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Madelyn Smith
February 12, 2021

Future Exercise Physiologist Envisions Owning a Karate Studio

Even in high school, Madelyn Smith ’22 had a clear idea of what she wanted: to work with students in her own karate studio. A karate teacher since 2015, she also knew achieving a dream that big would require practical planning — and that realization took her to Berry. “I had set my mind on becoming a karate instructor but wanted another occupation that would complement this kind of work. I saw Berry offered a program that would give me skills to better train karate students along with a career in a medical or personal training field.”

Coursework in exercise science has laid the foundation for Madelyn’s goal of becoming an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehabilitation. It has also positioned her to gain skills as a lead student researcher and supervisor in three studies spearheaded by Lizzie Hubbard, assistant professor of kinesiology. The research projects — High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) Aging, HIIT MS and HIIT Aging Intervention  — examine how high intensity interval training benefits seniors and those suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Madelyn received a grant to lead the Aging Intervention program, and she is grateful to be involved in research significant to public health as the population ages and the number of individuals with neurological diseases increases. 

“Working in research has helped me to apply and retain the material learned in class along with teaching me the practical skills that I will need when entering the job force,” Madelyn says. “This opportunity also has allowed me to travel and develop skills in the dissemination of research among peers from other schools.”

Madelyn has taken advantage of courses that will enable her to earn a living while she builds a plan for her karate studio. Studying marketing has given her an understanding of consumers’ behaviors as well as the essentials of promoting a business. “My kinesiology classes have helped me prepare by ensuring I am able to create proper activity and goal-based workouts and make nutrition recommendations based on a karate setting,” she says. “They will even tailor courses so that they can give me tips, pointers and methods for interacting with clients and running a small business so that it meets people’s needs.”

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