From the department of exercise science and athletic training at Manchester University

From the Department Chair

Jeff Beer
Jeff Beer, Director of
Undergraduate Athletic
Training and Associate
Professor of Exercise
Science and Athletic Training

It is yet another great fall semester in the books – one that brought a lot of changes and additions to the University and the ESAT department. The University has identified ESAT as a growing department worthy of investments in new programming. With that, we are working toward potential new majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels and have changed the names of some of our existing majors to reflect changing industry standards. We are excited about our positive movement and credit the hard work of our faculty, staff and support staff in making us successful.

The Master of Athletic Training Program is running high with 14 first-year students, who are experiencing the first year for clinical immersions and a new curriculum at our Fort Wayne campus.

Dr. Kim Duchane has announced his retirement following the 2020-2021 academic year. The department has had great success during Dr. Duchane’s tenure with the physical education major and appreciate his years of service to the University.

The foundation built by our predecessors gives us the strength and support to succeed each year. I personally would like to express sincere gratitude to former department chair Dr. Lana Groombridge, who hired me in 2006. With her passing this fall, we lost a great leader, scholar, teacher, mother, wife and friend, who leaves a legacy of success with our department and university. She will always be missed and in our hearts. Thank you, Lana, for your guidance and support throughout the years.


MAT 2019-2020

mat-2019-20Exciting changes to the MAT Program this year include a new curriculum and clinical immersion outline. Students now have four 7-8 week clinical immersions throughout their two-year career.

Dr. Lucas Dargo has been hard at work as the clinical education coordinator, locking down several new immersions, unique in their variety and level of clinical immersion.

Dr. Mark Huntington has been instrumental with his MAT faculty in creating a great learning environment for our students based on upcoming 2020 CAATE standards.

Pictured is our Fall 2019 cohort of new students, who hail from as close as Fort Wayne to all the way from Florida and Alaska.

GLATA 2020

glada-2020Alumni, students and friends please do not forget the upcoming GLATA 2020 Manchester University Alumni Event. We welcome you again to our annual gathering at Spears. We are excited to see each and every one of you in Wheeling, Ill. Watch for an email from Alumni Relations with a link to RSVP. Along with our gathering you can hear our own Dr. Lucas Dargo speak as a presenter on governmental affairs.

Dr Lana Groombridge

lana-groombridgeDr. Lana Groombridge, professor emerita and retired chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, passed away Sept. 9, 2019 after a battle with cancer. 

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Manchester College in physical education prior to teaching one year at Lane Junior High in Ft. Wayne. Lana was very service oriented and joined the Peace Corps in 1967 teaching and coaching for three years in Western Samoa while assisting in curriculum development. While serving her third year she met her husband, Graham. In 1976 they returned to the U.S. where Lana began a teaching and coaching career at Manchester University. 

As women’s athletic director, she transitioned the women’s extramural sports program to an intercollegiate program and expanded the number of sports offered for women. Lana was inducted into the Manchester University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. She retired from Manchester College in 2008. Lana was very involved in her state health and physical education association where she served in many positions and received numerous awards, including the Leadership Award in 2002; the Honor Award in 2004; and the Legacy Award in 2009, which is the highest InSHAPE honor.

Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences and Human Performance Majors

Majors and minors within the ESAT Department are experiencing some restructuring.

As previously announced, the physical education major has been discontinued starting this fall due to low enrollment. Also, this year is our last graduating class in undergraduate athletic training. You may recall that we decided to eliminate our undergraduate program due to CAATE mandates, which will make a master’s degree in athletic training mandatory for ATC certification.

Two other majors will see name changes in an effort to reflect changing terminology of similar majors throughout the country: 

  • The concentration previously known as exercise science will now be a major clinical and rehabilitation sciences. This major is ideal for any student interested in a health profession such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, etc.
  • What’s been known as the fitness and recreation concentration will now be a major in human performance. Human performance is for students looking to complete a professional degree in personal training or strength and conditioning.

These two name changes will be implemented with next year’s incoming class in 2020.

Program Growth

Nutrition and Nutrigenomics: A proposal by Dr. Jeff Beer to start a program in nutrition resulted in an innovative twist after it reached Dr. Lea Johnson, vice president for health care initiatives.

Dr. Johnson connected the interdisciplinary dots and brought Dr. Teresa Beam, professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics, into the conversation. What resulted was planning for a new master’s degree in nutrition and nutrigenomics (MSNGx), an emerging area in which nutrition intersects with genetics – a degree offered by few, if any, other U.S. universities.

With the additional genomics education, this degree is ideal for students who want to stand out in a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

This developing program is slated to begin in the fall of 2022, pending accreditation.

Sports Nutrition: In the planning stages and pending approval is an undergraduate major in sports nutrition. Designed to feed into the curriculum for the master’s in nutrition and nutrigenomics, it would also complement majors in many other health professional related fields. Watch for updates as development of this program continues.

Coaching Education: Another potential program in the early stages of development is a master’s in coaching education. Delivered fully online, this degree would integrate programs in psychology, exercise science, religion, education, sport management and coaching, making for a unique lineup of courses. The online availability of the program will allow for a wide range of students across the country to participate both as traditional and non-traditional students.

Human Performance Education: As our alumni know the Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) Program was eliminated from the MU curriculum this fall. The Departments of Education and Exercise Science and Athletic Training proposed a new program in hopes to still license future teachers. Where PETE was a standalone program, the new program combines the ESAT Department’s human performance major with required education courses. This program is planned to go into effect in 2020-2021.

Student Success

The following are physical education student and alumni successes:

Casey Arseneau ’21 (Donovan, Ill) was selected as the 2019 Outstanding Student of the Year by the Indiana Society for Health and Physical Educators (InSHAPE) and advanced in the district competition to be honored by Executive Director Dr. Deb Berkey, as the 2020 Midwest Outstanding Student. Casey is competing now for the Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship through SHAPE America.

Jake Van Pelt ’21 (Parker City, Ind.) represented Manchester University at the InSHAPE State Conference as the 2019 Catherine Wolfe Major of the Year recipient.

MiKayla Duzan ’19 (Valparaiso, Ind.) and JaVon Phillips ’20 (Centreville, Ind.) are completing their student teaching experience in the Wabash City Schools and will earn teacher licensure in health and physical education through the Indiana Department of Education.

Mark Osmialowski ’18 (Cloverdale, Ind.) accepted a position to teach students health and physical education at Milford School in the Wawasee Community School Corporation. He also serves students as offensive coordinator for the Warriors’ football team.

inshape-logoStudents majoring in physical education teaching attended the 2019 State Conference of the Indiana Society for Health and Physical Educators at Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Ind. (Casey Arseneau, MiKayla Duzan, JaVon Phillips, Jake Van Pelt, and Zach White)

The state award recipients were recognized Nov. 3, 2019 during the organization's Hall of Fame Awards Banquet, concurrent with the State Conference. The awards banquet is presented by U.S. Games, a division of BSN Sports of Dallas, Texas.

indiana-teacherMU students and their professors joined 20,000 other teachers at the Red for Ed Day at the Indiana statehouse advocating for education reform by our elected officials.

Melanie DeGrandchamp
’09 Busch (Fort Wayne, Ind.) teaches students health and physical education at North Side High School in Fort Wayne. She was recognized with the 2019 Health Education Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Society for Health and Physical Educators.

Kalie Carlisle ‘10 McKinley (Jeffersonville, Ind.) teaches elementary physical education to students in Louisville, Ky. She was honored with the 2019 Dance Educator of the Year award by the Indiana Society for Health and Physical Educators.

Both were recognized at the Indiana Society for Health and Physical Educators Conference in Indianapolis in November. They are competing for national teacher of the year honors, advancing to the Midwest District. During the awards banquet, the Association also recognized the outstanding contributions and achievements of professionals who have contributed to the advancement of the profession. They included:

  • Outstanding Student Award: Casey Arseneau, Manchester University. An undergraduate student who has displayed distinctive leadership and meritorious service to his/her profession of health, physical education, recreation, dance, and/or allied areas.
  • Legacy Award: Kim Duchane, Manchester University. An individual in the health, physical education, recreation, dance, sport, and/or allied professions who have given long and distinguished service. The award recognizes those persons who have left a legacy, a benchmark, or a standard in professional service, scholarship, and leadership.

Connect with us! Please take this opportunity to update your profile and share your news with alumni and friends of the Exercise Science and Athletic Training program. In addition, please indicate your interest in participating with the University in other ways. (If you have already expressed your interests, there is no need to respond again unless your preferences have changed).

To contact us, email Jeff Beer at