Senior Spotlight: Madysen Kinsler

Kinsler will graduate with a degree in nutrition and exercise physiology.

Growing up in a town of less than 2,500 people, Madysen Kinsler briefly considered continuing her education at the University of Missouri. However, with an undergraduate student enrollment of nearly 10 times her hometown, Kinsler didn’t want to feel overwhelmed as a student.

Kinsler, who grew up in Elsberry, Mo., settled on Culver-Stockton College, in Canton, Mo., instead. Kinsler wasn’t at Culver-Stockton long, though. After one semester she transferred to Mizzou.

“My high school graduating class was only 39 students, so the thought of going to such a big university was a little intimidating,” Kinsler said. “When I got to Culver-Stockton, I enjoyed my time, but I wanted something a bit more. I decided to make the switch, and it ended up being a really great decision.”

Kinsler said she did have a handful of high school classmates at MU, so she knew there would be a few familiar faces at the very least. When she got involved in her nutrition and exercise physiology (NEP) degree program, she really started to feel at home.

“Making friends can be a stressful process, but once I got started in NEP I found so many students who had similar backgrounds and interests as me,” Kinsler said.

Kinsler will graduate with a degree in nutrition and exercise physiology in December. That wasn’t her original interest, though.

“I honestly didn’t even declare a majority when I first got to MU,” Kinsler said. “I was interested in physical therapy, which led me to start really researching all of the majors that Mizzou offered that fit my interests. That led me to the NEP degree program.”

As a student in NEP, Kinsler said three of her professors made a massive impact on her during time at Mizzou. The first was Stephen Ball, a professor of physical therapy in the School of Health Professions. Kinsler took one of his courses during her first semester at MU.

“His class really reaffirmed my decision to be in NEP,” Kinsler said. “I knew this was the program I needed to be in.”

Jill Kanaley, professor, and Dan Smith, associate teaching professor, both in nutrition and exercise physiology, played a major role in Kinsler’s time at Mizzou, too.

“Both of them have been so great to learn from,” Kinsler said. “Their labs are so incredible, and I’ve been able to use machines that very few undergraduate students have access to. It’s been a phenomenal experience.”

While Kinsler was at first interested in physical therapy, she wasn’t quite sure that was the actual path she wanted to pursue. More research – and a suggestion from a friend – helped Kinsler settle on a new path.

“I love learning, especially about anatomy and the body,” Kinsler said. “Physical therapy felt really close to where I wanted to be, but not quite exactly right. My friend suggested becoming a chiropractor, which seemed to click.”

Kinsler said she played basketball in high school, but injured her back fairly badly. She went to a chiropractor, and that memory helped her realize that a job in that field would be exciting.

“At the time, I obviously didn’t even think about that being a career I could potentially pursue,” Kinsler said. “When my friend made the suggestion, I thought back to that, and I realized I would be interested in something similar.”

After graduation, Kinsler will begin graduate school at Logan University, in Chesterfield, Mo. She will pursue her doctor of chiropractic there.

“I’m definitely excited,” Kinsler said. “It’s shocking how quickly my time at MU has gone. I can’t wait to apply everything I’ve learned.”

Kinsler said there have been multiple highlights during her time as a Tiger. There is one moment, though, that she said has stuck with her. It involved her family, who has been very supportive of her throughout her time at MU.

“For one of my dad’s birthdays, we got him really nice Mizzou football tickets close to the field,” Kinsler said. “It was my first MU football game, and it was so cool to experience that with my family. When I look at pictures from that day, it was such a special moment.”