Karina Leber – Middle attacker for CSU volleyball finds a link between game day preparation and career goals

Karina Leber Portrait

Karina Leber, middle attacker for the Colorado State University volleyball team and health and exercise science major, has found a link between her commitment to volleyball and dedication to her studies at CSU. Being a college athlete often revolves around discipline and everyday improvement, very similarly to Leber’s experience in the Department of Health and Exercise Science. Because of this, Leber uses her volleyball skills to be the best student she can be. 

Where are you from and how did you choose CSU? 

Karina Leber playing in a game at Moby Arena
Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics

I’m from Trevor, Wisconsin, and I chose to come to CSU because of the culture surrounding volleyball here. Seeing the amazing community support that we get from our fans and boosters really makes this experience incredible. My coaches and teammates form a family that helps me feel at home here in Fort Collins, even though my real home is over 1000 miles away. I really enjoy playing for my coaches, who have built a successful program that stands for hard work and the pursuit of excellence. Not to mention the fact that they hand-picked my teammates, who now have become my best friends.  

How did you select health and exercise science as your major? 

I’ve always been interested in science and how the human body works and have taken an interest in careers in the medical field. I have gained inspiration from my grandma, who was an ophthalmologist, and feel the need to follow in her footsteps because of what a bold and revered woman she was. I am also lucky enough to have job shadowing multiple medical professionals (most of them women) and see them as role models as well. My major in health and exercise science, along with additional classes, covers the requirements for medical school.

What lessons from your major do you bring to the volleyball team training and match day?  

Karina Leber playing in a game at Moby Arena
Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics

I personally have really enjoyed learning about nutrition and athletic performance in my years as an HES major. That’s because I can take information learned in my classes and apply it to myself to improve my performance on the court, whether that’s used for proper fueling or training. 

What lessons from athletics do you bring to your major? 

Every HES major knows that there are a few classes you have to take that test your ability to find ways to be successful in your learning. So, I’ve applied some of these skills learned playing volleyball to the classroom. I know that if I want to learn a new skill or improve at something athletically, it will take some time and effort, just like it did for me in my BMS300 class. It also taught me that instant gratification isn’t a thing that happens regularly. You have to put in the hours studying and practicing to get an A+ on a test, the same way you have to spend time in the weight room, watching film, and pushing through hard practices to become successful at volleyball.  

What are your future plans after graduation?  

I plan to attend medical school after graduation. I am on a pre-med track with my classes and will be taking the MCAT and applying to medical schools in the next two years. 

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.