Ithaca College Will Make You Ready
With a vibrant community, professors who inspire, and the hands-on experience you need to dive into your field with confidence.
For Nancy Patterson, baseball is more about pulled hamstrings and sore muscles than RBIs and ERAs. Working with the Inland Empire 66ers, a former minor league affiliate of baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, turned out to be the perfect first step to her dream job.
The path to the Inland Empire team ran straight through Ithaca, where Nancy earned her bachelor’s degree in clinical exercise science and athletic training in 2006 and a master’s in exercise and sport sciences two years later. Ithaca College prepared her well, she says, for the challenge of pro sports: “The first time being on your own with a team can be nerve-wracking. But between the classes at Ithaca and our on-field experience, I felt very well prepared.”
That on-field experience included working with several Ithaca sports teams and internships with minor league affiliates of the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox.
“When I first graduated, I felt like I was much more prepared and experienced than recent grads from other programs,” Patterson says. “I attribute this to the way IC’s program is put together and the outstanding professors who put in the extra time and effort to help the students succeed.”
And succeed she has. After joining the Inland Empire 66ers team as its athletic trainer in the winter of 2009, Nancy got promoted to the AA Chattanooga Lookouts. Then the call from the big leagues came: she’s now assistant athletic trainer for the L.A. Dodgers.
“Going to Ithaca is what allowed me to go into baseball,” Nancy says. “Everyone has heard of Ithaca’s athletic training program.”
>> More on this story: Office of Experiential Learning
Tim Reynolds developed shoulder pain while playing baseball in high school. After several weeks of physical therapy, he was finally pain-free.
“I realized I wanted to help others the way that therapist helped me,” Tim said. “When I heard about the reputation of IC’s physical therapy program, I wanted to go there.”
Tim received his bachelor’s in clinical health studies in 2012 and then entered IC’s two-year doctorate of physical therapy program, gaining clinical experience as well as academic honors—including an award recognizing him as one of the country’s top undergraduates in an allied health field.
Tim expected that IC would offer him opportunities to gain knowledge and experience in physical therapy. What he didn’t expect was that IC would offer him the chance to become a businessman. After taking a course in neuromuscular control, Tim saw a way to transform a standard dumbbell into a kettlebell.
“Kettlebells are spherical weights with a curved handle to accommodate a two-handed grip,” Tim said. “They combine strength, cardio, and flexibility training into a single workout. But an entire set costs hundreds of dollars and takes up a lot of floor space.”
With the help of two faculty members, Tim and a friend designed a clasp with a handle shaped like a subway strap. Securing the clasp around a dumbbell bar of any weight transforms it into a kettlebell. After dubbing the device a KettleShell, Tim needed to market it. Ithaca’s School of Business showed him how.
“I took classes on developing business plans and then pitched KettleShell at the New York State Business Plan Competition, which attracted over 430 entries. KettleShell took third place in the products and services category and $1,500 in prize money. Naturally I was encouraged.”
Tim is currently testing a prototype of his product at five colleges across the country and hopes to have KettleShells in production by the end of 2013—just five months before he completes his graduate program in physical therapy.
“I never considered becoming an entrepreneur, but once you get passionate about an idea, it’s a remarkable feeling. Being able to take courses in the business school shows how IC provides its students with unexpected opportunities. I’m a CEO and I’m still in college.”
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