Senior Alyssa Riley smiles at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy, in February 2019. Riley said she chose the Florence program because she wanted to experience ancient European culture.
Photos Courtesy of Alyssa Riley
As a Student Athletic Medicine Intern (SAMI) working on campus at the athletic training center at Pepperdine, senior Alyssa Riley said she has been helping trainers give treatments to athletes since her junior year. Riley is a Sports Medicine major who dreams of being a registered nurse in the future. She is drawn to sports medicine because she thinks it is more applicable and more hands-on than biology.
Riley is the co-president of the Pilipino American Student Association and the marketing coordinator of the Hawai’i Club. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy, during her sophomore year. Looking back, Riley said she made life-long friends during college. Even though Riley spent fewer than two years on campus because of the international program and COVID-19, she enjoyed her experience at Pepperdine.
Why did you choose to go to Pepperdine?
Alyssa Riley: I chose Pepperdine because of the small-school feeling. I love the community that Pepperdine has. I think the University’s Christian mission also draws in a lot of people who are similar at Pepperdine, or at least most of the people I met, have this desire to do good and go on to do amazing things. I just love the people and community at Pepperdine.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
AR: I feel like a lot of people would say this but it has to be the new Payson Library. It was remodeled and it was brand new for our freshmen year. There is a Starbucks and you can see all your friends, and, of course, the ocean is right there.
What has been one of your favorite Pepperdine memories?
AR: I definitely loved the educational field trip to Dubai. Our program director changed it for our year in the spring. We went up the tallest building in the world. We rode the world’s fastest roller coaster. That’s definitely something I will never forget.
What do you plan to do with your major after graduation?
AR: I’m going to take a gap year and apply to nursing school this fall. I am going to do an entry-level master of science nursing program because I am trying to become a certified nurse. There’s this three month course I am taking and I have about one month left, but essentially I think I am going to be working as a certified nurse assistant for my gap year, just trying to get experience and add one more thing to the resume before I apply.
What advice do you have for first-year students at Pepperdine?
AR: College is what you make of it. Just go to the events and push yourself out there. You can always join a club and decide it’s not for you. Just try as many things as possible. I think eventually you will find your people and have a good time.
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