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Kinesiology student, Leo Jacobs pictured in front of the Education and Engineering Complex on UAB's campus.

Leo Jacobs, a senior Kinesiology major with a concentration in Exercise Science from Danville, Alabama, has been dreaming about continuing his collegiate journey at the #1 physical therapy program in the country - Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine.


"Leo Jacobs started the program with a dream and did everything he could to ensure he could accomplish that dream," states Samuel Cauffman, Clinical Instructor and Coordinator of the Kinesiology Honors program at UAB. "His passion and desire to do well in every class was evident early in his academic career."

During his early days at UAB, Jacobs communicated with his faculty to ensure he was in the best possible position to achieve his dream of becoming a physical therapist.

"In one of my first classes teaching Jacobs, he asked me after class what more he could to help prepare himself to apply for physical therapy school," said Cauffman. "I told him about our kinesiology honors program, and he took full advantage of the opportunity. I believe his constant hard work, passion, and desire all helped him as he was admitted to his dream program starting this fall."

Jacob's dream of becoming a physical therapist started at a young age after getting a small taste of what physical therapy can do for a patient.

"Since I was fifteen, I have wanted to become a physical therapist. My passion for physical therapy started when my grandfather became sick with cancer, and I would help him do his exercises to regain his strength."

Jacobs began his journey to physical therapy school at UAB because of the kinesiology program's good reputation and high acceptance rate for students into professional programs like physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, etc.

Throughout his time at UAB, Jacobs has enjoyed building connections with his fellow kinesiology students and the program's faculty.

"What I have loved most about the Kinesiology program at UAB was how personable the professors and faculty have been and other students in the program. Everyone was approachable, kind, and helpful throughout my entire time here. The instructors wanted students to succeed, and the students worked synergistically instead of competitively."

For other students looking to go on to physical therapy, occupational therapy, or any other health-related professional school, Jacobs has some advice to help you hone your skills and prepare yourself for your career.

"I advise aspiring kinesiology majors to work with people in a medical setting through shadowing, volunteering, or just working at hospitals, clinics, home health services, etc. Physical therapy is a patient care profession; my most valuable experiences came from working as a Patient Care Technician, volunteering at Children's Hospital of Alabama, and shadowing in clinics."

Jacobs will start the Physical Therapy school at Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine beginning August 2022.

Click here to learn more about the School of Education's Kinesiology Program.