Ambassadors. She also assisted in the CardioRACE Research Trial — a study observing the effects of aerobic, resistance, and combination training on heart disease prevention.

“A lot of kinesiology and health faculty members were involved in putting that research study on, so it was a good way to connect and make relationships,” Annelise said. “Also, a lot of the other students who were undergraduate research assistants were kinesiology and health students, so it was nice to make connections with other students as well.”

Annelise has also spent time volunteering in the early developmental wing at MercyOne in Waterloo, Iowa. There, she’s had the opportunity to work with young children who require therapy. 

“[Volunteering at MercyOne] made me realize working in a setting like that is something I would really enjoy doing,” Annelise said. “I really just got to see what an everyday life would look like working.”

As Annelise prepares to graduate in May, she looks forward to attending Drake University next fall to pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy.

“[Kinesiology and health] is a major that helps me feel like it’s going to make a difference with other people,” Annelise said.

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