With a passion for health care and an eye on a career in physical therapy, Zachary Burkhardt wanted to immerse himself in the field on day one of arriving at Central Michigan University.
So, he did just that.
Zachary applied to and was accepted into the Health Professions Residential College, a community within the university where undergraduate students who are pursuing health-related professions can live and learn with other students with similar career goals.
“Through my experience, living with students with similar interests has given me the opportunity to make strong connections personally and professionally,” he said. “These connections have given me the opportunity to become more involved on campus and have given me the confidence to pursue the leadership roles I possess today.”
Zachary is in his fourth semester of residing in the HPRC and serves as the residential college’s president. He said the HPRC community, which is housed on the second and third floors of Emmons Hall, has presented him exceptional opportunities in research involvement, volunteering, connecting with volunteers and networking.
“Being a part of a residential college is really beneficial in building a strong community and a positive living environment,” he said. “Specifically in the HPRC, we see ourselves as a family with strong bonds that tie us together. A positive living environment leads to succeeding in academics, building relationships and feeling comfortable in our surroundings.”
He said the six residential colleges at CMU are another way the university provides an education centered around students.
“The access to resources is what I love most about CMU. The opportunities that CMU provides to their students to set them up for success is amazing,” he said. “CMU has a tenacious drive to guide its students to a path of excellence, and I am very proud of that.”
Zachary is co-founder of the 2016-17 Residential College Leadership Conference.
He works with elementary school children as a youth soccer and youth basketball coach.
Zachary is involved in undergraduate research in the College of Health Professions.