Keegan Brantner (MA '23 (BA '21)) led the Pronghorns Women's Rugby Team as a tenacious competitor, earning Canada West All-Star and playing through injuries. A selfless role model on and off the field, Keegan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from the University of Lethbridge, before returning to pursue graduate studies. Keegan's educational pursuits are not over, as she plans to pursue PhD in the future.
Throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies I have had wonderful experiences and memories as a Pronghorn Athlete. I have felt tremendous pride representing the university and a key highlight of my time at the University of Lethbridge is playing our games under the lights feeling the energy and excitement from the crowd. It's an unforgettable experience playing alongside my teammates feeling the support from our community.
Meet Keegan. Pronghorn athlete. Selfless. For the girls.
Hometown: Taber, Alberta
Program: Master of Arts | Major: Kinesiology
Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at ULethbridge?
I chose to pursue graduate studies at ULethbridge after completing an independent study with Dr. Scott Rathwell where I became excited and passionate about combining my love of sport with academia. The opportunity also allowed me to continue playing rugby for the Pronghorns.
What does your research/creative achievement focus on? What do you hope your research/creative achievement will accomplish?
My academic research focused on student-athletes morality as recognized representatives of the university. I hope my research will contribute in the applied world within universities and athletic departments. Specifically, I hope my research will provide evidence for universities to recognize the value of programs such as athlete moral development and leadership academies to encourage community leaders beyond the university.
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
Throughout my undergraduate and graduate time I have had wonderful experiences and memories as a Pronghorn Athlete. I have felt tremendous pride representing the university and a key highlight of my time at the University of Lethbridge is playing our games under the lights feeling the energy and excitement from the crowd. It's an unforgettable experience playing alongside my teammates feeling the support from our community.
What is the most important lesson you learned during your time as a graduate student at ULethbridge?
Completing a thesis can be a daunting project and the most important lesson I learned was to break it down into manageable tasks to avoid being overwhelmed. Be open to learning, make fake deadlines for yourself and lean on your classmates for support - no one else knows what you're going through more than them!
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
My supervisor and mentor Dr. Scott Rathwell was the most important influence of my ULethbridge experience. I would not have chosen to pursue a master's degree (or PhD) if it was not for him and his unwavering support, knowledge and guidance. He took my interests in sport and helped me create a project that inspired me, challenged me and developed my research skills. I would not be the academic I am today if it was not for the mentorship and teaching that Scott provided me.
Did you receive scholarships and awards?
I have been fortunate to receive sport and academic scholarships that allowed me to not only be a varsity athlete but to attend academic conferences to share my research. Both of these experiences were extremely valuable to my time at ULethbridge.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
I am planning to attend Queens University in the fall of 2024 to pursue my PhD with a focus on group dynamics, leadership and university sport.
What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
Take advantage of the small University of Lethbridge campus and be willing to connect with your professors and classmates. You will build connections that will help establish a foundation that will support you for years.
Congratulations, Keegan! Go Horns!
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