The Few, The Proud: Health and exercise science student-veteran named College’s Outstanding Senior

Addison Huck was born and raised in Williston, North Dakota, before serving in the United States Marine Corps for four years. Huck later attended North Dakota State University for a year and a half, which gave him a foundation to transfer to Colorado State University.  Huck is earning his B.S. in health and exercise science with a concentration in health promotion and is graduating in May.

Huck’s achievements at CSU have earned him several accolades, including being selected for the Outstanding Senior Award in the College of Health in Human Sciences. As the Outstanding Senior, Huck will give the student address at the College’s commencement ceremony on May 11.

Addison Huck and Jeff McCubbin
Addison Huck accepts his Outstanding Senior Award from Dean Jeff McCubbin.

CSU’s program for veterans

When Huck decided he wanted to move to Colorado, he first looked for schools with exceptional services for veterans. Then he expanded his research to look at the exercise science programs that the schools offered.

“CSU has a wonderful veteran program. You can tell they really care about us,” said Huck, “I also heard great things about the Department of Health and Exercise Science. It has met all my expectations and more.”

Training to succeed

Serving in the U.S. Marine Corps has shaped Huck’s experience in every aspect of his life. He describes some of the greatest lessons he learned as how to carry himself as a Marine, and a human being.

“My fellow Marines expected my best. Anything less would be considered a failure to the Marines to my left and my right,” explained Huck, “That doesn’t mean I didn’t fail. I failed many times throughout my military career. However, every time I was giving my best. Each failure led to a lesson learned, as well as some pushups. Smarter and stronger, I came out of it a better person.”

Huck says that the U.S. Marine Corps gave him the tools to excel in life and school. “Time management, self-reflection, strategic thinking, stress management, sacrifice, focus, the list goes on. Adhering to the highest standards changes you. I would not be the same person without having served my country,” said Huck.

Embracing the challenge

Huck smiles while looking at forested hills.While Huck enjoys challenging himself, his time at CSU has proven to have many obstacles. After not being in school for six years, it was a sharp learning curve to hone his study habits. He also says that building his resume has been overwhelming at times.

“Making sure you are well rounded requires a lot of time and dedication. You must volunteer, go after leadership roles at work, maintain grades, help the department, make yourself known within the college, study for the GRE, and apply for scholarships and grants and grad schools. It is a constant battle,” said Huck.

Embracing the challenge has its own rewards though. Huck’s academic experience has continuously advanced his knowledge. “Each class plays a role in expanding your understanding of the human anatomy. You can tell a lot of thought and planning went into our curriculum. I only see the health and exercise science major getting better and better,” explained Huck.

Huck also added that the HES faculty have always been there to help him with his challenges and guide him through is achievements. “The professors are like your spotter in the gym. You have to push the weight up yourself, but they are there to make sure you do it safely and have their support in case you need it,” Huck said, repeating that he was thankful for the support his professors have provided him.

The next chapter

Moving into the future, Huck feels he will miss the community of CSU the most. He has made strong bonds with friends and staff members, but plans to stay in touch. One of the places he will miss the most is the student rec center, which he’s worked at while attending CSU and has developed into one of his most impactful experiences on campus.Huck standing in front a green space in a suit and tie.

“It was a wonderful experience being a part of such an exceptional facility and training my fellow Rams toward healthy life styles,” said Huck. Other work and volunteer experiences Huck says impacted his future include the Youth Sports Camp and Native American STEM camp.

Huck plans to apply to Doctor of Physical Therapy programs with the goal of getting accepted to CU Anschutz Medical Campus. “I know this mean switching to the dark side and representing the Buffaloes. Sacrifices must be made,” said Huck, “All jokes aside, I can’t wait to attend their school and begin the next chapter of my life.”

After finishing a Doctor of Physical Therapy program, Huck hopes to have a career as a physical therapist with the goal of helping veterans injured while on active duty.

About the Outstanding Senior Award

The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes a CHHS graduating senior for outstanding performance including academic achievement, leadership, research, service, and creative endeavors.

Each year, the Outstanding Senior recipient is asked to speak to their graduating class at commencement. When asked about the opportunity, Huck said, “I’m experiencing a mixture of excitement and honor. The fact that people I look up to for so much want me to speak to my graduating class is humbling. I look forward to standing in front CHHS students and saying goodbye to my friends, fellow students, and colleagues.”

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