Pioneer Profile

Tad Taggart '18

Majors: Exercise Science and Pre-Physical Therapy

What made you choose this major?

As an avid gym-goer and student athlete in high school, I was no stranger to injuries. My many visits to physical therapy exposed me to what the essence of the job was. As I learned more about anatomy and physiology, I discovered my love for all things health and fitness.

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

Every course I’ve taken so far has given me some useful tool or lesson to carry with me to the future. Of course, my exercise science courses are incredibly relevant and applicable to my future job as a physical therapist. It is the other courses, like English and philosophy, that changed my perspectives and left me with skills to be applied to life, in general. My broad scope of coursework, through general education credits, has given me a vast array of knowledge concerning different topics. Having more diversified knowledge, even if it seems miscellaneous and useless, will actually make you better equipped to approach an always-changing world with an open mind.

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

With the exception of my physics class, almost all of my classes at Carroll average around 30 students. This is a very manageable number for a single professor, and makes all the classes and lectures that much more engaging. Thanks to the small classes, professors are able to notice the hard-working students in the class and acknowledge their accomplishments. Thanks to professors having the opportunity to take note of the students that excel, I was recommended for an on-campus job as a tutor. I’m very thankful for the opportunity, and have only been able to use my tutoring skills to help me better approach and adapt my own study methods.

The more personal nature of the classes also makes every lecture much more comfortable. There are classes I look forward to, just because the professors are very in-tune with their students. Most professors learn the names of all of their students and do a great job of keeping each one of us engaged.

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

The assignment that stands out most in my mind would have to be my freshman year, final history paper. Having to take the extensive amount of time required to research and record everything I needed felt like a massive undertaking. Until that point, I had never tackled an assignment of that caliber. By the end of the semester, I had spent countless hours on it through reading more and tweaking my writing. Finishing that essay gave me the confidence to tackle other, even larger assignments and tasks that have come my way since. This assignment, though, was a sort of miniature break-through, where I realized what I am actually capable of.

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

I was encouraged, my freshman year, to consider qualifying for a personal trainer certification. This was recommended by my professors as very relevant supplemental education, not to mention an excellent opportunity to make some extra money. Taking their advice, I studied for and took the certification exam. I now have a local job as a personal trainer in a private club. I love my job, being in the fitness industry, and find that I am always learning new skills that I can apply as a future physical therapist.

If you were recommending your major to a prospective student, what would you tell them?

I would tell any prospective students considering a degree in exercise science to always look to broaden their horizons. Even as students studying exercise, we tend to gravitate to the habits of health and fitness that we are most comfortable with. Instead, branch out and find many different things that you love. Having variety, after all, is the spice of life.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

There’s no doubt that my education has been top-notch when considering the many programs offered and how well they are executed. The reason I’m most satisfied with picking Carroll would have to be the relationships I’ve had the opportunity to create. The Carroll community is full of wonderful people that all have something great to offer. Thanks to the tight-knit feel here, I have made some of the best friends of my life and met some of the best professors I could ask for.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Approach everything that comes your way with an open mind. You never know what life is going to throw at you, and it may not always be what you were hoping for. In the end, you might as well try your best to enjoy the moment, because we only get one go around at life. Committing to new things and being open to unexpected experiences will only help you live a more full life.

Learn more about the Exercise Science program

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