Brittney Kemp, graduating Dec. 19 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences, always knew she wanted to help people. The passion blossomed at McClave High School, when she had the opportunity to work with a student with Down syndrome, and has since inspired her to pursue a career in pediatric occupational therapy. She also knows how to stay busy, balancing multiple extracurricular activities, volunteer work and maintaining outstanding academics.
Kemp has always been a motivated student, earning an associate’s of science degree from nearby Lamar Community College before she graduated high school in 2012. When she came to CSU that fall, she became deeply involved with Associate Professor Chaoping Chen’s biochemistry lab her very first day on campus and has continued to work closely with Chen for the past three and a half years. Her research in the lab parallels her Honors thesis on the effects of clinically identified mutants on HIV-1 protease autoprocessing and activity, which she completed this semester.
Kemp is also a member and former president of CSU’s Pre-Occupational Therapy Club, although the University’s renowned OT program is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences. Through the club she volunteers with Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLiCE) Adaptive Swim, a program that pairs volunteers with community members of varying abilities to swim together once a week. Adaptive Swim received a Mayor’s Award from the Fort Collins Commission on Disability as the Service Provider of the Year in October.
Outside of school and volunteering, Kemp works at the Colorado Foundation for Conductive Education and as a respite care provider at Carmel Community Living.
“I love how personal respite care and occupational therapy is,” said Kemp. “You really get the opportunity to build relationships with the clients you work with and watch them evolve and progress.”
In what free time her schedule allows, Kemp enjoys doing art and playing pool. She plans to continue her occupational therapy studies after graduation and has an ultimate career goal of working in pediatrics. She will be graduating cum laude on Dec. 19 with a 3.8 cumulative GPA.
“Brittney is a highly motivated student who often asks questions that reflect her in-depth thinking,” said Chen. “I am especially impressed that she is always curious about the big picture. She truly is an outstanding graduate, and I am very proud of her.”