Raised in a rural area in central Massachusetts, Brianna Dowse was unsure about living in a city like Lowell. But once she was accepted into the Exercise Physiology and the Doctorate of Physical Therapy programs, she took the leap and has never looked back. 

“I absolutely love UMass Lowell and living here,” says Brianna. “There's always so much going on that I never get bored and the city of Lowell provides so many opportunities in the career field that you can't get in other places. I never saw myself coming here but now I can't picture myself anywhere else.” 

In her freshman year, Brianna was able to gain research experience in the exercise physiology laboratory through the university’s Research Co-op Scholarship program in which high-achieving students earn money while getting professional experience in their chosen disciplines. 

“It has been such an amazing learning experience,” says Brianna, who worked with her faculty mentor Asst. Prof. Winnie Wu and other students to see if robotic assistive training could help increase motor function of children with cerebral palsy. 

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to work in this lab. It proved to me that I am in the right field and that physical therapy is something I am truly passionate about.” 

She was also involved in a study on the elderly that tested a small sensor that tracks activities of daily living. 

She says: “This was a remarkable experience that taught me a great deal of knowledge that I will be able to use in my field in the near future. I got to work with different groups of people and learned how to use new technology that is making its way into the world of physical therapy. This experience has given me a head start in my career path and I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given.”

Brianna was accepted into the Freshmen Entry DPT/EP Program.