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Spotlight on Sidiki Keita '23

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Student in cap and gown smiles at the camera
Sidiki Keita graduated in December, 2023.

Sidiki Keita ’23 has always had a passion for physical activity. An avid athlete, his love for sports such as wrestling and track led him to pursue a degree in kinesiology. This spring, Keita was awarded the Whitlark Endowed Scholarship for his strong academics, potential for leadership in public health and commitment to integrating physical activity and public health. He plans on becoming a physician assistant (PA) and will apply to PA school.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in kinesiology? 

Sports was the biggest factor. I believe sports made me the way I am today because it introduced me to people who really shaped my life for the better.  Sports also made me fascinated in the human body and all of its capabilities – it made me curious to see what else it could do. 

If you want to learn about the human body, its function and athletic capabilities, kinesiology is the best major to pursue. My favorite part of kinesiology is the community. Most KNES majors know each other from shared classes, so it's always fun saying hi to one another and being like, "Hey, I know you from my KNES class."

How do you embody the values of the Whitlark Endowed Scholarship? 

I'm very passionate about helping people, which is why I want to become a physician assistant. I want to see others succeed, especially those who are less fortunate. Helping people is important to me because it's what my parents taught me to do. They ingrained in me the idea that selflessness is what forms a community, and that togetherness is what helps run the world. In the past, I have donated and volunteered in helping with food drives for shelters in my neighborhood. 

What was your most memorable experience in the School of Public Health? 

My most memorable experiences in school have been staying late at McKeldin library studying for upcoming exams and also goofing around with my friends. KNES200 (Introduction to Kinesiology) was also one of my favorite classes, and I really enjoyed playing tag in that class.

What advice do you have for other kinesiology students? 

Don't be afraid to ask for help. I've had really good experiences with our faculty. They're more than willing to help you but you just have to reach out. 

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