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Student Stories

Gabriel Glissmeyer ’19Gabriel Glissmeyer

MAJOR: Exercise Science

As a Clinical Research Coordinator in lumbar radiculopathy (low back pain), I use the knowledge I gained from my education at Augsburg every day (including nitty gritty details from anatomy and kinesiology). While a student at Augsburg, I had the opportunity to be an intern at Children’s MN with HPE instructor Hanan Zavala, where we looked at how medical professionals at Children’s provide care for transgender pediatric patients and areas in which there are gaps in knowledge or understanding. Much of my research at Augsburg was focused on health disparities faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the medical field, especially in exercise and physical activity settings. By having the opportunities to do these types of research projects at Augsburg, I determined that I wanted to work in reducing mortality and morbidity in the LGBTQ+ community by focusing on improving current methods of health assessments to better reach this population and other marginalized groups. These experiences led to my acceptance in the Master of Public Health program at Utah State University, where my research will focus on LGBTQ+ health.

Zach Juaire ’19Zach Juaire

MAJOR: Exercise Science

My best experience at Augsburg was participating in the summer research program. Research was a challenging experience to undertake, but I was able to gain valuable skills that I continue to use in my doctoral program (Doctor of Physical Therapy at Des Moines University). I was also able to make professional connections and lasting friendships that have helped shape the person I am today.

Your time in college goes by a lot faster than you’d expect so be sure to work hard, make strong connections, and take a few moments to enjoy all of the experiences Augsburg has to offer!

Sam Rosario ’19Sam Rosario

MAJOR: Interdisciplinary major in Exercise Science/Psychology

My best experience at Augsburg was my senior year as I switched my major to an interdisciplinary major in Exercise Science and Psychology. Leading up to that year, I had the opportunity to complete research in the McNair Scholars Program, which ultimately led to my acceptance in the Master’s of Science in Biomechanics with a research assistantship in the Biomechanics laboratory at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Also, participating as a short distance sprinter on the Augsburg Track and Field program with coach Keith Barnier was a highlight to my final year in undergraduate education. Looking back, I would like to mention that hard work pays off, whether it takes you on the path you intended or not.

Amanda Koltes ’18Amanda Koltes

MAJOR: Physical Education/Masters of Education

I received my teaching licensure and masters through the Masters plus Licensure program here at Augsburg. I also have a Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE) certification. The best experience I had was being able to work with the same students throughout my time here as well as still be able to connect with them about teaching strategies. After graduation,

I have been in two different districts; Anoka-Hennepin where I taught PE at Blaine HS for 2 years and Chisago Lakes where I am the current K-2 PE teacher. Don’t be afraid to try new activities and push yourself outside of your comfort zone!

Bridget Bednar ’18Bridget Bednar

MAJOR: Health and Physical Education

My best experience at Augsburg was being able to go into field experiences at different schools to learn about different dynamics of education and how students learn differently in different environments. Through these experiences I also figured out the type of Physical Education teacher I want to be for my students. I am currently working at the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Elementary school as a Physical Education ad DAPE teacher. I teach grades K-6th grade. After graduation, I pursued a Master’s degree of Arts with a Major in Physical Education to get my Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE) licensure from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Nina Robinson ’18Nina Robinson

MAJOR: B.S Exercise Science

My best experience at Augsburg was being a sports medicine assistant in the athletic training room. Without this experience I would not have considered athletic training as a future career. This led me to a Master’s student in Athletic Training at North Dakota State University and work opportunities as a graduate assistant in the Human Development and Education department, doing clinical rotations for athletic training. I hope to work in NCAA division III sports or a clinical setting.

Claire Wheatley ’16Claire Wheatley

MAJOR: Exercise Science

While I was at Augsburg, I loved the small community / family environment, from the hockey team and staff to professors; everyone was so nice, supportive and inviting. Not necessarily a best experience but it’s what made my overall experience wonderful. It has been amazing to put my knowledge to the test and truly begin to help people and educate people on how movement helps our bodies and lives specifically with injury and in general. Growing and evolving into an entry level clinician (Physical Therapy, University of Minnesota) has been challenging but also extremely rewarding.

Michael Kantor ’16, M.S. ACSM EP-C, EIM Level IIMichael Kantor

MAJOR:  Exercise Science

My best experience at Augsburg was being a student-athlete on both the Football and Track and Field teams.  Being able to meet lifelong friends and memories made the Augsburg Experience priceless. After graduation, I obtained a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology in 2018 from Minnesota State University and became a Certified Exercise Physiologists (EP-C) through the American College of Sports Medicine, with an Exercise is Medicine Level II Credential. These opportunities paved the way for further education (Doctorate) in Health Sciences, with a Concentration in Human and Sport Performance, at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions located in Provo, Utah, where I conduct research in the fields of Physical Therapy, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Human and Sport Performance, and Law Enforcement. After completing my Ph.D., I want to continue to work in research, and academia to help mentor future health professionals.

Megan Bergland ’16Megan Bergland

MAJOR: Exercise Science: BS

The best experience I had during my time at Augsburg was being able to pursue my education and play a varsity collegiate sport. It was difficult to balance school, hockey, and a social life at times, but I was fortunate to have great professors that worked with me whenever I needed it. I was able to meet lifelong friends both in the classroom and on the ice, which allowed me to create many memories during my academic career. More specifically, being a part of the exercise science major at Augsburg I was able to discover my passion for occupational therapy with help from the amazing faculty in the department. My classroom experiences sparked my interest in occupational therapy and led me to observe an occupational therapist at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. Now three years later I am a board certified Occupational Therapist (Master’s in  Occupational Therapy at The College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, MN). I am extremely grateful for my time at Augsburg University and I would highly recommend this major to anyone interested in pursuing a career in health care. In the future,I would like to open my own practice and work with individuals who have neurological diagnoses.

Jenna Orth ’16Jenna Orth

MAJOR: Physical & Health Education

My best experience at Augsburg was learning a variety of teaching styles, strategies, and curriculum to change the traditional PE approach. I appreciated all of the fieldwork experience at many different schools because I felt well prepared to take on my own classroom especially when I started my student teaching experience. After graduation, I obtained a DAPE license and pursued a physical education graduate program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I work at Fair Oaks Elementary School in the Osseo District.

Emily Youngstrand ’15Emily Youngstrand

MAJOR: Exercise Science

My best experience at Augsburg was being part of the swim team! After graduating from a Master’s in Clinical Exercise Physiology from UW River Falls and becoming an ACSM CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) and CRAT (Certified Rhythm Analysis Technician), I worked at Mayo Clinic (Rochester MN) Stress Test Technician and I am now transitioning from to Hudson Hospital as a Cardiac Rehab therapist.

Abraham Garcia ’13Abraham Garcia

MAJOR: Physical Education

I am a physical education teacher at Academia Cesar Chavez located in Saint Paul, MN. I have been since January of 2014. I work with scholars ranging from prekindergarten to 8th grade. I also recently became the athletic director at our school. My best experience at Augsburg was going to different schools throughout the metro area and getting the chance to apply everything we learned at Augsburg. Seeing the scholar’s smile after a fun game we introduced just made everything worth it. It still does to this day. I loved how all the staff and peers were very welcoming. I was a little older than most college students but we all worked hard and together to help one another to achieve our goals. Also, the professors cared about you. They took time to help you in what was needed. They also challenged you to understand what hard work meant.

Andy Henderson ’08Andy Henderson

MAJOR: Physical Education Major. Coaching Minor

One of my best experiences at Augsburg was going out to observe P.E. Teachers at many different sites. Seeing a wide range of schools (Wayzata High School, St. Joseph’s Home for Children, Seward Montessori, etc..) made me realize my vocation was to work in an Urban setting. Thankfully, I got the opportunity to do so in 2013 & I jumped at the chance. I’ve taught P.E. since 2009 at Yinghua Academy (2009-2012), Northeast Middle School (2012-2013) & Justice Page Middle School (2013-Present). I also taught Health from 2013-2016 at Justice Page Middle School (Formerly Ramsey Middle School). I have coached football at Washburn High School since 2017, prior to coaching at Washburn, I coached football at my Alma Mater; South High School (2008-2016).  In 2011, I got my Health License through Bemidji State University. I am trained in Responsive Classroom & currently serve on the District-Wide SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) Cohort. I am starting a Graduate School program in Sport Administration through Arkansas State University in March 2020. If you work hard & your heart is into it, there will be an opportunity in P.E. for you!

Melynda Belde ’06Melynda Belde

MAJOR: Health and Physical Education

I teach middle school PE (7th and 8th grade) in Anchorage, AK. I have taught in the Anchorage School District for 11 years. My best experience at Augsburg was being able to play 3 sports: hockey, softball & soccer. This created many opportunities for me athletically and socially, which was important being from Alaska. My overall best experience though was in 2004 when we beat St.Thomas in Hockey in overtime! My greatest experiences at Augsburg were the times I spent doing hands on lessons in the classrooms and gymnasium. It was a lot of fun teaching and learning from my classmates. I was able to teach my peers in a professional manner while being able to “play” at the same time. This was a safe place for us to practice our lessons while receiving good, constructive feedback from each other. These experiences were valuable and made teaching lessons in local schools for service hours and student teaching a less stressful situation because I was prepared.