Written by Peter Smith

The exercise science program (ES) had an eventful year, having completed its first full University Program Review in September 2011. This important exercise allows the University to assess the program’s standing relative to its competitors around the state and the nation. Needless to say, it was a positive experience for our program, with the University offering a very positive assessment of the quality of both the teaching and the scholarship within the major, and noting significant student involvement in research projects. The program remains extremely popular, with enrollment nearing 200 undergraduates, and the average growth over the last four years being about 6 percent. This past spring we had 104 internal applications for just 20 places available in the major, which is the most applications we have ever had in one semester. Finally, we also continue to recognize the importance of connecting with alumni and seeking their guidance, and to that end we enjoyed a very successful advisory council visit this spring, with 10 leaders in the various professional fields relevant to exercise science visiting campus to speak with both faculty and students. We look forward to their next visit in the fall.

[alert style=”red”]KNR Point of pride: KNR faculty wrote five books and five book chapters last year. [/alert]

The Exercise Science Club was very active again this year. With close to 100 members, the club was active with several social events including building the KNR homecoming float, participating in the homecoming parade, hosting a paintball outing for club members and other activities. Professionally the club hosted several speakers who discussed career options within exercise science (physical therapy, fitness industry, etc). The annual Chicago trip continues to be a big hit! With close to 35 participants, the students visited Lifefitness, an exercise machine manufacturer, the Bulls/Sox Academy (KNR alumnus Mark Crabtree, director of sports performance), CrossFit Amplify (Lisle), and Benedictine University and their graduate program in clinical exercise physiology (KNR ES alumnus Kristin Radosta). The Exercise Science Club is always looking for speakers and professional sites to visit, especially those of our alumni. Let us know if you are interested in coming back for a visit or if we can visit your professional organization. Check our club page out on Facebook.

For the coming year, we plan to review some features of our curriculum. Continued revision of curricular offerings is a necessity for a dynamic and ambitious program such as ours, and this time we are going to consider the strengths and weaknesses of our introductory course, and also consider whether there might be additional course offerings that would further enhance the program. We also have an exciting study abroad opportunity for exercise science students beginning in spring 2013, with 2–4 students to be selected for a full semester’s study at the University of Limerick in Ireland. We also look forward to welcoming a similar number of students from the University of Limerick to our program.