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Former Wildcat Athlete on path to Registered Dietitian

UArizona Outstanding Student
Posted at 6:47 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 12:20:00-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Being a college athlete is a once in a lifetime experience that former Track and Field athlete Amarissa Hawker Handy is thankful for.

"It’s a lot of work," Hawker Handy said. "It’s like 20 hours a week in season, which is like three or four hours of training a day, on top of school work, on top of tutoring, on top of everything else you got going on."

Five years ago, she moved from Utah to Tucson for a scholarship with the University of Arizona's track and field team.

"It’s incredibly rewarding," Hawker Handy said. "It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of time and it’s a lot of effort, but it’s just so fun to be part of something and to be part of the U of A and to represent the U of A."

Her time on the team and in the classroom lead her to finding her love for nutrition sciences.

"I would really like to work with kids who were recently diagnosed with type one (diabetes) because that is something I’m familiar with," Hawker Handy said. "I’ve had type one for ten years, and I remember what it was like to be in the hospital and get diagnosed with a chronic conditions that wasn’t going to go away."

Being an athlete with type-one diabetes, Amarissa said maintaining her health and nutrition has always been important, so become a register dietitian made sense.

She has plans to intern with the Tucson Medical Center after graduation.

"It’s gone fast and slow at time," Hawker Handy said. "It’s been a struggle, and it’s been amazing. It’s been kind of just everything together and it’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve really enjoyed the journey."

Amarissa has fell in love with the Old Pueblo and plans to call wildcat country her forever home.