Written By: Gracie Murray (women's basketball)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Bethany Kuerten (Auburn, Ala./ Auburn High School) is a senior soccer student-athlete at Birmingham-Southern College. After completing four seasons on the pitch for the Panthers, she has decided in her senior year to stay active and join the track and field team this spring. She will participate in the 800m and 400m races, while also competing in the long jump.
Kuerten is a biology major and has a psychology minor. She has hopes of going to graduate school to pursue a master's in global health with a focus in epidemiology.
"Epidemiology is the study of disease control and different diseases all over the world and researching them to find cures," explained Kuerten. "I love the research aspect of biology. All the hands-on things like the labs are what I'm good at and particularly enjoy. So the thought of researching things like Zika or HIV and AIDS, and being able to take my research about those diseases to the most affected parts of the world is what I really want to do."
She is eager to get out into the healthcare world and start helping people as soon as she can. This passion inside her will fuel her success for many years to come. In a perfect world, Kuerten would like to attend Georgetown University in Washington D.C. "Auburn is small," she said. "Birmingham I got a little bit bigger. I [kind of] just want to keep going up on the scale."
BSC was the diamond in the rough for Kuerten. She discovered it through soccer. 'Southern offered her a home away from home and allowed her to continue her passion of playing soccer.
"I was guest playing for a team in the Birmingham United Soccer Association and we were at a tournament down in Orlando, Florida," said Kuerten. "Three of my teammates had already committed to come here so their coach was watching them. I didn't know at the time that he was looking at me, I was just out there playing. The coach ended up calling me in my junior year but, I didn't know if I wanted to play in college until my senior year. We were up here in Birmingham for a tournament and my mom suggested we drive through campus. I was like wow this place is awesome. So we scheduled a tour and I just fell in love. I just got this feeling that I belonged here."
Kuerten was drawn to BSC for more reasons than just soccer. She loved the small class size, and the ability to have a relationship with her professors.
"I knew if I went somewhere with lecture halls with 500 students and I didn't understand something, I would never raise my hand and ask," added Kuerten. She was ready to be a little way from home, but being the homebody she is, she wasn't so far that she would get home sick. She loved the fact that her parents would be able to come up and see her home games.
Coming from a small town, Kuerten is very close to both her parents and her older sister, Devon. Her parents both work at Auburn University. Her mom is the executive director of the MBA Program, and her dad is the head of the media and telecommunications department. "He does a plethora of things," she said of her dad. "He does the Auburn Magazine, he puts together webinars for professors, he also works with the capitol building down in Montgomery making ads for the state."
"The yellow brick road was paved for me to go to Auburn, but I wanted to be able to make my own decision," she added. "BSC gave me the chance be in a smaller classroom, but a bigger city, and away from home."
Kuerten noted that her favorite childhood memory was with her sister, Devon. "When I was six, we had a beloved dog named Tango," she explained. "Tango loved pizza. I have never met another dog that liked pizza the way he did. When my dad would cut up our pizza and serve us our plates in the kitchen, we would have to sprint, holding our plates over our heads, to the living room so Tango wouldn't eat our food. He was so strong that if we held it down like normal, he would push the plate out of your hands and eat your pizza."
Kuerten is a three-time Southern Athletic Association All-Conference selection, twice on second team. She has been on SAA Academic Honor Roll. Kuerten was also a recipient of the SAA All-Sportsmanship Team award in her senior season. Through her years, she has been an active member in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She is a Panhellenic delegate and junior representative on the standards board, as well as, a member of the academic committee. Kuerten is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a leadership honor society, Beta Beta Beta, a biological honors society, and Alpha Lambda Delta, an academic honors society. She is a member of the 'Southern Ambassadors, which works with the admissions office and gives tours to prospective students.
Biggest pet peeve?
Have you ever traveled outside the U.S.?
Yes, multiple times. I've been to London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Positano, Pisa Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Sydney, Australia. I got to go on trips with my mom when she would take her MBA program to study internationally.
Did any of your parents play sports in college?
Yes. My dad played football at Yale University.
If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?
Cat or dog?
Dog. But I really love cats too.
Favorite sports team?
Favorite TV show?
What show could you binge watch on Netflix?
Who would you drop everything to see in concert?
Beyoncé. Hands down.
Favorite room in your house?
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
St. Petersburg, Russia.
Last book you read?
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.