Randie Kuhar ’21 | Immaculate University

Sports coach in training

When Randie Kuhar ’21 pulled into the Immaculata parking lot, even before her campus tour began, she thought to herself, “This is where I’m supposed to be. Her visit confirmed her sense of destiny – she loved the beauty of the dome of Villa Maria Hall and the student guide made her feel welcome.

“I put all my eggs in one basket and I hadn’t planned on other colleges,” says Randie. Some people encouraged her to consider all of the options, but she knew she was making the right choice. IU felt at home and wanted to continue her Catholic education.

When orienting new students, Randie initially felt overwhelmed. “But from the first day of class, I knew my teachers would help me and that I wouldn’t be stuck,” she comments. “I lived in the first year and in the second year of the mathematics center! She jokes, adding that even as the oldest, she still goes to the writing center to get extra help with her papers.

Randie has built a large but close group of friends through his field hockey and track teams, as well as other avenues. She never thought she would meet some of these people. “We have so many different personalities and different specializations, but that’s what makes us work together,” she notes.

Some of these friends invited Randie to join the Cue and Curtain Theater. “I didn’t think I would ever set foot on stage,” Randie admits. Although she was nervous, she became a manager and learned that she could challenge herself to try something new. “The worst you can do is not try and regret it,” she says.

During a rehearsal of “The Little Mermaid”, she remembers asking the director what was supposed to happen at “half-time”. “Everyone looked at me! Randie remembers, laughing. “I only knew sports terms, not theatrical terms! She went on to help with two other Cue and Curtain productions – “The Crucible” and “Bright Star”.

Randie is also involved in Get Fit at IU, a program in which exercise science teachers and students provide tailored physical training for people with disabilities. Randie helped assess the strengths of program participants and measure their progress. She worked with a young man who rarely spoke and stayed close to his caregiver at first. “He warmed up with me and he was walking around the gym,” recalls Randie. “Seeing all of their smiles made my day. The program opened my eyes to how different people can learn different levels of fitness.

With his love of sports and fitness, Randie majored in exercise science with a focus in movement science. When she was younger, she notes, “I fought against the injuries and kept going. But now I know it’s OK to say I’m not okay. I’ve learned that athletic coaches can get you back onto the pitch faster and safely than you can on your own.

In a game in his sophomore year, a field hockey stick hit Randie in the head. Her helmet softened the blow and she felt good enough to continue playing. But later that night, she felt nauseous looking at her phone’s brightly lit screen and knew something was wrong.

One of Immaculata’s athletic trainers assessed Randie’s symptoms, administered memory tests and recommended a concussion protocol, keeping her environment calm and dimly lit until she recovered. Randie’s friends helped her limit her screen time and send emails to her teachers, who shared their slideshows for her to print and watch in low light conditions. “I can’t thank everyone enough for working with me,” exclaims Randie.

Since his injury and recovery, Randie has followed Immaculata’s athletic trainers, learning more about muscle and bone function and how to handle certain situations. “Seeing the difference they make for athletes has made my passion for the field even stronger,” she says. “My dream is to get my Masters in Athletic Training at IU and be a person athletes can turn to for help.”

Reflecting on the support she has received from friends and teachers, Randie comments, “You won’t be alone. Our saying is “home under the dome” – it really is. I can’t help but talk about Immaculata.

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