As an Applied Exercise Science major with a Pre-Occupational Therapy focus and a coaching minor, Chloe Graham’s education is hands-on every day. From working on human cadavers to conducting clinical exercise tests, she is getting real-life, hands-on experiences in UNE’s custom-designed labs and teaching spaces. The aspiring pediatric occupational therapist has great momentum in her junior year — and big plans for the remainder of her time at UNE and after graduation.
More About Chloe
Chloe is originally from Merrimac, Mass. She chose UNE for “its beautiful location and because of what the Applied Exercise Science program has to offer. I loved the hands-on learning approach and being able to learn in a gross anatomy lab before graduate school.” Here at UNE, Chloe is very involved on campus. One of her favorite roles is being a teaching assistant in UNE’s Gross Anatomy Lab. She helps UNE students in the lab and assists with their cadaver work (more on that below!).
Outside of the classroom, Chloe is also involved with the club dance team and enjoys performing at the football, basketball, and lacrosse games. She is also an Undergraduate Admissions student ambassador and a first-year residential advisor. Additionally, she participated in a variety of clubs — from the MMA (mixed martial arts) club to the outing club. Chloe says these experiences “have been great opportunities to try new things and meet some fantastic people.”
Hands-On Learning as an Applied Exercise Science Major
At UNE, education happens outside the classroom – in labs, on research vessels, in the field, and across the globe. Every program provides students opportunities to deepen their learning and develop life-long skills. The Department of Exercise and Sport Performance’s close working relationship with UNE’s medical school opens the door to fascinating opportunities, including courses in gross anatomy taught by exercise scientists. With access to UNE’s other health professions students and faculty, students learn how to work effectively in collaborative, interprofessional health care teams. We asked Chloe to share more about her academic experience, and here’s what she had to say:
“The AES program is very hands-on and provides knowledge about a variety of topics. My favorite course I have taken has been Gross Anatomy. Gross Anatomy provides the opportunity to learn human anatomy on cadavers. We learn about bones, ligaments, joints, muscles, and nerves throughout the whole body. Getting to learn on an actual human body rather than just pictures or models has provided me with a head start for graduate school. Through my coursework, I have also learned how to interpret ECGs, provide clinical exercise tests, develop exercise plans for a variety of clients, and use exercise to prevent or care for different athletic injuries.”
“The professors in the department are very supportive and encouraging! They are always willing to work with me outside of class and explain things thoroughly. A really cool experience I’ve had has been with Professor Pierce, the director of the AES program. He has been helping me improve my muscular strength in bench pressing by working to create an exercise program that best fits me as an individual.”
Importance of Experiential Education at UNE
Experiential education is a pillar of the UNE experience. Chloe discussed why experiential education has been so important to her academic journey:
“Experiential education was one of the major reasons why I chose UNE. I have found that I have improved as a student through this learning style. If you are unfamiliar with experiential education, it is the process of learning by doing. I have found that I can retain information better and understand concepts more in depth.”
“I can think of examples from every class I have taken in the AES program that has used this learning style. For example, when learning how to interpret different lung and heart sounds in my clinical exercise testing class, we were given a stethoscope and got to listen to Bill (a fancy human simulator that can breathe, produce lung sounds, and more!) to distinguish what we are hearing for ourselves. This hands-on learning approach has prepared me well for my future, and I am excited to apply everything I have learned out in the real world.”
Preparing for Life After UNE
Chloe has big plans for the rest of her time at UNE and beyond. She said:
“I started my first job shadowing experience at KidSHINE in Rowley, Mass. over my spring break! I am super excited to work at this location, as I have a high interest in working in a pediatric clinic in the future. I am also in the process of applying for my summer internship. I am hoping to intern at a pediatric occupational therapy clinic close to UNE.”
“During the fall semester of my senior year, I will be completing my coaching internship. I am hoping to work with a local school’s dance team. In the spring semester of my senior year, I am hoping to complete an internship related to strength and conditioning. I am still determining a location for this, so I will either be interning at a local gym or possibly on campus at UNE’s strength and conditioning program.”
“My current career goal is to be a pediatric occupational therapist. I want to help children regain daily life functions and improve their quality of life. I also have an interest in the strength and conditioning field, which is why I am also thinking about becoming a strength and conditioning coach for a professional athletic team. After UNE, my plan is to get my master’s in Occupational Therapy. Currently, I am in the process of looking at graduate schools to apply to.”
Chloe, your future is very bright! We look forward to watching you shine.
Want to read more stories like Chloe’s? Read Al’s feature here, and stay tuned for more student spotlight posts!
You may also want to watch the replay of our “Preparing Students for Success” virtual event, where you can hear even more about the opportunities UNE students have to engage in hands-on learning experiences. Watch the replay here. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.