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Commencement 2021: Anna Stefanou

Anna is an undergraduate student studying kinesiology and will graduate this spring. Following commencement, she’ll be commissioning as a Naval Officer and will go to San Diego to start training as a Surface Warfare Officer.

By Alexis Croisdale

Anna Stefanou will receive her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Oregon State University on June 12. Originally from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., Anna has participated in OSU’s IMPACT program and Naval ROTC unit.  

We asked Anna about her time in the College of Public Health and Humans Sciences as she prepares for graduation.  


What inspired you to study kinesiology?  

When I was growing up, my mom encouraged me to explore physical therapy as a career option and that’s stuck with me ever since (Thanks, Mom!). I also took a sports medicine class in high school and became interested in anatomy and physical activity.  

What are you most proud of from your time in the CPHHS? 

I have really embraced all of my classes and experiences within the CPHHS, and I made the most out of my education here. I’m proud of how I continually pushed myself and grew during my time in the program.  

Did you receive any scholarships or assistance during your time here? 

Yes, I received the Golden State Scholarship from the university and was also on a scholarship through the Naval ROTC unit.  

What are the most memorable lessons you’ve learned to this point as a student? 

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to pursue what you are passionate about and to be confident in that decision. Pick a major based off what you enjoy and not just something that sounds impressive. I discovered that you get much more out of your education if you take classes that you love.  

What will you miss the most about the CPHHS, OSU or Corvallis? 

I will miss all of the wonderful professors within the kinesiology program and my CPHHS advisor. The kinesiology professors are some of the kindest and most intelligent people I’ve met, and I’m grateful to have learned so much from all of them. My advisor, Nelson, has helped me through every problem I encountered and he truly improved my experience at OSU. Hands down the best advisor ever! I’ll also miss all the beautiful running and hiking locations around Corvallis.  

What have you learned in the past year?  

Over the past year I’ve learned to not take the small things for granted and to appreciate the importance of connecting with others and supporting the people around me. 

How will you create a healthier world? 

I think that creating a healthier world starts by influencing those around you. I’ve always been a big proponent of leading by example, so I plan to encourage those within my community to be physically active and work to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves.  

What does health and well-being mean to you?  

To me, health and well-being means finding a good balance between all areas of your life. This is unique to every person and requires a deep understanding of what works best for you as an individual. I think it’s all about discovering ways to stay active and healthy that also make you feel happy and fulfilled.  

Do you have any advice for incoming students?  

My first piece of advice is to get involved with the programs and activities that you enjoy. I volunteered with the IMPACT program on campus and taught group fitness classes at Dixon. Extracurricular activities provide a much-needed outlet from school, enhance your experience and enable you to meet amazing people. My second piece of advice is to show your professors that you care by engaging with the material you’re learning. Making the most out of every class will help you maximize your time in the program and explore your interests within any major.