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My Manchester Story

Jeff Beer

by Mam Samba | May 28, 2019

Associate Professor of Exercise Science and Athletic Training
Undergraduate Director of Athletic Training Education

“What do you want students to know about the Exercise Science and Athletic Training program?”

“I want students to know how dynamic our program is. We house four different majors [Athletic Training, Exercise Science with two different concentrations and Physical Education] so we have a great mix of students, faculty and staff that make for a healthy [learning] environment. I want students to know that when you’re in my department, you’re going to be treated like you’re the #1 person on this campus. You’re going to get the attention that you deserve and need to be successful.”

“What kinds of opportunities are available to students after graduation?”

We advise each student individually to look at their personal goals to lead them in the right direction. Physical Education concentrates on teaching children. And students have the opportunity to work with kids [out in the field] while still in undergrad. Athletic Training prepares students to take the Board of Certification exam when they graduate. Our goal is to push those students clinically and academically, so they can pass the first time. Exercise Science, students have two tracks. The Fitness and Recreation track is for students who are interested in becoming strength and conditioning specialists, certified personal trainers, YMCA directors, etc. That program is heavy on strength conditioning, and we have worked with the NSCA [National Strength and Conditioning Association] to make sure our students are prepared. Students who take the second track have the option to go on to receive their master’s degree in areas such as physical therapy. That major is built to house the prerequisites for the master’s degree.”

“You mention striving for student success on campus. Are you a part of fitness programs off campus?”

“I’m a huge not-for-profit guy and I believe in a lot of service learning and service work. I run two different not-for-profits. I’m the executive director of One Community in South Whitley. It’s a small town, but we do things like summer feeding programs for families to come out to get lunch, free to the community. We do things like Lunch of Camaraderie, which is a program for seniors at least twice a month. Our volunteers prepare meals to feed these individuals. I also run a not-for-profit called South Whitley Youth League, and we apply for grants all the time for youth programming and to get kids to stay fit, get active and be energetic and involved. If we don’t continue these kinds of programs that encourage kids to get active, I think that does a lot of damage to their future.

So my big thing that I want people to know about me is that my arms don’t only reach in one direction. I’ve got arms everywhere trying to stay in everything, but my biggest thing is giving back to the people in the communities I’ve lived in, and that anywhere I embed myself to work, I work 1,000%.”

“You do so much on and off campus- how do you find the energy to do it?”

“I am always high energy and moving around, but most people probably don’t know that I am a two-time cancer survivor. I’ve been struggling with this from 1979 when I was 2 years old until recently when I was 34. That has been one of the biggest trials of my life, but for people who do know about that, it shows them that I fight, I battle, and my most important goal right now is that the students on this campus will be successful.”