May 20, 2004
To many people a degree in kinesiology (the study of the anatomy, physiology, and mechanics of body movement) usually conjures up images of coaches-in-training. In reality, it's a very versatile career field. Kinesiology majors can have a career in areas such as athletic training, exercise science, health education promotion or fitness and sports studies and that is just the beginning.
At the University of Louisiana at Monroe, several students have found their niche in exercise science and are moving on to fulfilling careers and interesting summers.
ULM student Craig Boyle is pursuing his masters of science in exercise science and will be attending medical school in the fall. He has accepted a prestigious internship at Stanford University where he will be studying under Dr. Victor Froelicher, cardiologist, on a grant from General Motors to study non-invasive procedures on the heart. Boyle, from Monroe, received his undergraduate degree in music from Brigham Young University. Playing in the Monroe Symphony, he says he has always had a love of medicine and music.
Exercise Science graduate student Benji Jones will be interning at the White House Athletic Center this summer. The program is designed for interns to achieve their maximum potential while serving the health and wellness needs of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Jones is not particularly interested in politics he just wanted to do something different. Jones, from Gonzales, has been a graduate assistant at the activity center and at Glenwood Wellness Center. He was also a winning member of the ULM track team. This spring he was named the 2004 Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Year.
ULM Head of the Department of Kinesiology Dr. Wilson Campbell is pleased by his students' choices. He says physical education has changed dramatically in the last 15 years and it makes for a wider array of options for students. "There is a greater variety of job opportunities for our graduates. There are so many jobs they can do with a degree in kinesiology. There is a greater emphasis on health today. People are interested in their health, but still they need to be proactive about making better decisions and that is where our graduates can make a difference."
The students agree that health is becoming an increasingly important aspect of daily life. Boyle says, "Being in medicine every day I see people who do not exercise. If you don't have your health, what do you have? Even if you have money, health is still the most important."
Rebekah Cobb, from West Monroe, will soon be getting her graduate degree in exercise science. She is pursuing a career in physical therapy and says taking care of your own health, as a professional in the health care field, is vital to your success. "If you take care of your health, your patients will see that. You want to be able to exhibit to them your commitment to health so they will take what you say seriously," said Cobb.
Cobb was a member of the ULM Power Lifting team. She enjoys working with people one on one and eventually would like a career in sports therapy.
The students in kinesiology are serious about people's health. Victoria Lamb, from Shreveport, will be getting her undergraduate degree this Saturday and will head to physical therapy school at Duke this fall. Lamb loves to work with children and specialized populations, for example those with diabetes or sickle cell anemia. She says they are often neglected when it comes to fitness and she wants to help them.
Campbell said this class of students never ceased to amaze him with their enthusiasm, passion and genuine interest in kinesiology. He said, "I would say in the last ten years or so these students are in the top two percent of the graduates that have come through our program. They were that outstanding and it's indicated by their submissions to the student research symposium. We had seven students from our group; I would guess that was the most submitted by a department. It is a point of pride, and it shows the caliber of the students.
"It is one of those classes that comes along where the entire class is outstanding and that is rare. Usually there are maybe one or two who are outstanding. They knew what they wanted and they had a passion for it. They made our teaching job easier and they learned more because they had a passion for learning - a win-win situation."