Learn What Makes This Mud-Covered Student Standout in School

Published on January 23, 2013 by arothstein

(MERIDIAN) Not everyone can say they are planning one of life’s biggest events around their desire to trudge through mud uphill—but Deserae Wilcox can. That is just the kind of person the massage therapy program student is. Her continued willingness to literally get down and dirty and do whatever it takes to get any job done has earned her the honor of being named Student of the Quarter for Fall 2012.

massage therapy program

Broadview University massage therapy student Deserae Wilcox and her “Dirty Dash” partner Shay, her five-year-old son.

Wilcox aims high. Over the past year and a half, the Broadview University-Boise student has steadily worked to be the best, inside and outside of the classroom. Academically, she is just shy of a perfect grade point average. When it comes to work and community involvement, she earns high marks as well.

“Deserae is the kind of student who is always there,” Justin Kobbe, the massage therapy program chair, says, “whether she’s in class or helping me with out-of-class projects. She attends every extracurricular event she is able to.”

Always leaning toward her love of sports, Wilcox jumps at any chance to participate in community events. Some of them include the City of Trees Marathon, Race to Robie Creek, a run in Idaho City, and a massage event last year at Meridian’s City Hall. But Wilcox is not there to participate in the events—she is usually waiting at the finish line ready to put her hands to work.

“I love working on people who have just done marathons,” Wilcox says. “Their muscles feel so much different than people who come into our student massage labs. Working on people in the field is such a great learning environment. It allows me to take what I learn in our massage labs and put it to actual use. I use applied learning all of the time, and I love it!”

Kobbe is usually at the end of the finish line with her. “I really enjoy working alongside of my instructor. He teaches me a lot, and I think it says something to people when they see me working right along with him,” she says.

Wilcox is even taking what Kobbe teaches her back to her job as a massage therapist at Axiom, a local fitness center in Meridian. As her learning continues to expand, Kobbe says she has been consulting him on implementing new massage marketing techniques.

“Working at Axiom has been a step in the right direction,” Wilcox says. “It is a great start for someone who is not done with school yet. I originally applied to be a front desk worker, but became a massage therapist after I tried out doing chair massages. People loved me so I moved up.”

Wilcox is set to graduate with an associate degree in massage therapy in June. Her ultimate goal is to contract with a sports team so she can work on athletes every day. But before she gets too far in her career planning, Wilcox is planning a wedding.

“The date we picked is August 10—the same day as the Dirty Dash,” Wilcox says. “So right now, we are trying to figure out what time of day to have our wedding. We are thinking about having it late in the day so we can participate in the event, then get married after that. I just refuse to miss it.”

The Dirty Dash is an annual event where a mud-run obstacle course meets up with a military-style boot camp. According to its website, “You’ll need endurance to trudge up mountains of sludge, courage to overcome uncompromising obstacles, a complete lack of shame to wallow in pits of mud and a smile to show through at the end!”

For her Student of the Quarter perks, Wilcox received a Broadview University sweat suit, free books for a quarter, and, of course, bragging rights. But she gave up the honorary parking spot near the campus’s front door. Her reason: she likes the exercise.

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