AU Press Releases

Alfred University Health Fitness Management majors embark on formal internships

ALFRED, NY – Five Alfred University seniors are set to break new ground next May, when they become the first students to earn degrees through the University’s new Health Fitness Management program.

The following students, who make up the inaugural group of seniors in the program, are taking part in formal internships needed to complete their requirements for a B.S. degree:

Mary Hendee of Almond, NY, daughter of Dave and Susan Hendee. Her internship will be at Next Level Performance in Fairport, NY.

Dean Lupo of East Northport, NY, son of Gregg and Louise Lupo. His internship will be in the sports performance program at Stony Brook University, Long Island.

John Depalma of Staten Island, son of Frank Depalma and Gina Lombardi. His internship will be in the sports performance program at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

Ty Timmerman of Corning, NY, son of Jim and Leslie Timmerman. His internship is at the Spire Institute, a U.S. Olympic/Paralympic and World FINA Swimming Training Center, Geneva, OH.

Samantha Jo Shanahan of Valley Stream, NY, daughter of Kevin and Teri Shanahan. Her internship will be with independent rehabilitation specialist Mary Przybila, and at Rehabilitation Today in Olean, NY. Shanahan will assist former Alfred University football player Julio Fuentes in his continued recovery from a severe spinal injury suffered during a game in 2006.

Some of the five have already begun their internships, which are expected to extend into the semester break and wrap up after the New Year, before students return to campus for the start of the spring 2018 semester.

“This allows for a greater flexibility of internship sites, such that students can engage in sites closer to home, should they choose,” said Josh Long, director of the Health Fitness Management program and clinical education coordinator in the Athletic Training Program.

The Health Fitness Management program was offered beginning with the 2016-17 academic year. The program, along with the Athletic Training program, is offered through the University’s Division of Health and Human Performance, College of Professional Studies.

Long praised the five for securing their respective internships, noting that as students in a new program they had no precedent to guide them. “These seniors were each presented with the challenging, albeit exciting, task of obtaining an internship site without previous examples to help lay the groundwork,” he said.

Class guidelines required that the internship sites be directly supervised by a professional certified and well-versed in the particular field. “The students were essentially given a blank slate, which required each leave his or her comfort zone to seek out professionals at the highest level. In most of the situations, the students had never met their future preceptors,” Long said.

“Despite some bumps along the way, each student has set-up a unique and remarkable internship that paves the way for professional employment. We feel the experiences will benefit them significantly in the future, and they set the bar high for our future students.”

There are 30 other students – first-year, sophomores and juniors -- enrolled in the Health Fitness Management program at Alfred University. Long said he expects as the program evolves, so too will the available internship opportunities.

“As the program continues to grow, we expect that there will be an even greater variety in the types of sites students pursue,” he said. “The net has, and will continue to be, cast wider and wider, reaching into different arenas.”