Nikki Latimer plans on receiving her doctorate in occupational therapy and possibly going into academia. When she isn’t busy with her studies, Nikki enjoys practicing yoga, photography, and being outside.
Get to know Nikki
- Major: Kinesiology and health, pre-occupational therapy
- Minor: Psychology
- Class: Senior
- Hometown: Orange County, California
- Career goal: Receiving doctorate in occupational therapy and possibly going into academia
- Clubs/activities: 2019 Human Sciences Week Co-Chair, Honors Program
- Awards/honors/scholarships: Honors Program, Neurophysiology Research Lab, President of the Pre-Occupational Therapy Club, President of the College of Human Sciences Student Council, yoga instructor for Recreation Services
- Favorite place on campus: Central campus
- Most influential ISU mentors: Elizabeth Stegemöller
- Favorite class: KIN 366, Exercise Psychology
- Why Iowa State: The beautiful campus and college town feeling
Nikki Latimer expands on knowledge, embarking on opportunities on and off of campus
Nikki Latimer has an immense amount of passion for occupational therapy because it embodies her love of approaching medicine in a holistic manner.
Her interest stemmed from a variety of experiences. Having a family friend who is an occupational therapist allowed her to gain insight about the career. In high school, Nikki job shadowed through a private pediatric clinic where she helped students who had suffered from traumatic brain injuries.
At Iowa State, she has continued to pursue job shadowing opportunities at On With Life, a rehabilitation center for brain injury survivors, and at Mary Greeley Medical Center.
“I think that job shadowing is super important. With occupational therapy there are so many different settings that you can go into. It’s been super cool shadowing a variety of different settings to see what I like best,” Nikki said.
Aside from her job shadowing experience, Nikki continuously plays an active role in many organizations and research opportunities on campus.
Since her freshman year of college she’s been involved with Elizabeth Stegemöllers’ Neurophysiology Research Lab. Taking KIN 290 her freshman year allowed her to get oriented with the basics of research. Since her sophomore year, Nikki has been conducting research on how different variables of handwriting can aid people with Parkinson’s disease.
“Doctor Stegemöller provides a lot of independence within her research. I’ve learned so much through being in her lab. It is another step into getting involved with something I’m super passionate about,” she said.
She is also the president of the College of Human Sciences Student Council, and the Pre-Occupational Therapy Club.
Looking towards the future and applying to graduate programs, Nikki is excited to have an open mind, continue her education, and continuously expand her knowledge.
“We’re graduating with a good understanding of what medicine is, how to take care of people on a more holistic level, and how we can play a part in changing people’s lives through therapy,” Nikki said.Student Spotlights