Madisen Redar is a people person. Though she admits as much, she doesn’t have to. Her beaming, outgoing personality is a giveaway.
So when the Purdue University Calumet senior says she has a goal “to get people to smile,” it’s easy to take her at face value.
The 23-year-old Schererville resident wants to become an occupational therapist, likely one who assists youngsters.
Occupational therapy seeds planted
Her father’s 30 years in the health club industry planted several seeds of interest in his daughter. Her work and study in Purdue University Calumet’s Fitness Center as a fitness management major helped seal the deal. So did a related practicum she served in St. Catherine Hospital’s Occupational Therapy Department.
“The patients wanted to get better, so they appreciated the therapists; that impressed me,” she said.
After she graduates Saturday (5/9, 11 a.m.) as an honor student in Purdue Calumet’s College of Business, she’ll take a few days off before beginning a rigorous and competitive graduate study program in occupational therapy.
Blossomed at Fitness Center
“I kind of blossomed working at the Purdue Calumet Fitness Center,” the former Lake Central High School volleyball player said. “The connection you develop working with an individual is important to me. I like to be involved in people’s lives and help them get better. That’s why when I work with them, my goal is to get people to smile.”
Another goal she lives by, she says, is “to be the best I can be”—which contributed to her decision to attend Purdue Calumet.
“I wanted to stay home and go to school in a smaller setting,” she said. “Maybe I was a little intimidated to attend a bigger school, but I wanted to have stronger, one-on-one relationships with my professors. I wanted them to know me—that I was trying hard to make a difference.”
To say the least, she got their attention.
Impressively making a difference
“She is a student who whenever she puts her name on a project, she does so with pride and the work effort that supports that pride,” Purdue Calumet Associate Professor and Coordinator of Hospitality and Tourism Management Geralyn Farley said.
University Fitness Center Director and Instructor John Bobalik describes Redar as “conscientious, compassionate, empathetic, hard-working, a good listener and always willing to go the extra mile to help people.”
The right decision
Looking back on her learning experiences and opportunities, she is quick to acknowledge that her decision to attend Purdue Calumet was the right one.
“Everyone here seems more than willing to bend over backward to help you succeed,” Redar, whose younger brother, Christian, also attends Purdue Calumet, said. “The Fitness Center staff was very encouraging. Geralyn taught me how to communicate with people and be a leader, and the relationships and networking I’ve developed have been huge, huge, huge!