With over a decade of experience as a soccer player, Japanese-born Toshi Kosins ’20 knows how important it is to support his teammates. After he completes his physics degree at the University of Redlands, Kosins plans to go on to support a different demographic: medical patients awaiting prosthetics.
A concern for others, respect for the discipline it takes to make progress and a somewhat unexpected love of learning are unifying themes in Kosins’ interests on and off the field.
“Studying physics is challenging work, but I know I can work hard, and soccer has taught me that nothing comes easily,” he says. “I have found that I’m more motivated to learn, which is something I didn’t expect. I catch myself wanting to understand new topics outside of class, just because they are interesting, not because they’re being taught to me.”
Kosins was first invited to the Redlands campus after men’s soccer coach Ralph Perez saw him play a few soccer games. Along with a spot on the soccer team, Kosins received the Omer E. Robbins Endowed Scholarship, a combination that he says was hard to pass up: “The fact that Redlands was willing to pay for my education through scholarships and support my family in that way was amazing.”
With a passion for biomedical engineering, Kosins saw physics as the best path to his future. “I eventually want to be a biomedical engineer, which means engineering for the human body,” he says. “I want to work with machines, like pacemakers and prosthetics, and physics lays the foundation for that knowledge.”
Even with a rigorous course load, Kosins doesn’t spend all his time in the science buildings—English Professor Heather King’s course on monsters in literature stands out in his memory. “Professor King has really motivated me to be a better writer,” he says. “During that class, she was willing to spend time with me to go over my essays and tell me how I could improve.”
Growing up in Hawaii alongside a twin brother, Kosins has had to adjust to his newfound independence on campus. He says that he doesn’t mind being on his own, especially with his teammates never far out of reach.
“Getting to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships last year and making it to the Elite Eight was definitely a highlight,” he says. “The undescribable feeling you get after winning the title makes all the hard work worth it.”