Triple threat: Kozan triplets excited to start their U of R experience this Fall

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: August 11, 2020 8:45 a.m.

From left: Sara, Ellie, and Holland Kozan are spending some quality time at the lake before starting at the U of R this Fall.
From left: Sara, Ellie, and Holland Kozan are spending some quality time at the lake before starting at the U of R this Fall. Photo: courtesy the Kozans

The Kozan sisters are close. Not only were they born on the same day - Ellie, Holland, and Sara Kozan are triplets - they also share similar career aspirations, a dedicated work ethic, and a passion for sports. And this Fall, they’ll be starting their university careers in the same Kinesiology program, majoring in Human Kinetics, at the University of Regina.

“We didn’t choose the same program based on like ‘you’re going in it, so I’m going in it, too’; rather, we’re all interested in the same thing,” explains Ellie, her sisters nodding in agreement. “Our whole lives, we’ve been really active and involved in sports and athletics and living a healthy lifestyle.”

The sisters see the Kinesiology program as a great start to their university experience, mixing their career goals with their interest in competitive sports. 

“It’s great to be able to do something we enjoy and find interesting,” stresses Holland, who, along with her sister Sara, plays U19 AA ringette for Regina and have competed at the provincial and national level. 

From left: Ellie and Sara Kozan train and compete in track and field. Holland
and Sara play U19 AA ringette for Regina and have competed at the provincial
and national level. Photos: the Kozans

Ellie and Sara also train and compete in track and field. They have their sights set on competing for the University of Regina Cougars, depending on the state of COVID-19 restrictions and its effect on student athletics in the 2020 Winter term. U of R Cougars’ teams are training this Fall but not competing. U SPORTS - the national brand of university sports in Canada - cancelled its six 2020 Fall national championships for the protection of student-athlete health and safety, and will make a decision on winter competitions in early October. 

“We’re excited to start studying at the U of R,” says Sara, her energy bouncing between all three sisters, as they, like many close siblings, begin to talk over each other and complete each other’s sentences. 

Their mother, Andrea Kozan BEd’98, has been a strong supporter of her daughters’ decision to attend the U of R. 

“Like most parents, it’s hard to imagine our kids growing up and leaving home,” says Andrea. “We are so fortunate that by attending the U of R our girls are able to train, compete, and study all while living in the comforts of their own home.”

“There was not much persuading that took place to keep them at the U of R,” adds Andrea. “I’ve told them many stories of my experiences and the connections that I made during my own studies. For many years they’ve been looking forward to all the new experiences that university will bring to them as well.”

The University of Regina is pleased to have them. 

“I am always excited to welcome new undergraduate students to the University and to our programs, but welcoming triplets is extra special,” says Dr. Harold Riemer, Dean of Kinesiology. “I look forward to meeting Ellie, Holland, and Sara virtually, and face-to-face someday.” 

As many health professions now require an undergraduate degree, the U of R’s Kinesiology program, with its focus on the human body and how it moves, is a natural choice for many students to pursue before they move on to post-graduate training in medicine, physical therapy or occupational therapy. For the Kozans, the program is a “good stepping-stone” for getting into medical school and pursuing their careers - Holland in radiology, Ellie in general practice, and Sara is still considering what might be the right fit for her.

The abrupt end to the in-person school year caused by COVID-19 didn’t stop the three sisters from finishing their grade 12 studies remotely, giving them a taste for the Fall semester at the U of R.

“Never in a million years would we have thought that this would’ve been the way high school ended,” says Ellie. “It was kind of challenging, and the motivation is not always there as you’re sitting alone in your bedroom doing calculus in front of your computer. But I feel like we did a pretty good job at continuing our studies on our own.”

Holland Kozan played goalie for the Regina
Ringette Bandits. Photo: the Kozans 
“Because it was all supplementary learning, we didn’t have to do it, but we all chose to,” says Sara.

In addition, Holland and Ellie took a web-based version of an introductory course offered by the U of R this past Spring semester. 

“Taking Kinesiology 170 Lifestyle, Health and Wellness - our first university-level course - was a nice introduction to what the Fall semester might be like,” says Ellie, laughing. “Or maybe Fall courses will be a little more intense.”

The Kozans are in agreement that it will be good to return to a structured learning environment. “Honestly, getting back into the groove of things will be great,” says Ellie. “It’s just been really weird not having a routine. It’ll be somewhat normal to get back to school.”

Given that U of R classes will continue to be offered remotely this Fall, good communication between professors and their students will be paramount to support a positive learning experience. 

“Our faculty members are passionate about teaching and have been working diligently over the Summer to create a positive remote learning experience for our students for this Fall,” says Dean Riemer. “Many of them have taught a web-based version of their courses in the past and are bringing those experiences to the table as they prepare their face-to-face courses for remote delivery.” 

With only a few weeks left of Summer, the Kozans are excited to start classes at the U of R and form a new virtual network of friends. 

“Some of our friends are going into Kinesiology as well, so maybe we can meet new people through them,” says Sara.

For the past two years, Kinesiology has hosted an event to kick off the school year and create a welcoming environment for new and returning students. While the in-person event is a no-go this Fall, they have two offerings that will be extremely helpful for new students.

“Although COVID-19 has forced us to cancel our new student gathering, our KIN 101 and KHS 100 seminars - which all new students will be taking in the Fall via remote delivery - will provide excellent opportunities for our new students to meet others, learn how to navigate their first year, and get to know some of our faculty and staff,” explains Dean Riemer. 

From growing up together to studying together - years from now, in an ideal world, the Kozan sisters might even be able to work together. 

“We’re each other’s best friend,” says Ellie. Sara and Holland nod in agreement, knowing their relationship is something quite special and that they can count on each other as they head into university.