Student Profiles: Manuel Amador
Major: Master of Science in Kinesiology
Are you the first in your family to attend college?
Yes. After high school, I remember my mother encouraging me to take charge of my own future. This inspired me to attend college.
Why did you pick UTEP?
I chose UTEP because of my aspirations to one day work with underserved populations in the border region. Coming from a low-income family, I learned at a young age that one must overcome any challenge and work hard for their dreams. UTEP’s mission, to prepare students to make significant contributions to their professions, their communities and the world directly aligns with my dream of one day becoming a doctor of physical therapy to help treat underserved individuals in my home town of El Paso.
What sparked your interest in kinesiology?
Human movement has always been of interest to me. I chose kinesiology because it is fundamental for physical therapists to understand the mechanics of body movement.
Tell us about a service-learning or research experience you’ve had at UTEP.
I’ve had the opportunity to be a member of the Metabolic, Nutrition, and Exercise Research (MiNER) laboratory throughout my master’s degree. My research concerning diabetes has led me to conduct a clinical trial alongside my mentor, Dr. Sudip Bajpeyi, which investigates the implications of a family history of type 2 diabetes in Mexican-American individuals. This experience has allowed me to publish 14 scientific abstracts, 10 as first author, and present at national and international conferences.
What are your career aspirations?
I aspire to one day become a physical therapist and operate my own physical therapy clinic here in El Paso.
What advice would you give to a student thinking about studying kinesiology?
I would give the student several pieces of advice. First, I would advise them to work relentlessly towards their dreams. Where you are now does not dictate where you will be in the future. Second, I would tell this student that the key to success lies outside of his/her comfort zone – don’t be afraid to explore your limits; hard work will pay off. UTEP’s Kinesiology Department has allowed me to develop the skill set necessary to do just that.