Finding the right track

Abby Kohut-Jackson, in a dark single braid and track suit, runs.

A gymnast pirouetting on a balance beam has a lot in common with Abby Kohut-Jackson.  

From her neuroscience major and summer study in Spain to running track and field for the U of M and volunteering in one-on-one health care settings, Kohut-Jackson has learned how to balance her time, energy, and interests.

A recent graduate of the College of Biological Sciences, Kohut-Jackson credits much of her successful balancing act to competing in athletics, which added structure to her day and allowed her to become more efficient with her spare time. 

“Being on the cross country and track teams has been one of the most formative experiences I have had at the U,” she says. “Competing at this level has pushed me to get the absolute most out of my abilities, both for myself and for the team.”

The competition has also helped her achieve her number-one priority: getting a well-rounded college experience. 

Overtime and overdrive

Kohut-Jackson also took advantage of an additional year of eligibility due to COVID-19 to pursue a master’s of biological sciences degree while continuing on the athletic teams. As she wrapped up her time at the U, she kept her eyes on starting medical school at St. Louis University this fall and is looking for ways to keep running a part of her routine. She hopes to volunteer with the Casa de Salud clinic in St. Louis, which would open opportunities to work closely with Spanish-speaking populations. 

“I fully encourage students to seek out other majors and experiences that are not necessarily connected to a chosen career path,” she says. “Taking a more comprehensive approach to be more well-rounded as a student, athlete, volunteer, and Spanish-speaker has been invaluable.”  

Read a fuller version of this story on the College of Biological Sciences website.