UHart's First Exercise Science Class Graduated

In the bustling halls of the University of Hartford's Hursey Center, a group of students embarked on a journey unlike any other. They were the inaugural class of the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program, a trailblazing cohort poised to leave their mark on the world of sports medicine, personal training, and physical therapy.

As the semesters unfolded, the Class of 2024 delved deep into the realms of biomechanics, exercise physiology, and sports nutrition. They spent countless hours in the state-of-the-art labs of the Hursey Center, conducting research, analyzing data, and honing their skills under the guidance of dedicated faculty members, such as Program Director, Dr. Linda Yamamoto.

“The Exercise Science Class of 2024 is an exceptional group of students who have created a close community, supported one another academically and personally, and celebrated milestones together. I am going to miss all my students, but I am excited to see them grow as talented young professionals.”

Linda Yamamoto, Assistant Professor; Program Director of Exercise Science 

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the students remained undeterred in their pursuit of knowledge. Remote learning and social distancing measures may have altered the landscape of their education, but it only served to strengthen their resolve and adaptability.

One particularly memorable aspect of their journey was the motion analysis/kinesiology lab, where they had the opportunity to study human movement in intricate detail. From analyzing the biomechanics of a golf swing to understanding the kinetics of a sprinter's stride, the lab provided a hands-on learning experience that was both exhilarating and enlightening.

Crystal Gallagher ’24, who is also the recipient of this year's Agnes and Cornelious Barrett Endowed Scholarship reflected, “because of this program, I now have the knowledge of sports nutrition, injury care and prevention, strength and conditioning, functional anatomy, and more. The integrated internships during the last year of study allowed me to expand on my skills and it opened multiple doors for new opportunities and networking.”

As graduation day approached, anticipation and excitement filled the air. The first-ever cohort of exercise science students at UHart was about to make history, paving the way for future generations of aspiring sports scientists and physical therapists.

On the day of their commencement ceremony, amidst cheers and applause the Class of 2024 proudly walked across the stage, each adorned with the symbol of their achievement—a diploma signifying their dedication and perseverance.

Looking towards the future, the graduates of UHart's exercise science program knew that they were equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact in their chosen fields. Whether pursuing careers in sports medicine, personal training, or physical therapy, they were ready to embark on the next chapter of their journey, armed with a spirit of innovation and a commitment to excellence.

Emeline Arnold ’24 says, “At the University of Hartford, I had opportunities to make my mark on the scientific world by being a student, researcher, and explorer of the human body's incredible capabilities. This program offered me more than just textbooks and lectures; it provided a platform to delve into my passions and curiosities. Through hands-on experiences, I was able to apply classroom topics to real-world scenarios. UHart set me up to continue my education with direct entry into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and solidified my passion to make a meaningful impact on exercise science and physical therapy.”

As they bid farewell to their alma mater and stepped into the vast expanse of possibilities that lay ahead, they carried with them the proud legacy of being the first to chart a course through uncharted territory, leaving footprints of inspiration for generations to come.