Kurt Van Kuiken '14

Graceland student and athlete Kurt Van Kuiken `14

Kurt Van Kuiken ’14

Majors: Athletic Training with a Minor in Health

Reigning from Lenexa, Kansas, Kurt Van Kuiken was recruited in 2010 to play soccer for Graceland University. Soccer has been the one thing Kurt has felt passionate about his entire life, and he feels grateful that he got to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, who also played soccer at Graceland. Graceland’s soccer teams have a reputation of excellence and consistently have teams head to nationals.

While Kurt was certain he wanted to play soccer, like many new college students, choosing a major proved to be a more challenging decision. It wasn’t until he took Introduction to Athletic Training with Diane Bartholomew that he knew the best fit for him. He declared an athletic training major and decided to add a minor in health. Since then, he has found there to be a strong foundation of faculty members in his area of study. Kurt notes, “Every single person in the athletic training major really just wants to see students succeed. It goes beyond just the classwork, they’ll drop anything to help someone out.”

While school and soccer keep Kurt very busy, he has still found time to get to know many students around campus and make lasting friendships. “At Graceland, you can sit down with anyone and strike up a conversation. The small community offers you a chance to know people you might not have otherwise,” said Kurt. “For example, half of my teammates are international students, so I get to learn about all of their different cultures. It’s eye opening to hear about what’s different between our countries and what people of other nationalities think of the United States.” The diversity and close-knit community that Graceland offers has broadened not only Kurt’s knowledge of the world, but also has made his time here much more fulfilling.

Following graduation in December, Kurt plans to further his education, and he’s looking forward to expanding his knowledge in the field. “With athletic training I still get to be in the competitive atmosphere,” Kurt explained. "It’s great to be a part of helping an athlete heal and get back to playing.” Kurt hopes to find an internship for spring, and will be applying to graduate schools for fall 2015.