Kinesiology majors strive for excellence

September 27, 2007

by Richard Wolfe

Health and exercise science student Valerie Taylor is stretching out to reach her goals. HES offers Tech students opportunities for a healthier way of life.

Taylor, a senior kinesiology major, began school as a general studies major but realized she wanted to study kinesiology after taking a health class.

“I started majoring in kinesiology because I was interested in exercise, being healthy and helping others be healthy,” she said.

Taylor, who is from Haynesville, said she is applying to Louisiana State University-Health Sciences Center’s physical therapy school, where she intends to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.

“I feel like I’m going to be very prepared when I go to physical therapy school because of what I’ve learned here at Tech,” Taylor said.

She also said her summer internship, part of her curriculum, and current employment at the Green Clinic Rehabilitation Center has helped prepare her for physical therapy school.

“Physical therapy schools require applicants to do observation of different physical therapists to make sure that’s what [the applicants] want to do,” Taylor said.

The doctorate of physical therapy program at LSU-HSC requires applicants to spend at least 30 hours each at two different sites observing licensed physical therapists at work.

Kinesiology, health promotion and physical education are the three degree programs in HES.

Connie Reeves, a department of health and exercise sciences instructor, said HES has 272 students in those three programs.

“They learn how to become exercise leaders and managers,” Reeves said. “Their curriculum is based not only on scientific principals, but business management principals too.”

Reeves said HES students learn how to do human performance fitness assessments and prescribe exercise routines.

According to American College of Sports Medicine standards, the prescribed routines begin at students’ current levels of fitness, and help them to achieve individual goals toward wellness.

“Their jobs are to educate people to change their lifestyle to prevent developments like heart disease and stroke,” Reeves said.

Lanie Dornie, department chair of HES, said the program has four grants administered through the department. HES students and faculty use that money for several health awareness programs in the area, Dornie said. These programs include two alcohol education and abuse prevention programs, a healthcare improvement in rural communities program and a teacher education program.

Dornie said Taylor is very involved in the HES student organization, Exercise Science and Physical Education, in which Taylor also holds the position of president.

“[Taylor] is very conscientious and committed to the profession,” Dornie said.