Ava Duggin


Ava Duggin, from Kirkwood, Missouri, is a Health Science major with an emphasis in health and wellness. After graduation, Ava plans to pursue an occupational therapy doctoral degree. 

“I would tell incoming Mizzou CHS students that it is OK if you haven’t decided exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life yet, and it’s OK if you change your mind,” she says. “I came into Mizzou highly considering occupational therapy, but I wasn’t totally sure yet. But just trust the process. You will figure it out.”

Ava is a volunteer for Mizzou’s Adaptive Swim Program, which helps teach kids on the autism spectrum how to swim, and for College Mentors for Kids. She also teaches Pilates at the Mizzou Rec, is involved in Greek life and attends Veritas, a college ministry.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in healthcare?  

One of the reasons I chose a career in healthcare was because I wanted to work closely with people. I’m very patient and kind, and I knew I would be able to use these strengths in the healthcare field. I also love how hands-on healthcare jobs are because I am an active person and love to be on my feet.

What is your favorite coffee spot in Columbia?

My favorite coffee shop is Acola. They have the best matcha lattes, and it is such a cozy and aesthetic hangout or study spot.

If you could have dinner with any Mizzou alumni who would it be and why? 

If I could have dinner with any Mizzou alumni, it would be with Jean Mckenzie, because she is a retired president for American Girl. Growing up I was obsessed with American Girl dolls, and I still love to visit the American Girl store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago every time I’m in town. I would love to find out more about the company and how she got to that role. Plus – she was in my sorority!