By Miguel Escalante
The Kinesiology Club put together the inaugural Kinesiology Summit on Thursday to promote the kinesiology major and spread awareness of its possibilities at East Los Angeles College.
The event was lead by Kinesiology Club president Ana Rubio and kinesiology instructor Ricardo Gamboa.
The opening speaker was softball coach Erika Blanco.
“ELAC is by far the best school that I have been a part of. East LA is my home until retiring,” Blanco said.
The first half of the event was informational on the kinesiology major and what is offered at ELAC.
Currently there are two Associate of Arts programs and two certificate of achievement programs and two skills certificate programs.
Skills certificates differ from the achievements as the skills certification is not something that is printed or added to your transcripts, it is merely a skill that students acquire.
A certificate of achievement entails more and takes a bit longer to complete.
The first guests were Danny Hester a professional bodybuilder and his wife Monique Hester.
Danny Hester performed a body show before the crowd as his wife Monique Hester sang live.
After the performance both spoke about the importance of being healthy, staying active and keeping up a good routine.
“Anytime something is a passion it’s never work,” Danny Hester said.
Danny Hester who has been bodybuilding since 1992 is now 50 and plans to compete again this upcoming season with the “younger guys.”
The students then broke into four groups based on their interests: fitness and wellness, medical and rehabilitation, education and administration and athletics and sports management.
There was a panel of three speakers per section, the fitness and wellness had speakers from ELAC.
Ellen Wong, who teaches fitness and health classes, and Lindsay Castello, ELAC kinesiology instructor and former corporate personal trainer.
Avina Del Pizzo, posing coach, a fitness model and athlete who owns a gym.
All three women had very interesting and different stories to tell.
Castello touched more on the corporate fitness side talking about when she had worked for NBC Universal.
She not only lead fitness programs, such as yoga for corporate employees, but also developed rehab programs for employees before delving into teaching at ELAC.
Wong spoke more about the schooling aspect and took a more inspirational approach to tell the students to follow their dreams and passions.
Del Pizzo told the group that she failed numerous times to get where she is now and urged the students to never give up and stay consistent in everything.
The next panel of speakers were of the medical and rehabilitation field.
It included faculty from ELAC, both professors and athletic trainers, Diane Stankevitz and Evelyn Benitez-Lopez and public health professor and practitioner Irene Aldana.
These women focused on the rehabilitation of athletes and the patient relations at health centers.
All guest speakers explained what is attainable when pursuing a kinesiology degree.
The summit was to show students that there is more to kinesiology than physical education or physical therapy.
Both Stankevitz and Benitez-Lopez offered internship opportunities for those interested.
They said that helping an athlete get back in shape to play again or beat their personal record is the best part of the job.
Irene said that helping the public with those who cannot access healthcare or are uneducated and helping those people is what she likes best.
Football coach Bobby Godinez introduced Antoinette “Toni” Harris, 22, a football player at ELAC.
Harris became the first women to play football for ELAC and recieve a full college football scholarship.
Not only did she recieve one offer, but four.
She spoke about the struggles she overcame as a women playing in a male-dominated sport.
Harris was very persistence in persuading coach Godinez to let her play.
Finally, he let her be a part of the team and for two years she played under coach Godinez.
Toyota approached Harris about doing a commercial for the Super Bowl this year.
The commercial shows Harris working out and flipping a tire.
She plans on graduating from ELAC this spring and playing for Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri on a full ride scholarship.
For questions regarding academics in kinesiology, students can visit coach Erika Blanco at E9-112 or visit the ELAC website.