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maddie waggoner headshot
maddie waggoner headshot

Madalyn Waggoner ’22

Exercise science major

I dreamed of going to college in my hometown, and my dream was finally becoming a reality in my junior year of high school when I found out I was receiving the Investment Alliance scholarship.


B.S., Exercise Science 


Alliance, Ohio

Living in Alliance 

As a long-time resident of Alliance, I've always known Mount Union to be a part of my life. I dreamed of going to college in my hometown, and my dream was finally becoming a reality in my junior year of high school when I found out I was receiving the Investment Alliance scholarship (a full-tuition scholarship) from Mount Union. This scholarship is awarded to the top 15 students of each graduating class at Alliance High School who meet normal admission criteria to the University and are granted admission.

A Sense of Community  

Mount Union feels like a second home because technically, it is my second home. Even though I am from Alliance, I still don't feel like I'm in my hometown. Mount Union's campus makes it feel like it is its own community with everyone being friendly and welcoming. My advice to high school students looking at colleges and universities is to research before applying. Look at their websites and see what their campus has to offer and what type of financial aid is available. Tour the campuses as well because you may fall in love with a school on paper, but not like the campus in person. If you have a chance, speak with the professors of your desired major to get an idea of the curriculum and to ask questions that you may have.

Studying Exercise Science  

I chose exercise science as my major because it provides the skills and knowledge needed for a variety of health-related fields after college. The amount of classes offered in the exercise science program allows students to deepen their understanding of their field of study, while also getting hands-on experience in the classroom and the community. Our exercise science professors have a wealth of knowledge, and real-world experience in the field that students are guaranteed to learn. Another reason I chose exercise science was the research aspect. As seniors, we have the opportunity to conduct a research study of our choosing and present the findings to classmates or at SCHOLAR day.

I took my favorite class junior year, and it was called Testing and Prescription. It provided hands-on learning through performing exercise tests on underclassmen exercise science majors and applying concepts learned in previous classes to explain the data and results to our clients. Freshman year, I got a glimpse of what to expect from the class from a client's point of view. Once I was a junior, I learned how to perform the tests as a technician. This allowed me to experience the course in both aspects and make this experience fun and exciting for the incoming freshman choosing exercise science.

Career Options

If you were to ask me “what is your ultimate career goal” when I was a freshman, I would have said physical therapy because that's what I always thought about being. However, these past four years here at Mount have opened my eyes to the different career paths in my chosen field. The exercise science program and professors here at Mount Union opened my eyes to the different career paths that are available with an exercise science degree. After taking Testing and Prescription my junior year, I knew I wanted to be an exercise physiologist because of the experiences I had in that class. The professors have been helpful with the search for graduate schools that fit my interests and have prepared me for graduate school interviews.