Injury Leads Student to Exciting New Directions


Jeanette Falotico, Staff Writer

“It was a crazy coincidence because I couldn’t dance anymore; I was like, you know what, I don’t want to do this as a career,” said Maeve Maguire, a 19-year-old math and science major from Middletown.

Maguire started taking ballet lessons when she was 3. Dancing for the next decade, she knew she wanted a career in ballet. Auditioning with several dance companies in New York City, Maguire started working with the JKO School of the American Ballet Theatre in her sophomore year of high school.
“Two months in, I fell down a flight of stairs and dislocated my ankle. After reconstructive surgery, I went back to dance pretty quickly and injured my back,” said Maguire. “I’d recovered, but in my junior year, I started to experience strange neurological symptoms, mainly visual problems, but I also suffered from headaches and loss of balance.
“I could have continued, and I probably would have just kept on going, but I didn’t want to do this to my body anymore,” she said. So, she moved on from that dream because there were other things she enjoyed more.
The following summer, Maguire was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.
Maguire remembers, “because I was injured so often, I was in physical therapy so much, I decided I wanted to be a physical therapist.”
After pursuing admissions to Goucher College in Maryland, Maguire realized that “if she couldn’t do more than 10 minutes a day at school during high school, she didn’t want to waste her parent’s money and have to come back the first week of college,” she said.
“I was in the car with my mom one day, and I was talking about food, because I love to cook, and I’ve always been very interested in nutrition, and my mom asked, ‘Why do you want to study physical therapy when you are so much more interested in nutrition? Why wouldn’t you want to be a nutritionist?’ And I was like, why wouldn’t I want to do that?” Maguire said with a laugh.

“My first class at Brookdale was a nutrition course. I was still going to transfer to Goucher, but my second semester at Brookdale, I realized this was a much better option; I could still be at home for the next two and a half years, and then I’d transfer to Rutgers because it’s closer,” she said.

While at Brookdale, Maguire had been to a few Environmental Club and Biology Club meetings, but she was mostly involved with The Innovation Network (TIN). “I joined TIN last fall and became president in the spring,” she said. “I’d been to club meetings where I’d heard students and advisors mention in passing that they want to build a butterfly garden.”

“Then I was in a TIN meeting, and they were talking about building a butterfly garden, and eventually, it became a project,” she said.

“We were trying to find other elements of the garden that would generate interest across campus, and because many of us are interested in yoga and meditation, we thought it would be a great way to integrate the butterfly garden with global citizenship, cross-cultural and also environment elements,” Maguire said.
Today, Maguire continues to dance for fun, but to remain active during quarantine, she decided to pursue a yoga certification.

“I’m racing against the clock to finish my assignments for my yoga teacher certification,” then “I’ll take winter break to finish my transfer application to Rutgers” and focus on “spring semester to complete the garden,” she said.