As a kid, Asad Emi ’19 saw his mom benefit physically and emotionally from her work with a physical therapist. Today, Utica College’s health studies program is helping Asad reach his goal — to open his own PT practice in his hometown.
Why UC: I went to a really large high school in Albany. My graduating class was around 600 students, so I knew that the big university environment wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to be just a number to my professors. After visiting UC, I liked the small size, and the opportunity to form personal connections with professors.
Major Decisions: My mom has had multiple back surgeries, and she worked with a physical therapist that completely changed her view of her injury. He helped her feel better but also made her more positive about recovery. I could see how she was changing week to week just from the PT she was doing. I knew I wanted to help people in that same way.
History Lessons: During my freshman year, I took African-American history. It opened my eyes and made me more curious about my own ancestry. I’d never taken a class like that in high school, and I was hoping they’d have a class like that at UC. I’m glad they did. I like having the opportunity to take interesting classes outside my major.
Brotherly Love: When I came freshman year, I wanted to get to know new people. On a whim, I decided to sign up for Brothers on a New Direction. I went to a meeting, and I really liked the sense of camaraderie among the brothers, and how friendly everyone was, so I stuck with it. Today, I’m the president. We do lots of volunteer work in the community, like the breast cancer walk, kidney walk, and the turkey drive at Thanksgiving. We hold open forums to discuss different issues. Next semester we’re starting a mentoring program with Proctor High School. It’s been an amazing way to get involved with the community.
Dream Job: My goal is to own my own physical therapy practice in my hometown, where PT students like me can do their observation hours and field work. It’s a way to give back to my community and my family, and give back to the next generation of physical therapists. I want to pass the torch.
Learn more about UC's health studies program here.