RT Student Spotlight: Maddie Gould

Name: Maddie Gould

Degree & Graduation Year: B.S. Recreational Therapy, class of 2023.

Tell us about your hobbies and involvement at ECU?
As a student at ECU, I am constantly working to pursue my passions related to RT and inclusion.I am currently the President of both Best Buddies & Recreational Therapy Student Society. As President, I work hard to be an advocate for inclusion and strengthen my knowledge and volunteer experience in Recreational Therapy.

What brought you to ECU?
I came to ECU, because I’ve heard so highly of the Recreational therapy program here. ECU was the perfect place for me to pursue my education and follow my dream of becoming a RT.

Why do you want to enter the field of recreational therapy? 
I’ve known I wanted to enter the field of RT since the age of 16! Since I was younger, I’ve always had a passion to help others around me. In high school my love for helping individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities began to grow. I volunteered and created recreational activities for the individuals at my high school with disabilities, and that is when recreational therapy really became my goal career. Ever since then, my love for helping others through so many different types of activities became a reality, especially as I pursue this dream at ECU.

Tell us about your upcoming internship or where you hope to intern?
I hope to intern at a facility that specializes in aquatic therapy for individuals of all ages with intellectual and physical disabilities. For as long I can remember, swimming has been a huge part of my life. I grew up taking swim lessons and now, in my college years I teach them at an Aquatic Center in Greenville. I believe that with the combination of my history in aquatics and my newfound knowledge in RT, I can combine the two aspects and really change peoples lives.

What is your favorite aspect of recreational therapy?
My favorite aspect of recreational therapy is coming up with interventions or treatment plans that seem like leisure activities to the clients. I love seeing clients doing things they enjoy, while receiving treatment through the activities.

Tell us about your favorite Rec Therapy course or professor(s)?
My favorite course so far would be 4272. I have loved ALL of my professors at ECU, but I would love to give a shout out to Dr. Loy and Mrs. Burnworth. Dr. Loy, is truly one of the most passionate professors I have ever had. You can see the love he has for recreational therapy, and teaching it to future RT’s. I appreciated him pushing us to do the best of our abilities, while also being there if we needed to talk to someone. 

Mrs. Burnworth is one of the sweetest, caring, and down to earth professors I’ve ever had. My friend’s and I like to call her our “RT mom”, because of how caring she is. She is educated on the topics she teaches us on, while making it enjoyable to learn the content.

What kind of setting or future job do you hope to have upon graduation?
I’m not 100% sure exactly where I’d like to work after graduation, but my ideal setting would be an aquatic or hospital setting. Both in the rehabilitation field.