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EIU Master of Science in Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology Alumni

Alissa Wagener, NSCA-CPT (M.S. 2015: Exercise Science) is the Director of Fitness at The Club at Mediterra

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I am responsible for the organization, operation, and management of all wellness and fitness activities. Essential duties include recruiting and hiring talent, budget management, organization of group fitness schedules and the overall experience in the fitness center. Being able to adhere to the industry best practices, the research of new technology, creating safety procedures and policies and carrying out specific member policies. Additional tasks include communicating clear and concise duties and roles to fitness center staff, attending monthly Sports Committee meetings, planning and implementing exercise incentive programs, and management of the monthly calendar of events. The completion of my Master’s degree along with my Graduate Assistantship position at Eastern Illinois University demonstrated my dedication to health and wellness and added exactly what my resume needed to be considered for this position. The KSR staff and professors challenged, lead, encouraged, and awarded me throughout my Master’s program. The skills and qualities I developed at Eastern enhanced my knowledge and confidence as a leader as well as a fitness professional. I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today without the staff and students I met throughout my journey at EIU.
 
 

Tiffany Hilmes, NSCA-CPT (M.S. 2013: Exercise Science) is working at Bi-State Development Metro Transit

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I work in the corporate wellness field as Manager of Wellness for Bi-State Development d.b.a. Metro Transit in downtown St. Louis. I oversee the Wellness Department, wellness program, and coordinate all wellness activities and initiatives. Our programs serve around 2,500 employees and their families, and cover all areas of health ranging from biometric screenings, health fairs, personal training, flu shots, nutritional counseling, and more. In the last year, our wellness program has won numerous awards, including Healthiest100 Employers in the Nation for the second consecutive year, and is a finalist for St. Louis’s Healthiest Employers of 2016 through the St. Louis Business Journal. I am very honored to be in a position that allows me to help so many people and utilize the extensive education that I received from Eastern Illinois University on a daily basis.

 

 

Dajana Jovanovic (M.S. 2015: Exercise Science) is currently an exercise physiologist/cardiovascular treadmill technician at  St. Vincent Heart Hospital

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I perform cardiovascular exercise stress tests in an effort to detect ischemia, blockages and other cardiac complications. While monitoring a patient's EKG rhythm, I observe his/her cardiac response before, during, & after stimulating the heart with physical exercise on the treadmill or with stress inducing medication. I am fortunate to work for St. Vincent, Indiana's most prestigious heart hospital. Because of the world renowned care, patients of varying acuity seek treatment at St. Vincent. On any given day, I treat a patient with previously undiagnosed acute cardiac illness to an elite professional athlete. The clinical exercise science Masters degree program at EIU provided the fundamental knowledge necessary to clinically understand each patient's case. Ultimately, it was the KSR graduate program that allowed me to spend every day saving patients' lives; there is nothing more fulfilling than that. 

 

 

Bridget Sopeña (M.S. 2014: Exercise Science) is currently working at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute as a R&D Scientist

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I am currently a Research and Development Scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Barrington, IL. My specific roles within the GSSI team are split between two pillars; research and athlete service. As part of the research team, I assist in the development of scientific sports specific protocols, screen athletes, and collect and organize the data for our research which studies the effects that exercise, the environment and nutrition have on the human body. I also am a part of the athlete service team, where I evaluate elite-athletes in their field of play for real-time data to provide them with experiential learnings about their individual physiology, hydration and sports nutrition needs. Not everyone can say their graduate program prepared them for the real world, but I am proud to say EIU did! During my normal work week, I use content from every single course I took from Eastern’s Clinical Exercise Science Program.

 

 

 

Ashlee Shiffer (M.S. 2013: Exercise Science) is currently an Exercise Physiologist at Carle Foundation Hospital

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I work in Cardiac Rehab Phases 1, 2, and 3 and Stress Testing at Carle Foundation Hospital. This involves assisting patients in recovery after open heart surgery and stent placement as well as performing stress tests in order to detect ischemia and other potential electrical issues within the heart. I am also a lead teacher in the 12 week phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation outpatient program. Carle hospital is well renowned Level 1 Trauma center and Stroke care center. It is the leading hospital in patient services and our cardiac rehabilitation program is ranked top 10% in the nation in patient satisfaction. While obtaining my Master’s degree in exercise science (clinical) at EIU, I commuted an hour each way and was vastly challenged by the curriculum and research projects. EIU not only provided the education and training necessary for me to perform the job, but left me well equipped with knowledge about the job search and interview process. I am so pleased I put in the work and am able to live out my dream of working in a field I am passionate about each day.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Dr. Andrew Kerins, Graduate Coordinator

2504 - Lantz Arena
217-581-7594
Fax: 217-581-7973
ajkerins@eiu.edu


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