Degrees & Programs Kinesiology
Kinesiology professors train you in the scientific study of human movement and celebrate God’s greatest creation: the human body.
Passionate about their field, professors work closely with you in class and involve you in their research projects. Personal, interactive and relevant classes expose you to the entire umbrella of kinesiology—biophysical, behavioral and sociocultural—and help you dig deeper into your studies. Internships give you opportunities to observe and assist a variety of health professions and develop your own career path. Westmont’s excellent reputation with top graduate schools assists you in continuing your education through graduate programs.
B.S. in Movement and Exercise Science
This track puts particular emphasis on exercise science, pre-physical and occupational therapies, physician assistant, cardiac rehabilitation and other allied health fields.
B.S. in Movement and the Medical Sciences
This track provides coursework for students seeking to gain admission to medical school.
- KNS/BIO 011 Human Anatomy with Lab (4)
- KNS/BIO 012 Human Physiology with Lab (4)
- KNS/BIO 040 Human Nutrition (4)
- KNS 072 Foundations of Kinesiology (2)
- MA 005 Introduction to Statistics (4)
- Electives that meet 8 units requirement in the major
- KNS 101 Basic Biomechanics with Lab (4)
- KNS 105 Physiology of Exercise with Lab (4)
- KNS 148 Psychology of Movement, Health and Sport (2)
- KNS 149 Sociology of Movement, Health and Sport (2)
- KNS 166 Public Speaking in Kinesiology (4)
- KNS 181 Special Populations (4)
- KNS 185 Motor Behavior (4)
- KNS 195 Senior Capstone (2)
- Electives that meet 8 units requirement in the major
Kinesiology Faculty Highlights
Takes students overseas for research with European exercise scientists
Focuses on motor learning and development
Applies engineering approaches to investigate human movement and balance control
Infuses ideals of character in his teaching and coaching
Inspires global health students to be involved locally and throughout the world
Runner, rock climber, and hiker interested in how the mind influences exercise
Applies theories of psychology to teaching and coaching soccer
Meet the Staff
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Physician Assistant
- Personal Training
- Athletic Training
- Exercise Physiology
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Public and Global Health
Kinesiology majors put theory into practice by observing allied health professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, physicians, orthopedic surgeons and athletic trainers in the Santa Barbara community.
The 2023 Outstanding Senior is Mercy Milliken, recipient of the Peg Lovik Nicholas Award. Mercy is a Kinesiology and Spanish double major. She received this honor for her academic accomplishments, on and off-campus involvement, and for her pursuit of love, justice, and mercy with a spirit of openness and flexibility. Congratulations, Mercy!
Ciboney Hellenbrand, Charlie Bloom, and Ashley Pitzen presented their findings at the 2023 Student Research Symposium in Winter Hall. They looked at risk of fetal injury of a pregnant occupant in a car crash. They performed a literature and patent review of over 40 articles.
Injury Biomechanics students Ciboney Hellenbrand and Fletcher Brown extended a student research project that aimed to increase occupant safety. In particular, they examined the interaction of seat belts safety devices (pretensioners) on occupant responses when sitting out of position. They will present a paper to IBS at Ohio State University in late May.
Dr. Van Haitsma and his Physiology of Exercise class collaborated with Deckers/Hoka and Heeluxe to test the running economy of the new Hoka Rocket X2 in comparison to the Nike Alphafly and Saucony Endorphin Pro several months before it was released. Also tested were two other prototypes (not shown) that Hoka is working on developing.
Biomechanics students Maile Hoshino, Olivia Madarang, Aldo Becerril, and Tyler Kooiman analyzed the elasticity, deformation, and coefficeint of restitution of different sports balls (tennis ball, baseball, and soccer ball). As an added anaylsis, students measured the strain of the ball both qualitatively (looking at deformation of the ball through a high-speed camera) and quantitatively (through strain equations).
Isaac Gomez joined the Kinesiology Department faculty in fall 2022. He brings to the department expertise in the areas of Motor Learning, Motor Development, and Motor Behavior.
The fight against malaria is no easy task, but Melody (Miles) Daly ‘09 brings extensive field experience to the battle in her current role as a public health expert and Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. After graduating from Westmont College with her Bachelors in Science, Melody continued to add to her arsenal of knowledge by earning her M.P.H. in Global Health from Emory University and a certificate in theology and work at Fuller Theological Seminary. Not about to slow down, Melody went on to work for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the five plus years she worked for those two organizations, Melody served as a Public Health Advisor for the CDC President’s Malaria Initiative, provided technical assistance to government malaria programs in East Africa as a Monitoring and Evaluation Fellow, and reviewed all non-pharmaceutical response measures implemented during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.
Emily (McCardle) Ecklund '13, who graduated from Loma Linda University with a master's in occupational therapy, was accepted to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Emerging Leaders Development Program, which recognizes and invests in 15 students and new practitioners from across the country who demonstrate dedication and commitment to professional service at the start of their career. Emily is the first Loma Linda University alumna accepted into this program. She will work with a mentor to publish research related to the role of occupational therapy in women transitioning out of the sex industry and to an occupational therapy program developed for minor girls who are survivors of sex trafficking in the U.S.
After graduating from Westmont in 2002, Allison (Knode) Sandquist spent a year working and enjoying Santa Barbara before she started the physical therapy program at Chapman University. She graduated from Chapman with her doctorate degree in physical therapy in 2006 and worked for Hayashida and Associates in Santa Barbara as a physical therapist for six years. During that time she became certified as an orthopedic specialist (OSC), competitively raced outrigger canoes for the Santa Barbara Outrigger Canoe Club, and coached pole-vault at Westmont. In 2012, Allison and her husband moved to New Zealand where she works on and off as a physiotherapist.
“I feel so blessed to have been a part of Westmont and its incredible community. Not only did it provide me with a foundation of knowledge and tools that allow me to be successful, but it also helped me develop a deep, holistic perception on life,” says graduate Ben Johnson ’10. Ben certainly got the most he could have from Westmont College when he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and cum laude honors to top it off.
Kelsey Kasten '12 has passed the last of six exams to become a certified prosthetist orthotist, or CPO, qualified to evaluate, fabricate and fit patients with prosthetic and orthotic devices. She says, "Prosthetics refer to artificial limbs, and orthotics to any type of bracing. We fabricate prostheses for people who have lost limbs due to trauma or disease, and orthoses to help people with diseases such a cerebral palsy, post CVA, spinal cord injury, and many others improve their ability to walk and achieve their other functional goals. I became interested in this field sometime during my senior year at Westmont, when I realized I wanted to do something with my career that allowed me to help people walk every single day. I went to the University of Washington where I earned my master's in prosthetics and orthotics. After grad school, you must complete a yearlong residency in each discipline. I completed my orthotics residency at the University of Iowa Hospital and my prosthetics residency at a private clinic in Maryland. I continue to work at this private practice, where I enjoy working with patients as they learn to walk again, and achieve their goals!
Chris Ecklund '96 has appreciated the foundation that the Kinesiology Department provided in launching his career. Initially, he worked as a personal trainer and in a management role in a health club and progressed into a high school teaching position and department chair, adjunct faculty and strength coach at a community college, performance coach in the private sector, part-time instructor at the University of California Santa Barbara, full circle back to Westmont as adjunct faculty, manual therapist and master trainer/instructor and special advisor to the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Through the Lord’s leading in 2009, he opened the Prevail Conditioning Performance Center in Santa Barbara, CA. Prevail focuses on integrated wellness and performance through training, manual therapy and nutrition. Little did he know that his time at Westmont would equip him with the practical and transferable skills to run a business. His time at Westmont since graduation also allowed him the opportunity to meet his life partner and wife, Emily (McCardle ’13). Together they celebrate their newborn baby boy Jameson Ecklund, born September 5, 2019.