Pioneer Profile

Collin Christensen '18

Majors: Exercise Science and Pre-Physical Therapy

What made you choose this major?

I majored in exercise science for several reasons—one being because it aligned with my personal passion for exercise, fitness and wellness. In part, my studies were about satisfying my personal curiosity and desire for greater knowledge about exercise and its application. I also believed that developing a greater understanding of exercise prescription and its physiological effects would build a great foundation for physical therapy school.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?

My courses, particularly the ones about exercise prescription and strength and conditioning theory, prepared me for my job as a personal trainer. These courses facilitated my certification process and have since impacted the way I write programs for my clients.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

I would agree that Carroll’s small class sizes make faculty interaction much easier. I personally take advantage of this in challenging courses where professors are some of your best resources for success. One example has been in my 400 level anatomy and physiology courses, in which my professor Dr. Natalya Zinkevich has been a great resource for my many questions. Numerous professors at Carroll have been great mentors and have served as references both for jobs and graduate applications.

What’s one of the most unique experiences you’ve had relating to the coursework for your major?

I think the most beneficial project was one in which we researched and presented a unique form of exercise intervention. I researched the use of fitness trackers and phone applications to increase commitment to exercise programs. I have since implemented some of this research in my work as a personal trainer by designing a program for gym members with fitness trackers.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you’re learning in the classroom?

I have been involved in a number of great organizations at Carroll University—Physical Therapy Club, Habitat for Humanity and Colleges Against Cancer, to name a few. Being a member of campus organizations provides access for volunteer activities and interaction with peers who share interests with you. If you plan on majoring in exercise science, my biggest recommendation is to practice what you preach, or in this case, study. Write exercise programs for yourself, implement them and pursue certifications. You can also shoot to work personal training part-time if you’re looking for some extra income. The time invested in applying your studies helps not only with your academic understanding of the material but also hones your skills for implementation in the future or on the job.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

I’m happy with my choice to attend Carroll University. No university is without its challenges, but I believe the small community and access to faculty and professionals in your field provide you with all the tools you need to overcome any challenges you may encounter and find success.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My best advice is to get involved! Join organizations, participate in class and interact with your peers—this will make your experience at Carroll the best and most complete in can be.

Learn more about the Exercise Science program

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