Stephanie Krempa is currently a combined BS/MS exercise science and nutrition student at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.
When I was younger, I struggled with anorexia nervosa, a very negative experience with nutrition. As I matured into my high school years, I recovered from the disease and became more concerned with being a healthy individual. I also participated in many sports, including track and cross-country. Through hard work and smart training by my coach, our high school team went on to win consecutive state championship titles and even had the amazing opportunity of participating at Nike Nationals in Oregon. Exercise and nutrition has had a strong place in my life so being able to study in this field has been very fulfilling.
When I was looking into schools, I was specifically interested in schools with programs in nutrition, dietetics and exercise science. As a New York state resident, I found how affordable UB was to be very appealing. UB also has the only combined degree program (ES BS and NTR MS) so I knew that it was the perfect match for me.
Prerequisite classes are very focused on math and science. I definitely struggled with chemistry, calculus and physics. However, I knew that if I could get through those courses I would be able to succeed in more interesting upper level coursework. My favorite classes so far have been gross anatomy, neuroscience, exercise physiology and dietary analysis. UB also has great opportunities for practicum experience. For the past year, I have helped Dr. Johnson in his HIP Lab, learning about research, doing data analysis and becoming literate in computer program systems like BioPac. I really recommend getting involved with professors and their research; it makes class material relatable, applicable and more engaging.
I really love what I am studying. I find it so amazing that I can apply what I learn in class to my daily life. While many college students spend their lab hours seated, exercise science students find themselves being active and engaged in their studies. I will never forget a lab we did for exercise assessment and programming. We were able to go outside and run for a test to estimate our own VO2max. I felt very fortunate to be in a program that encourages a healthy lifestyle.
Because the University at Buffalo is a research-based university, I find that the material I learn in class is always backed by the latest research and science. Professors have astonishing experience in their field, so this allows them to speak about lectures in detail. Additionally being active in the research that the department is doing really provides a unique and hands-on experience that students in other programs may not have.