Instructor, Kinesiology and Physical Education
What year did you start working at NIU?|
Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
My hometown is DeKalb and I now live in Big Rock, Illinois.
Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
B.S. in kinesiology, NIU
M.S.Ed. in exercise physiology, NIU
Ph.D. in health and human science, NIU
What do you like about working at NIU?
The best part of working at NIU is by far the people. In the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, the faculty and staff members make coming to work each day a lot of fun. It is a great environment for collaboration, conversation and good times.
What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
The best advice I can give to students is to remember that faculty are here for your success. We win when you do. Let us help you, but you need to open the lines of communication by coming to class, being engaged and reaching out when you need to.
Tell us about a research or engaged learning project you have led.
There are a lot of things going on in the department, but the best one I have led is the Engage U.S. experience with Team USA. In this program, we take selected students out to the United States Olympic Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and live for a week at the center. While there, we attend classes and presentations given by coaches and practitioners with Team USA, train at the center, meet with athletes and network with all of Team USA. It is an incredible experience for both the faculty and students who attend the event.
What do you hope students take away from your class?
My classes are predominantly fourth-year classes in human performance. I want each of my students to be able to apply the hard science knowledge they have gained in their curriculum to the application of human performance we cover in class. It is my hope that each student leaves with the knowledge, abilities and confidence to immediately begin working with their population of choice.
What is your favorite campus event?
The best campus event for me in NIU Huskie Football! They have a great team and an outstanding staff and are always a lot of fun to watch.
What is your favorite memory of NIU?
My favorite memory is of my dissertation defense in Still Hall. As I was concluding the Q&A section of my defense, my wife brought my kids to surprise me outside the room, but the door was open, and my little girl, Riley, came running in and jumped into my arms mid-sentence. The committee and audience were great about it and we made it a good time.
Who has influenced your professional path?
My biggest influence professionally is the original Dr. Male, my dad. He always made sure I was working hard, always pushed me into new ideas and new paths, and helped me really discover how to blend my passions with my profession.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
Growing up I wanted to be everything from a farmer to a pilot, an engineer and finally, a teacher. I guess I landed most closely on being a teacher. I still have thoughts of earning my pilot’s license and may still get it one day, but for now I love what I do and am very fortunate to do it here at NIU.
Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?
I am a member and level-two coach for USA Weightlifting. The sport of weightlifting is a foundational part of strength and conditioning, as well as a standalone sport that’s rapidly growing in popularity. Coaching my group of weightlifters helps keep me active, engaged in competition and working to better myself as a practitioner, not just as an educator.
What community organizations are you involved in?
I assist with coaching youth soccer and baseball in our hometown of Big Rock.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
To relax I love to go home to see my wife and kids. When I can, I go home to the farm and enjoy the rural life, and I have yet to find a better place to unwind than the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
You can always be the hardest worker in the room. Go Huskies!