Over the River and Through the Woods
The Sports Health Science department is a hidden gem at LIFE
Michael Hollerbach, DC Student
There is a little known area on the LIFE campus where most students have never set foot, and, I suspect a large percentage don’t even know exists. It is a very special part of the school where the people “in the know” bond and thrive and thoroughly enjoy the anonymity and peacefulness of their educational oasis. The Sports Health Science (SHS) department is its own little tribe within the LIFE community.
Though at first it may seem secluded, actually there are many paths to this haven. It is easily accessible to all, and nearly every student has been within twenty-four steps of this sparkling jewel and never realized it. The SHS department is located in the building at the end of the footbridge, which is also home to the gymnasiums. It is located on the lower level through the wooden door located next to the elevator. Upon first entering the department, students and visitors are greeted by the wonderfully caring and personable Miss Martha. The SHS department is home to two undergraduate degree and five Masters degree programs. This fall will be the first quarter they will be offering a Masters degree in athletic training. They are currently taking applications with limited space due to it being a new program.
The SHS department’s undergraduate degree in health coaching is focused on exercise, nutrition and psychology classes. The exercise science degree offers a wide variety of interactive classes within a well-rounded curriculum, including classes in biomechanics, sports nutrition, anatomy and physiology, exercise principles, kinesiology, a research class and two exercise science classes in addition to the core classes. There are lab classes that help students get hands-on experience. The SHS lab, located adjacent to the Student Services offices, has a plethora of equipment to train students. Students are trained in EKG testing, VO2 max testing, and various strength tests. They are trained to measure body mass indexes and learn how to take vital signs. There are also labs in the Wellness Center to learn proper exercise techniques.
The department is lead by the highly driven and always nurturing Dr. Catherine Faust. Her leadership and passion for educating students is the inspirational force that drives the SHS department to the standards of excellence they have set. She is motivated to teach students at a high level, so they may leave the University with an exceptional level of competence and skill. She believes every graduate is a reflection on the University and she is dedicated to making sure the reflection is one that sparkles.
The SHS department stresses the importance of professor-student interaction. Dr. Faust says, ‘I know each and every one of my students. There is that one-on-one interaction. Real bonding takes place. We can figure out what their needs are and develop a career or degree plan that will help them realize their career goals.”
The SHS department has a fully engaged, dedicated staff of professors, who are student-centered. They’re a close knit group of educators with a wide variety of backgrounds and personalities, all with a common goal of sharing their knowledge with students, so that they can go out into the world and educate people to live healthier lives.
One of the things that draws the SHS faculty together is that they all come from athletic backgrounds in one form or another. While in college, Dr. Faust was a five-time Division-1 All-American distance runner. Dr. Lander, who teaches biomechanics, as well as some Masters classes, was a division 1-A track and field athlete at Oregon University. Dr. Rupp was a gymnast and long jumper in his days at Slippery Rock University. Dr. Rau ran track here at Life College, while Professor Lim played water polo on the Malaysian National team and was Swimmer of the Year in Malaysia. Mrs. Timberlake is an avid heath proponent, leading by example, walking two or three miles per day and stressing the importance of nutrition. James Paul has life experiences owning his own athletic training business that specialized in working with athletes. Speaking on behalf of all of the professors, Dr. Rau says, “We enjoy what we do and we are all experts at what we teach.”
The SHS department is a wonderful place, filled with wonderful people who care. It has a computer lab and three classrooms on the lower level located in the hallway near the racquetball courts. (Yes, we have racquetball courts! Two of them, actually!!) If you are unsure about which program to get an undergraduate degree in, I suggest you take a walk over the river or through the woods to the Sports Health Science department. You may find the educational gold you are seeking.