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Hannah McKinney’s Passions Drive Her Will to Help Others Be the Best Version of Themselves

Hannah McKinney
Hannah McKinney, of Rock Hill, leads spin classes at Lander in her free time. McKinney is an exercise science major and is also pursuing a minor in chemistry. After graduation, she's headed to Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, where she will work towards her master's in prosthetics and orthotics. Photo by Laura Brown.

Hannah McKinney, of Rock Hill, began her journey through college at the University of South Carolina before deciding to transfer to Lander University, saying that "I realized I wanted a smaller school experience."

When she got to Lander, she decided to major in exercise science and minor in chemistry. "When I chose this major I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I wanted to help people live healthy lives," said McKinney.

"Exercise has always been something that has surrounded my life, from playing team sports to becoming an avid weightlifter," she said, adding that she's also focusing on leading group exercise as the spin instructor on campus.

In addition to her in-class learning, McKinney has assisted on exercise science research projects, worked in EMS and took internships with both a surgeon and prosthetist. "I found that orthotics and prosthetics seamlessly combines my enjoyment for art with my passion for helping people and keeping people moving in their day-to-day lives," she said.

McKinney has spent the last year and a half tutoring fellow Bearcats in her free time through the Academic Success Center (ASC). She tutors three courses: exercise physiology, organic chemistry I and organic chemistry II.

"I enjoy tutoring because it allows for a slower pace of learning than the student gets in the classroom and gives the opportunity for students to ask questions they may not want to speak up about in front of the entire class," said McKinney.

"The majority of the students I see become weekly appointment makers, which has led me to build new friends and connections on campus as well," said McKinney. She tries to be flexible with her availability and even takes on tutoring shifts outside of her hours when needed, and makes it a point to set up test reviews and always offer hours during finals week.

"Hannah is one of our busiest tutors," said Abby Pilgrim, tutoring and supplemental instruction coordinator in the ASC. "She is incredibly smart and passionate about helping students in the classroom."

McKinney is set to graduate in December of this year and will be attending graduate school at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine beginning in the fall of 2022 where she will pursue a master's in orthotics and prosthetics. "We are so sad to lose her as a tutor at the end of this semester but are so proud of her and we know she will accomplish amazing things in the future," said Pilgrim.