Baldwin City, Kan. — Convinced as a child she was well on her way to becoming the next Mia Hamm, Baker University senior soccer player Alexa Fryer always had a passion for athletics and performance.
“When I was little, I would ask my parents if what I was eating would make me a better soccer player, or else I didn’t want it,” said Fryer, an exercise science major with an emphasis in dietetics and nutrition. “As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen how important nutrition and wellness are in all aspects of life. I’m passionate about helping others reach optimal wellness and meet personal goals that will change their lives.”
Two months shy of graduating from Baker, Fryer has spent the spring semester as an intern at the Priority Research Centre of Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Chris Todden, assistant professor of exercise science, is Fryer’s academic advisor and encouraged her to travel to Australia rather than return to her home in Fort Collins, Colo., for a similar internship.
“Dr. Todden said that if I was thinking about leaving campus and going home, I should use the opportunity to travel abroad and get a full experience,” she said. “We immediately looked into Australia, considering their recent advances in nutritional studies. Who wouldn’t want to come travel to this beautiful country and experience their culture?”
As an intern at the Priority Research Centre of Physical Activity and Nutrition, she assists a Ph.D. student with several studies. Fryer also is working on a systematic review regarding secondary heart failure and the transfer of preventive knowledge from practitioners to patients. In another study, she uses a spectrophotometer to measure pigmentation of the general public to assess adequate fruit and vegetable intake.
“When you travel abroad, you think of all the exciting life-changing events that will take place, and that does happen,” said Fryer, who is free to travel and experience the culture on weekends after fulfilling her internship requirements during the weekdays. “I’ve also learned that I will pursue a very active career with my degree. The days I enjoy the most are when I interact with patients and get to know others.”
Fryer’s career aspirations include being a registered dietitian. She wants to create a wellness program to help individuals overcome obstacles to optimal diet and exercise and eventually open a local and organically sourced restaurant in Colorado to express her love of cooking healthy meals and creating public awareness.
In addition to playing midfielder for the Baker soccer team, Fryer is an active member of Delta Delta Delta. She reflects fondly on her time at the university.
“Not only did I have a family within my soccer team, but the small community feel of the university made Baker feel like a home away from home,” she said of her undergraduate experience. “Everyone cares about your happiness and success as an individual. Professors and coaches will push you to your fullest potential and support you.”