Dr. Katie Clark '05

Teaching Area(s): Exercise Science

Title: Assistant Professor, Human Performance and Sport Business
Courses Taught:
Professional Skills in Exercise Science, Foundations of Human Movement, Basic Pharmacology, Exercise Testing and Prescription, Special Populations, Environmental Physiology

Why Exercise Science?
The field of exercise science is a wonderful choice for anyone who is interested in sports and science, and for me I found it to be the perfect combination of both. Understanding how the body works during competition and rest, under different environmental conditions, is really fascinating to me.

Professional Accomplishments
My proudest accomplishment is having the opportunity to teach abroad during the summer of 2015.

Teaching Style
Each student learns differently, so I believe that a combination of learning pedagogies is best. Generally, I like to incorporate experiential learning, problem-based learning, collaborative learning and community-based learning to keep students engaged, but the specific techniques that I use largely depend on the students and the course.

Two of my favorite classes to teach are Special Populations and Environmental Physiology. In both courses, I will utilize some laboratory-based learning, case studies, lectures, videos, or in-class experiments. In my Special Populations class, we examine the effects of different conditions (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, etc.) on exercise. We typically spend two days learning about the condition and one day applying it.  This past semester, students participated in an Aquatics for Arthritis workout, a pre-natal yoga workout, Fitnessgram youth testing, the Senior Fitness Test, and they spent a portion of their time in a wheelchair to examine our campus’s accessibility. In my Environmental Physiology class, we’ve examined the effects of different fluids on rehydration, dexterity following exposure to a cold environment, monitoring skin temperature in hot and cold environments, and we usually finish the semester with a field trip to Kent State, where the students spend time in an altitude chamber set to 15,000 feet.

Opportunities in Exercise Science
Students who choose to major in exercise science have the flexibility to somewhat tailor the program to their needs, depending on the field they would like to work in upon graduation. We have a graduate track that prepares students for graduate studies programs ranging from Physical Therapy to Exercise Physiology and we also offer an applied track that prepares students for employment upon graduation in fields such as Corporate Wellness or Personal Training. We have outstanding laboratory equipment in our facility that is used to provide all students with hands-on experiences in assessing cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, body composition, pulmonary function and basic blood markers. In addition to the wide variety of laboratory equipment, students have ample opportunities to apply what they are learning through research investigations or the community-based programs that we’ve built into the curriculum. Students are encouraged to assist with faculty- or peer-led research studies and they can refine their skills by taking part in in comprehensive fitness assessments, assisting with campus-based and community-based health events, or becoming involved with one of our fitness programs run in conjunction with the YMCA, Copeland Oaks Retirement Community, Alliance Community Hospital, Beloit Elementary School or the Alliance Fire Department.  Finally, we provide students with the opportunity to attend local, regional or national conferences on a yearly basis. Students are encouraged to attend these conferences to present their research findings, network, or just learn more about our continually evolving field!

Where Exceptional Begins
The educational opportunities that students have while they’re here are exceptional, starting with their academic programs of study. Students are exposed to a variety of courses taught by faculty who have high expectations, yet want to see their students succeed. Across campus, students have the flexibility to major and/or minor in multiple disciplines, complete internships, study abroad and take advantage of countless other experiences, while still graduating in four years.

Preparing Students
Academically, Mount Union prepares its students for life after college with a rigorous curriculum that supports critical thinking, collaboration and the development of necessary skills to be successful in a student’s chosen field of study. Our students benefit from an education grounded in the liberal arts. While we want them to excel in their specific disciplines, we also want them to be knowledgeable in fields of study outside of their own and to develop an appreciation for different problem-solving approaches. Students are constantly encouraged and challenged to learn outside of the classroom, applying learned material to practical situations. In addition to strong faculty support, there are numerous resources on campus to help students succeed in their chosen field upon graduation.

Research Interests
Currently, I’m interested in caffeine’s effects on performance, but I also have a strong interest in any sort of environmental physiology research.

Ph.D, exercise physiology, Kent State University
M.A., exercise physiology, Kent State University
B.S., exercise science, University of Mount Union

Our students benefit from an education grounded in the liberal arts. While we want them to excel in their specific disciplines, we also want them to be knowledgeable in fields of study outside of their own and to develop an appreciation for different problem-solving approaches.

Fun Facts

If you could teach one class outside of your discipline, what would it be?
I really enjoy music and my students know I have a pretty eclectic playlist on my iPod, so maybe a music appreciation or cultural music class?
What’s number one on your bucket list?
I love to travel, so I hope to visit every continent during my lifetime.
What is one thing most people would be surprised to find out about you?
I’m not a creative person, but I enjoy creative outlets. When I was younger I spent a few summers completing stained glass windows and some small woodworking projects.
What’s your favorite movie?
One of my favorites is "The Sound of Music"
What’s your favorite book?
I am an avid reader so I don’t necessarily have a favorite book. I will read anything by Stephen King, Iris Johansen, Khaled Hosseini, Diana Gabaldon or Wally Lamb.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy traveling, cooking and playing volleyball and softball.
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