A Vibrant Passion
Amber Sexe Moravec’s career has taken some exciting twists and turns and led in directions she couldn’t have imagined as a freshman. It’s a journey she enjoys sharing with young people who are trying to decide where they should go to college: “I tell them UMD is the kind of place where if you fell down, someone would stop and ask you if you were OK.”
Moravec chose UMD for a number of reasons. She liked Duluth and the distance from her hometown in Le Center, Minn. “I also liked that UMD had a pool,” she said, although she admits with a laugh that as an undergraduate, she never actually used it.
She initially majored in pharmacy, because she had heard that it was a good profession for women who also wanted to have a family. However, she soon decided it wasn’t the career for her and switched to elementary education. “I really like kids. I had worked with kids in high school. It resonated with me, and I knew I would do well,” she said.
Numerous Trails, One Path
As a student, Moravec worked in the Office of Admissions and in First Year Experience (now called Students in Transition). It was in 1999, during her senior year, that her journey took another unexpected direction. “I was in the middle of student teaching. The director in First Year Experience called me and said they had a temporary job for six months and would I like to fill in? I said yes. I stayed for five years.”
During those five years, she enjoyed working on a variety of projects, including the yearly Bulldog Bash for freshmen, heading up parents’ weekends, and teaching a section of the “Intro to College Learning” course. She also did some recruiting, which she enjoyed: “It was great to talk to students about UMD and my positive experience.”
While she was working at UMD, she took a personal training course. She even (finally) got into the UMD pool and taught a water aerobics class. “I became fascinated by wellness, staying well, living a healthy lifestyle.” It was then that she decided to become a chiropractor.
She discovered that UMD had prepared her well for graduate studies. “I had a really good foundation for grad school, staying organized, knowing what I needed to do to get things done.” Now, as a chiropractor, in addition to her regular practice, she often works with pregnant mothers and newborns at a birthing center in the Twin Cities. She sees a lot of correlations between working with young people and working with new moms. “The future looks bright. They are looking forward to what’s ahead,” she said.
In her practice, she continues to draw on so much of what she learned in her education classes: “I use all the same skills. I’m still teaching, but instead of ABCs and math, I spend a lot of time educating my patients.” She finds that invaluable as she builds relationships with her patients: “I tell them, ‘If you understand the problem, you can better communicate it to me, and I can help you better.’” She loves her work, calling it “very rewarding.”
Once a Bulldog . . .
Moravec has stayed connected with UMD. She and her husband, Andrew (2000), attend alumni events in the Twin Cities. “When we come to Duluth, we tour the campus and tell our three children that UMD is the only school.”
Staying involved is important to her. She took part in a spring 2013 College of Education and Human Service Profession alumni reception and a round table. “Everyone at the round table had gone to grad school. Our undergraduate work had really been a stepping stone to grad school.”
She urges other alumni to stay connected with UMD too, and offers ideas on ways they can do that: “Volunteer at a career day, contact Admissions about representing UMD at a school fair, offer student job shadowing, or offer to mentor students.”
She enjoys the vibrancy of young people: “College students rarely see road blocks.” She’s happy to offer her assistance and, like all good Bulldogs, she’s sure to ask if they are doing OK.
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