Tell us a little about your background. How did you end up at UNI?
I came to UNI because my fiancé decided to finish her bachelor's degree here, giving me the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree. I had met my advisor, Fabio Fontana, along with the Strength and Conditioning coach, Jed Smith, and knew this would be the right fit for me.
Why did you choose to pursue this degree at UNI?
I was always fascinated by sports and interactions with athletes and their skills. I decided to pursue Kinesiology with a focus in Strength and Conditioning because it was a great fit for me to learn how to train athletes both mentally and physically.
How did you choose your area of focus for your thesis or dissertation, if you did one? Why was this important to you?
Currently working on my research paper.
What’s been your favorite experience at UNI so far?
Being able to coach the women's tennis team in Strength and Conditioning. This group of ladies is nothing but disciplined and hardworking, and being able to make an impact on them has been very rewarding to me. I have been able to apply the skills I have learned with them, and I've seen improvements in their performance.
How has UNI helped you achieve your goals?
Currently, I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) under the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). I have Certification in USA Weightlifting, and I am working on my Coaching Authorization to work with High School wrestling. So far, UNI has made a significant impact in helping me achieve my goals and teaching me how to get out of my comfort zone to talk to and coach athletes. Without UNI, I would not have had the opportunity to obtain these certifications.
What challenges have you faced as you've worked toward this degree – and how have you overcome them?
Prioritizing my time has been challenging to me. You get good at it, but you will never be perfect at it. I would update my planner weekly, put reminders on my phone daily and work consistently to make sure I was participating at a high level in my classes.
We often say UNI is ... 1) student-focused; 2) a place where professors care – and teach; 3) a place where learning happens in and out of the classroom; and 4) is perfectly sized. Do you have an example or experience of how one or more of these statements rings true for you?
UNI is definitely a place where professors care and teach. My professors and the head strength and conditioning coach have shown consistency in their attention to the students and have helped me in any manner possible. For example, Jed Smith has taught me very much about strength and conditioning and has let me learn through experience. He always allows students to have their own victories and learn their own lessons; he then asks students to expand on them so they can become better coaches.
What advice would you give to students considering coming to UNI?
This school is a great choice to build a community around. Everyone is welcome here, and you will not have trouble finding what you are interested in the most.
What three adjectives describe you?
Dedicated, hardworking, consistent
What do you plan to do with your degree? Or, if you are graduating, do you already know next steps/have a position?
Strength and Conditioning coach, along with being an assistant wrestling coach.