By Zachary Watkins – Sports Editor
The Exercise Science program has signed a two-year articulation agreement with Grand Valley State University, meaning that a student may attend GRCC for two years and transfer to GVSU without losing time or money. Assistant exercise science professor Laura Kennett thought a student club would help students during the process.
“A student can go here for two years, and transfer there for two years, and go without losing any time or money,” Kennett said. “It really did create a seamless path for students. This is a pretty big deal, and in order to help support students understand the process and what exercise science is, I thought a student club would be very valuable to students.
“I roped club president Courtney Tolar in. Courtney has taken a lot of initiatives outside of class, so I approached her about being the president and she accepted.”
Tolar, 20 of Wyoming, is the first student going through the articulation agreement.
“I think its great,” Tolar said. “It gives a lot of opportunities and allows students to save money. I think it’s a great path for me and many students.” The club has met on Sept. 12 and Oct. 14, and is looking to meet on a regular basis.
“On a regular basis, students would get to know each other,” Kennett said. “We have different topics, last meeting we did muscle memory and foam rolling. Courtney has taught some yoga and our next meeting we’re going to have a registered dietician come in and do meals on a budget. So, we’re trying to make our meetings interactive.
“I do a little bit of advising too, that’s why I go. We’re going to talk about sched- uled events, we have some conferences we want to go to, we want to do some service learning, so hopefully we’re going to get started on our winter calendar of events, because we already have a calendar of events for this fall.” The club brings a lot of information and knowledge to students going through the Exercise Science program.
“We’re trying to bring in more professional lectures,” Tolar said. “We had a cross- fit coach from a local gym come in last time that talked about foam rolling, and I think its a cool idea that we have someone with great experience come in and talk to the students.
Along with the conference we’re going to, it’s knowledge and learning in what they’re going into, and giving them hands on experience, rather than just learning from a book or in class.”
The club is able to provide a more hands-on approach than one would receive in the class room.
“You can’t just sit and listen to lectures about it,” Kennett said. “You need to take the initiative to go outside of class explore the field and meet professionals. We’re just creating opportunities for students to do that. A lot of students know they need it, but they don’t know where to go or where to start, so we try to bring it to them.
“We’re just trying to encourage them, create opportunities and provide general information, but also get to know each other too. A lot of times, students can be really good advisors to other students coming behind them. It gives those students an opportunity to meet each other.
“They could be looking around at people that are going out and becoming the same thing that they are. It could be the first step to networking.”
Tolar also believes that the club provides an excellent networking opportunity.
“It gets students together to figure out who else is in the field with them,” Tolar said. “They can benefit by getting in contact with the same people and helping each other out.” Tolar benefitted from the encourage- ment of professors and faculty throughout the club-creation process.
“What I’ve gained from them is some- thing I want to give back to other students,” Tolar said. “Students who may have the
same questions I have, have gone through the same thing, or students who aren’t too keen on asking for help, but know that they should.”
The club is hoping to attend at least one professional conference, or provide the opportunity to get there.
“I think sometimes physically getting there is the hardest part,” Kennett said. “Some professional developmental oppor- tunities and community service as a group, are two things I’d really like to see.
“I’d love to see our first student over at Grand Valley. Whether it be Grand Valley, Ferris, or Michigan State, I’m really look- ing forward to starting to hear from these students from a different email address, because they’ve transferred over and moved on.” The Exercise Science club’s next meeting is at 3 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Ford Fieldhouse.
“The health department is going to come and we’re going to do some healthy eating,” Kennett said. “What I’m hoping we can do is sponsor that event. We could extend it to the public, so the general student body could come. We’re hoping to use some of our funding on helping members and helping general students.”