Lindenwood exercise science program preps students for success
The exercise science program at Lindenwood University-Belleville is beginning its fifth year, but even in its infancy, the program provides undergraduate students hands-on opportunities, where they get to experience real-world applications of the theory they study.
“One thing I think we really focus on as faculty members of this program is to ensure that our students know and understand research, and that a textbook isn’t ‘done,’ but is rather an evolving piece of work,” said Associate Professor of Exercise Science Dr. Lindy Rossow. “The best skill to give a student is to teach them what a good source is, to understand where the information is coming from, and to engage them in the ever-changing landscape of exercise science.”
That’s why, according to Rossow, undergraduate students in this program are required to conduct an internship or research internship where they will receive hands-on experience related to their future career or conduct original research projects.
“The students we draw to this program come here because of the lab space and hands-on experience they get,” said Assistant Professor of Exercise Science Dr. Chris Fahs. “On any given day, we have students conducting their own research projects in the lab space, and given we are a campus with so many student-athletes, we don’t have to look too far for subjects or research topics.”
In fact, Fahs said that for the last two years, his undergraduate students have presented original research projects at the American College of Sports Medicine National Conference, something very few undergraduate students do.
“I’m proud to give our students these kinds of opportunities because it better prepares them for graduate studies or the professional world,” said Fahs. “It’s great experience for them regardless of what path they choose following their undergraduate career.”
As the program is gaining more popularity, the curriculum for the exercise science program at Lindenwood Belleville is evolving, too. In addition to another full-time faculty member, Dr. Kevin Mattocks, the program is developing specific tracks of study, and has brought in more equipment for students to use.
“We’re developing new courses and creating a minor for this program of study, and we’re in the process of creating specialized content areas students can select and focus on during their undergraduate careers,” said Rossow. “We’re growing stronger every academic year, and I believe this has to do with the caliber of students we attract and the opportunities we can provide them as faculty members.”
Most recently, research conducted by Rossow and Fahs, along with Associate Professor of Exercise Science Dr. Michael Zourdos from Florida Atlantic University, was featured in the September edition of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The study, Analysis of Factors Related to Back Squat Concentric Velocity, used data collected in the exercise science lab at Lindenwood Belleville.
For more information about the exercise science program at Lindenwood University-Belleville, visit www.lindenwood.edu/belleville/academics.
Established in 2003, Lindenwood University–Belleville began as an extension center of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., initially offering evening-based accelerated degree programming. It became a full-service residential campus in 2011, offering 30 different undergraduate and graduate degree options and athletics programming. The campus now serves approximately 2,300 students from 56 countries and 40 states, including many Illinois residents.