Rylea Patterson ’24Exercise Physiology Major
Posted on November 17th, 2023 by

“The professors incorporate group work into their classes so individuals can get to know their peers and learn how to work together. These are very important skills to have going on in life.”

Enjoying her anatomy class in high school, Rylea was drawn to a major in Exercise Physiology due to interest in knowing how the body moves and functions. Within the Health and Exercise Science Department, Rylea has found an environment that she describes as safe and supportive, both in terms of the faculty and students. She has developed skills in teamwork and communication through many group projects, saying “My cohort has been very supportive and everyone makes a point to say hi to each other when seen around campus”. The Health and Exercise Science Department helped equip Rylea to participate in an internship opportunity at River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic in Saint Peter, during which she was able to shadow a variety of professions. She also ended up leading the Parkinson’s Exercise Classes and Arthritis Classes, saying “all the participants were very welcoming and excited for me to grow into the role”. Within the department, Rylea points to her favorite professor as Claire Woebke, who is always available to talk to and help students, and challenges Rylea to be the best person that she can be. Rylea is a teacher’s assistant for Professor Woebke’s classes, which has strengthened their relationship and given Rylea a strong support system. Rylea also appreciates the Health and Exercise Science faculty as a whole, whose course material has helped prepare her for a future career in Physical or Occupational Therapy. The labs within the Exercise Physiology major have given her hands-on experience, and she has also gained skills in group collaboration, which she feels is important to any career that she may choose to pursue. HES faculty have also helped her adequately plan for grad school opportunities in terms of classes that she has needed to take, and have been helpful in answering any questions that arise. Outside of academics, Rylea is also involved on campus with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra and is the Co-Vice President of the Gustavus Mentoring Program.



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