Alumni Highlight - Katie Winters
BS Kinesiology: Exercise Science, Class of 2007
MS Kinesiology: Clinical Exercise Physiology, Class of 2010
I began my JMU experience in 2003 and knew from the very beginning that I wanted to study Kinesiology. Since I was a little kid, I always enjoyed sports and being active and knew that I wanted to focus on a career that promoted others to live a healthy lifestyle. I enjoyed my undergraduate experience in the Kinesiology and Exercise Science program so much, I decided to return to JMU in 2008 to complete my Masterís in Clinical Exercise Physiology. I couldnít have made a better decision! The JMU Kinesiology Program provided me with an in-depth understanding of exercise physiology, clinical exercise assessment, and exercise prescription for disease prevention and rehabilitation.
Graduate Teaching Assistantship
The highlight of my JMU Kinesiology experience was getting to work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for GKIN100. Not only was I excited to teach and work with younger Kinesiology students who shared my passion for the major, but I was also excited to work with the Kinesiology Department Staff. †I especially enjoyed being able to be a colleague in the Kinesiology Department because it allowed me to gain experience from highly educated and qualified professionals, as well as gain additional insight in my field. †Being a GTA gave me the opportunity to lecture in front of large groups of students, teach structured physical activity and group exercise classes, and work with the Kinesiology Department Staff to help build the upcoming classes.
For the final semester of my Masterís Program, I completed a full-time Internship with Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation.† Throughout my internship with RMH, I was provided with hands-on experience that further solidified my passion to work in this field. Working alongside the nurses and respiratory therapists in the cardiopulmonary rehab program, I assisted in the creation of exercise prescriptions for patients, lead patients through free-weight lifting programs, and provided educational components on exercise and breathing techniques. One of the highlights of my experiences here was assisting in the development of an exercise prescription for a patient with a Left Ventricular Assistance Device. This experience was especially rewarding because with the exercise program in place, our patient was able to succeed. The relationships I made throughout my internship are priceless and it is with their knowledge, support, and guidance that gave me the confidence to begin my career.
After graduating, I moved to Northern Virginia and began my career in outpatient cardiology with Virginia Heart. At Virginia Heart, I worked as a Cardiovascular Technician alongside Northern Virginiaís premier Cardiologists and Nurse Practitioners. As a Cardiovascular Technician, I performed exercise stress tests, stress echocardiograms, and nuclear stress tests. I also assisted the providers with office visits by triaging patients which included performing EKGís, taking vital signs, and reviewing patientsí current medications. I learned so much from the Cardiologists, Nurse Practitioners, and my coworkers while at Virginia Heart. Working alongside these professionals truly opened my eyes to the world of medicine and encouraged me to strive harder each and every day to continue to help others.†
In June of this year I relocated to Virginia Beach and I am currently working as a Clinical Exercise Specialist with Sentara and the YMCA. The program is called the Sentara Clinical Fitness Program and takes place at two YMCA's in the Hampton Roads area. Our patients are doctor-referred and as an Exercise Specialist, I assist in their rehabilitation and creation of exercise programs. It is my pleasure to work with a diverse group of patients ranging from those who have had strokes, spinal cord injuries, and orthopedic ailments, to those who need post cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation. I am enjoying being back in an Exercise Physiologist role!
JMUís Kinesiology Program helped me develop the clinical knowledge and skills that I need to support the patients that I work with. Not only did this program provide me with a solid foundation of knowledge about Kinesiology, it opened doors for hand-on experiences in the field that allowed me the opportunity to put my knowledge to work and create lasting relationships with those who helped me do so! In both jobs that I have worked since my graduation from JMU, I have been reminded how well JMU's Kinesiology Program has prepared me for the real world.