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New kinesiology master’s program provides opportunities for students

Closeup of Holly Curry
Holly Curry

Holly Curry is using her expertise in movement and sport science to develop an online physical activity program for kids.

The program she is developing is an integral component of the Washington State University College of Education’s new Kinesiology Graduate Program, which was recently approved by the WSU Board of Regents.

Curry, who earned her bachelor’s degree in movement and sport science from Purdue University, is one of 11 students in the first class of the two‑year program.

WSU kinesiology master’s students have the option to do a thesis track or a non‑thesis track. The former includes students writing a thesis about research they conducted while students in the latter must complete a project or an internship at the end of the program.

Students enrolled in the program also have the ability to customize their curriculum to suit their interests and career goals. Students are required to take three mandatory classes and other classes are chosen based on the individual students’ research or career interests.

The whole program has been valuable for Curry, who said she likes the built‑in versatility.

“I get to tailor my classes how I like them in order to be successful in the future with my career,” she said.

It was no easy task to get the graduate program in kinesiology off the ground. Program Director Robert Catena, an assistant professor in the College of Education, was part of the team that developed the program and got it approved by the Graduate School, Office of the Provost, faculty senate and the WSU Board of Regents.

While the process took five years, Catena said it was worth the effort.

“We built a graduate program that has a strong research emphasis for students,” he said.

Cole Mercer and Ariel Aguiar Bonfim Cruz are two others that are in the first class of the master’s program. Cruz and Mercer are both on the thesis track.

“The classes are really tailored to what you want to study, and you get more in depth into the topics that you enjoy,” Cruz said.

“My favorite thing about the program is the support that we have from our professors,” Mercer said.

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