Learn » Success Stories » Avery McLemore

PTA Student Plans to Pursue PhD

Avery McLemore

Student / Physical Therapy Student & Student Body President

Are you a current student or alumni? On-campus or online student? If alum, when did you graduate?
I am a current, on-campus PTA student at Herkimer College.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 20 years old and I am finishing up my 3rd out of 4 semesters as a PTA student. I have been the PTA club President for the past year and the student government association President for a semester. I have many goals and changes I would like to make during my term as President here, and I am very headstrong towards completing them before I leave!

My goal is to graduate here as a PTA, work for a couple of years as an assistant, then go back for my doctorate of Physical Therapy (an 8-year adventure). I am also on the college's board of trustees, so you can check out my bio.

Why did you choose Herkimer College?
I chose Herkimer because I knew I wanted to go into the career as a physical therapist assistant (to start off). Herkimer was the closest college to my hometown, Poughkeepsie, besides OCCC but they only accept Orange county residents into their PTA program before they start accepting others.

Also, I found Herkimer very welcoming. It was easily accessible and didn’t seem like a school that was just out to take tuition money. All the student events, pictures of sports' teams, and students on the website made me think that I had found the school I was looking for! Also, the distance of about 3 hours seemed like the exact "far enough" distance I could handle from home.

What are your greatest career and/or personal successes to date?
Becoming student body President and PTA club President felt like huge accomplishments for me. But still, to this day, my greatest success has been coming here and making the best out of my college life and being successful here. I was never really a school and great grades kind of kid. I always did average when it came to school and I really wasn’t very involved in my High School's events because I had gone to two different high schools, so when I came to college I wanted to do all of that. Make friends, make memories, get great grades, be as involved as I could, and make my family proud. I am very happy I have let nothing get in the way of those goals and I've been completing them left and right!

How has Herkimer College helped you to succeed?
Herkimer has helped me succeed with the great staff and students, as well as services they offer on campus.

There is always something to do on campus and always a way to meet new people and make new friends. They have a great activities department who plans all these great events that influences the students to get involved and get to know each other.

Also, compared to a previous college I attended, they have great teacher-to-student relationships here. I have many teachers that I can really rely on who will help me if I need it. They don’t underestimate anyone, they just try to help. I don’t know if it’s because I come from such a big town, but since I arrived, I’ve felt like everyone is so friendly and close.

What were some of your favorite things about attending Herkimer?
Dr. Murray is great – especially for a college President with so much on her plate! She is always at school events showing her school spirit, talking with all different groups of students and asking them how their week is going, always has an ear-to-ear grin, and says hello to me with the greatest enthusiasm every time! Now, to me, that really represents how a school should be led!

Last semester the academic center helped me study for my A&P I & II A LOT every week. I love that the library is open later during finals week. Mrs. Ward, my anatomy professor, was great at holding night time student/review sessions the night before an exam so we all knew the material to expect and could ask any last-minute questions.

I love the school spirit at every game – whether it be home or away there is always a flock of "Herk" kids cheering away.

The PTA program offers mentor hours in the evening 2 nights during the week for extra PTA study time or a way for you to get more involved with your classmates.

BUT the best part of all about being here is all the amazing friends I've made and how close and reliable all the PTA students have become with each other over the past year and a half.

What advice would you give to future Herkimer College students?
I would say to get your head in the game and don’t let unnecessary distractions throw you off track. This campus has so much to offer so take advantage of it all and let it guide you into building your next chapter and reaching your future goals.