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Maddie Odom Reflects on Kalamazoo College Experience

Photo of Maddie Odom playing lacrosse with a text quote from the story.

Maddie Odom was a two-sport student-athlete at Kalamazoo College, playing soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring. When COVID-19 hit, and the College went online, and spring sports were canceled, Maddie took her time and talents to the front lines at a coronavirus testing site in Detroit.

Having interned as an EMT and graduated from K in June, Maddie now intends to enroll in Physician Assistant (PA) school and earn a Masters of Public Health. Her experience studying abroad in Perth, Australia, also played a key role in her development.

"My study abroad opportunity was one of the most important experiences because I was able to get experience in the medical field while I was there, which solidified my passion for pursuing a career as a PA," Maddie said. "I was also able to meet many different international students and learn more about different cultures which was really amazing."

Being a student-athlete at K was also an important element to Maddie's college experience.

"I gained valuable time management, problem-solving, and community building skills," she said. "I learned how to lead by example and to always put forth my best effort."

Maddie is also grateful for the many relationships built during her time at K.

"Kalamazoo College will help build relationships that will last a lifetime with classmates, teammates, professors, coaches, and multiple unique members of the K community."

Professor Sara Tanis and Coach Jess Smith are among Maddie's most influential people at K.

"Professor Tanis has played a huge supporting role in my K career," Maddie said. "She helped me through all the highs and lows of college. She helped me as a mentor, advisor, and friend, and my college experience would have been so different without her!

"Coach Smith had a lasting impact on my K experience. She motivated me to be a better athlete and person, and she has supported me through all my academic, athletic, and personal endeavors."