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Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Crystal Whitmarsh (’06, PTA)

November 19, 2021

“Leadership is about embracing the journey.”

This profound statement from Finlandia University PTA alumna, Dr. Crystal Whitmarsh (’06), encompasses her story, loud and clear. Whitmarsh’s life has a common thread that is found throughout her tapestry of successes; servant leadership. Two of her most recent successes include being featured for the cover story of “Spotlight Magazine” and receiving the 2021 Global Ignite Vision Award (G.I.V.A ) curated and commissioned by Ark and Brook PR.

“Attending and playing basketball at Finlandia University was the beginning of my leadership journey. During that time, I was engaged in Campus Crusade for Christ and found a love for servant leadership through outreach and volunteer work in the community,” Whitmarsh said. “Finlandia, being a smaller university, provided and encouraged these opportunities.”

After FinnU, she continued her education at Minnesota State University, attaining her Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and then her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. Whitmarsh is the first female in her family to attain a terminal degree. 

trail-creek-coffee-roasters-mugNow serving as a board-certified neurologic physical therapist and a certified clinic instructor at Mayo Clinic, Whitmarsh also found time to launch Trail Creek Coffee Roasters of Kasson, Minnesota. Having been raised by a single mother who managed to juggle the huge task of raising a family while having two jobs, Whitmarsh stated in her “Spotlight Magazine” cover story, “You might say that my ability to manage everything is in my roots; a beautiful legacy passed down from my mother.”

Despite her successes as a recognized community leader, Whitmarsh has learned that through navigating various life experiences, leadership isn’t about a destination, job title or salary. 

“It [leadership] is about embracing the journey that it takes to get there and the willingness to grow from each challenge or obstacle that gets in the way. It requires adapting to change and having the agility to be ready to step in at any moment…not unlike that all too familiar feeling of being ready to be put back in the game.”

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