If you’re looking for a life-changing experience, one where you will open a lot of different doors, you will never find a place that’s better than BSU.
Volleyball captain, tour guide, sorority sister, beauty pageant contestant and clinician, Ellie Roberts, ’19, did all this and more as a Bridgewater State University undergraduate pursuing a degree in physical education.
“Being involved forced me outside of my comfort zone,” she said. “It was always opening another door.”
The alumna initially chose to study at BSU because of its reputation as an excellent teaching program.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher and go into the educational field. Bridgewater also offered many opportunities and extracurricular activities. After narrowing things down, I knew my choice would be BSU,” she said.
As soon as Roberts arrived on campus, she jumped right in.
A four-year member of the volleyball team, she also served as captain.
She also went on three study tours; one in Hawaii to study Hawaiian culture, and another to the Dominican Republic where she taught English at local schools. During her senior year Roberts opted to student-teach in Caye Caulker, a tiny island off the coast of Belize.
“BSU’s study abroad program is something I wish more students would capitalize on. I learned so much, it’s such a great opportunity,” Roberts said.
During her time at BSU, she also joined the Phi Sigma SigmaSorority and participated in many council events.
As a tour guide for three years, Roberts developed a unique talent. She can walk the entire BSU campus backwards.
“I can even tell you every detail about every building on campus while doing it,” she laughed.
Each activity led to a new opportunity.
Through her sorority, she learned about the Children’s Physical Development Clinics (CPDC). The program is offered to local children aged 1 to 18 with physical and learning disabilities. Student-clinicians work with the children on Saturday mornings, including swimming in the Kelly Gymnasium pool, playing games, and other structured activities.
“CPDC really helped me discover the path I wanted to be on. I initially thought I wanted to be a high school math teacher, but found I really enjoyed the physical education aspect of teaching,” Roberts said.
Being involved at BSU also presented another unexpected opportunity – beauty pageants.
“It’s something I would have never done if I hadn’t gotten involved on campus. I’m so used to being defined as a ‘rugged jock,’ this forced me to do something totally different,” she said.
She currently holds the crown of Miss Massachusetts Earth and will have the chance to compete against contestants from 40 other countries during an upcoming competition.
Each of Robert’s experiences led to her current career working as an elementary gym teacher in West Bridgewater, where she also serves as the high school JV volleyball coach. In the winter, she is also the high school JV basketball coach in Swansea, her hometown.
She hopes to continue teaching and eventually work her way up to coaching high school varsity sports.
Whatever lies ahead, because of her time at BSU, Roberts knows she is prepared.
“Bridgewater overprepared me,” she joked. “If you’re looking for a life-changing experience, one where you will open a lot of different doors, you will never find a place that’s better than BSU.”
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