Cortney Elkin

Cortney Elkin aims to become a developmental-behavioral pediatrician in the future. When she isn't studying, Cortney enjoys dancing and being with friends and family.

Cortney Elkin merges love for motion and helping others, finds her place in kinesiology

Cortney Elkin has always been an Iowa State University fan, but discovering her passions and contributing to the kinesiology field is what truly makes her a Cyclone.

“I grew up a hardcore Cyclone fan,” Cortney said. “It was never really a question in my mind where I was going to school, because to me, this was home.”

Starting at Iowa State, Cortney was undecided, but she knew she had always been scientifically curious and enjoyed learning about how the human body works. She quickly took an interest in the kinesiology and health major. 

“I didn’t even know kinesiology existed [when I came to Iowa State]. The day it was presented, my mind was blown. I was like, ‘This is the perfect major for me.’ I went and declared that day,” she said.

Cortney spent a lot of time in high school as an associate working with children with special needs. She plans to pursue a career as a developmental-behavioral pediatrician to evaluate and provide counseling to families and their children who have developmental and behavioral difficulties.

“[Being a developmental-behavioral pediatrician] is the perfect way to integrate my passions for medicine and working with kids with special needs,” she said. “Piecing together what will work for them and their families is really meaningful, and something I could get a lot of joy from.”

Cortney also applies her interest in the human body through dancing — a passion she’s had since she was 3 years old. She serves the Orchesis I Dance Company, a student-run organization under the Department of Kinesiology specializing in professional dance training, as its president. She also dances with Parkinson’s patients every Tuesday in the Neurophysiology Lab’s Music and Movement in Parkinson's Disease group with Elizabeth Stegemöller.

“I have made so many lifelong friends through Orchesis and am so thankful to have danced with them each week,” she said. “Having an outlet to relieve stress and focus on dance has been critical to maintaining my overall physical and mental wellness throughout college.”