Senior spotlight: Cassie Kury ’21 (exercise science)

Cassie Kury will be graduating this May 2021. She is majoring in exercise science with a concentration in pre-athletic training, and a minor in psychology. Throughout her time in the exercise science program, Kury has enjoyed increasing her knowledge to greater heights of how the body moves, how it responds to exercise and how exercise is medicine.

“Not only does the flow of the program’s content build upon itself well from course to course, it has prepared me to apply my knowledge to the real world post-grad, as well as creating opportunities for me while still in the program,” she said.

About mid-way through the program, exercise science students must take the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam. This turned out to be an important turning point for Kury.

“This exam not only put my application of classroom knowledge to the test, but opened up an entirely new doorway I never saw myself stepping through; being a personal trainer! The quickly evolving world of exercise already excited me, but having this credential has given me the confidence to share my knowledge and apply it in order to help others reach their goals, which has been an incredibly rewarding process thus far,” she said.

Kury’s end goal as an athletic trainer is to be a part of the training staff for either a gymnastics or swimming and diving team, whether at a collegiate or professional level. Connecting classroom knowledge to athletic training has come with ease, and Kury had an abundance of opportunities to gain experience working with athletes from the program faculty, including an internship for her capstone.

“During the last semester of the program, students must complete an internship for their capstone. At first I was a little intimidated by the requirement, but cannot express how grateful I was for the experience,” she reflected. “I had already gained so much knowledge and hands-on experience from being able to work under a collegiate athletic trainer. I truly didn’t think there’d be a better use of my time right now to prepare me for my Masters of Athletic Training program here at Uindy in the summer!”

Upon exiting the program, students must take either the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam, or the Exercise Physiologist Certification (EPC) exam. Kury chose to take the CSCS, not only to fulfill her graduation requirements, but it has now led her to some amazing opportunities post-grad that she cannot elaborate on too much yet.

“The program guarantees that when you graduate, you not only have a diploma from an accredited and respected program, but you have these extra credentials that not only increase your appeal to employers, but also increase your confidence and potential professional pathways,” said Kury.

A lifelong athlete in gymnastics, Kury started her UIndy career on the women’s swimming and diving team. Although she decided to step away from her athletic pursuits on the team, she continues to provide for her teammates. Classes such as ‘Exercise Science Programming and Management,’ and ‘Strength and Conditioning’ combined with her diving knowledge have given Kury the tools to properly analyze the sport, critically think about the athletes’ needs, and weigh all their other stressors as she creates their programming.

“Our head dive coach has been incredibly grateful to still have around and be complimenting his depthful diving knowledge well with my exercise science background,” she said.

Kury is grateful for the scholarships and grants that made her UIndy education possible.

“I have graciously received both academic and athletic scholarships every year at UIndy. They have not only made college possible for me, but provided peace of mind throughout. They allowed me to focus just on academics and athletics my first two years of the program, not feeling like I needed to start working during the school year until after my sophomore year,” she said.

Kury reflected on her years as an athlete, which helped her build discipline and time management.

“Once you leave home and enter college though, your freedom is nearly endless. Diving not only forced me to continue with wise time management, but held me accountable because I had gained the sense of succeeding for something bigger than myself,” she said “The camaraderie of going through years of early mornings, long hours, exhaustion, cries, laughs, wins, losses, and every up and down in between by each others’ sides gives you such a strong connection with your teammates, and a strong conviction to succeed as one rather than just one part. The human connections that I have made within this team will last me far past college years.”