The Department of Kinesiology is dedicated to the development of future leaders in the areas of exercise, wellness, applied Kinesiology, technology and research. Each of the two educational programs offered focus upon various forms of sport and athletic performance and overall health and wellness. The curriculum, leading to a bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in either of the educational paths of study, focuses upon the study of human performance within a bio-psycho-physiological context. Included within these core elements are the aspects of anatomy, physiology, chemistry, psychology, biology, biomechanics, sociology, and nutrition. Each program provides a cross-discipline of subject fields which contribute to the various facets of Kinesiology.
Students specializing in the various fields of Kinesiology are prominent in the areas of athletic program development, team/program athletic performance (development and enhancement), personal physical training, health and fitness, physical rehabilitation, teaching, and as consultants to business, industry, and manufacturers of sport training and rehabilitative equipment, as well as recovery and performance enhancement nutritional products. The undergraduate degree in either of the two educational paths provided will offer an excellent source of preparation for pursuit of an advanced degree that will lead to diverse career opportunities in medicine and physical/occupational therapy, performance enhancement occupations, teaching and coaching vocations, as well as in the growing industry areas of biotechnology, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and metabolic health improvement and therapy, research science, and education.
The focus of the Health Science concentration is to build a foundation of health and wellness where students will experience challenging educational curriculum that will provide a solid understanding of the various facets that encompass the study of Kinesiology and health. This track will prepare students for professions such as health and fitness education and promotion, wellness coaching, health research, and public and community health promotion. In addition to specific coursework, students are encouraged to participate in ongoing faculty research efforts, various departmental laboratories as well as opportunities that exist within their required internship. Graduates of this degree program will be highly skilled in Kinesiology, and other allied health areas, promoting positive health and behavioral changes across all demographics that will have an impact on the overall wellness of individuals and their communities. Graduate programs of pursuit include, but are not limited to, public health, nursing, Kinesiology and health science.
Exercise Science and Athletic Performance
The focus of this concentration is to provide interdisciplinary training of Exercise Science and Athletic Performance. This program will allow students to develop programs that are exercise and sport specific for all ages and levels of ability. The course work implemented will provide students with the knowledge base and practical skills providing a foundation in wellness and corporate fitness, personal training, strength and conditioning, bio mechanics, exercise science, sport nutrition, and exercise physiology. Those who graduate from this program will be prepared to pursue graduate studies, other added educational opportunities and/or certifications, careers in personal training, exercise program development, strength and agility coaching, sport science research and application, as well as therapeutic exercise, such as cardiac rehabilitation and other rehabilitative settings.
Students are encouraged to seek appropriate professional certification during the final two years of study. Students enrolled within this degree path will be positioned to take the certification classes with such programs as the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach or a certification within the National Academy of Sports Medicine within the numerous specialization program certifications they offer.
Jessica Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Chair of the Kinesiology Department
Originally from Louisiana, Professor Jessica Rodriguez moved to California in 2008 and completed a dual MS in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Science at San Diego State in 2014. At SDSU she was able to increase her skills in exercise and nutrition research ranging from assisting on studies investigating the effects of carbohydrate rich foods on glucose regulation, serum lipids, blood pressure, and adiposity in prediabetes and metabolic syndrome, to evaluating the effects of amino acid supplementation on swimming performance in elite and recreational swimmers. Jessica began lecturing at USK in Spring of 2016 and is excited to be a part of the faculty at a growing and thriving institution. She is currently the Chair of the Kinesiology Department at USK.
Michael Massis, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology*
Michael Massis has been providing advice, guidance and training to a variety of clients for over 38 years. He has trained clients from 7 to 97. Most of his clients have a very diverse set of goals. Michael holds 3 university degrees in various fields including General Studies, Economics minoring in Spanish as well as Kinesiology and specializing in Biomechanics. He also currently holds 12 professional certifications from most of the highest and most respected organizations in the field of health and wellness. Some of these organizations are the American Council on Exercise, National Strength and Conditioning Association, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, as well as the California Massage and Therapy Council.
Michael has also been providing instruction for future fitness, healthcare, medical and wellness professionals for over 18 years at some of San Diego’s finest colleges and universities such as San Diego State University, San Diego Christian College, Cal State University—San Marcos, just to name a few.
Michael is a very rare person who has spent a great deal of time in the world working at his passion and love and then returned to the classroom in a teaching capacity. He regularly “brings the real-world experiences into the classroom” and shows how the classroom affects the real world.
Michael’s love for learning is never ending. Michael is always searching for advancements in education from a variety of other fields including Physics, Physical Therapy, Bioenergetics, Genetics and other scientific areas that can help improve on his foundations in Kinesiology, Anatomy, Physiology, Nutrition, Biomechanics, and their applications to helping the human body be what it was designed to be—the best at what it does— which is whatever the individual desires to achieve.
Josh Koeplin-Day, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology*
Professor Joshua James Koeplin-Day is a certified athletic trainer and adjunct professor in Athletic Training at University of Saint Katherine. He earned his MA in Rehabilitation Science at SDSU, having completed his undergraduate work at SDSU in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Athletic Training. In the summer of 2012, he was certified by the Board of Certification (BOC) and has been working since then as an Athletic Trainer in the San Diego area, especially at the X-games and with many division 1 athletes at SDSU and USD.
Nick Szyndlar, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology*
Professor Nick Szyndlar received a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition from Sacred Heart University with an emphasis on Performance. He is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as United States Weightlifting Association Sports Performance Coach. He is also a former Division I College Tennis Coach at Sacred Heart University 2016 and Fairfield University 2017. His research interests include the benefits and risks of supplementation, especially with caffeine.
*Part-time faculty appointment