Less Talking and More Doing

Nik Rosenberry, Wilson’s strength and conditioning coach is recognized by his athletic appearance, a man bun tied in a pony-tail ready to go, and a friendly smile that is not only enthusiastic but good-natured. Students may know Rosenberry as the strength and conditioning coach, but others may know him as an exercise science professor at Wilson College as well.

Interestingly enough, Rosenberry was initially interested in engineering when he first went to college. Though, his college did not offer it. He had grown up and been involved in sports his whole life and seeing that exercise science was offered at his college, he saw that career field as an opportunity to look at the engineering of the body. Graduating from Shippensburg University with his Bachelor’s degree and then Master’s degree from the California University of Pennsylvania, Rosenberry has been passionate in helping others taking care of their well-being. After some time, Rosenberry found his way to Wilson College in becoming the strengthening and conditioning coach. By 2020, it just had happened naturally that he began to teach exercise science through knowing and communicating with other professors. Within his recent years at Wilson College, he has taught many personal wellness classes, exercise management labs, and kinesiology and applied anatomy classes.

Stepping into one of his classes, one will be greeted with a friendly good morning or hello followed by asking how you are doing. Nik Rosenberry is very driven in helping students learn about exercise science as well as personal well-being and fitness. True too, he has always aimed to make sure his students take away important life lessons.

As a teacher, he not only provides his students with the knowledge to understand exercise science, but also the kinesthetic skills to succeed in the sports management industry or therapy occupations. Truly, Rosenberry sees his role as a teacher at Wilson College more than just giving his students knowledge and sending them off on their way to their next class of the day. Nik incorporates real life skills into his classes that way his students are ready to handle the real world after graduating with their degrees or certifications.

In recent years, students have voiced their opinions on how different classes have caused them to feel as if they are not taking anything away from the material.

In particular, Rosenberry has noticed that much of the material in college that is being presented and taught is just being memorized by the students in order to just pass a test or get a good grade. “Numerous students have come to me and shared with me that they are only learning in my class, or this is the only class that they actually enjoy coming to or feel good about.” Nik says that, “the kinesthetic piece is missing in college atmospheres. What are we doing with this information that really helps us understand it?”

Professor Rosenberry aims to make change in that aspect for anyone who decides to take one of his exercise science classes.

From taking ten-minute walks outside to incorporating guided meditation in his personal wellness classes, he aims in finding a way to express the information and knowledge in a positive, enjoyable manner. “I try to not focus on the question of, Can I teach them everything?” Rather, he approaches the learning atmosphere as engaging, enjoyable, and should make sense for all students. “It shouldn’t just be busy work and so much busy work that you don’t have the opportunity to learn because you are onto the next assignment.”

Professor Lori Frey, who has been the athletic director for thirty-two years at Wilson, ended up hiring Nik for the strength and conditioning coach position some time ago. Now being the physical education professor at Wilson College and working alongside Rosenberry in the athletic department, she has seen Rosenberry’s unique approaches to training and coaching as well as his enthusiasm for helping students succeed. “Nik has always been an over-the-top enthusiast.” She continues to share that, “I have always said that coaching is teaching and Nik, being a trainer and coach, I would imagine he transfers that concept to the classroom very well.”

In the years since Professor Rosenberry has come to Wilson College, he has incorporated his teaching and learning techniques through many different avenues. Interestingly enough, Nik has been recently allowing his exercise science students to be personal trainers for staff who want to improve their personal wellness in all aspects. Overall, Rosenberry has brought up this idea that applying skills and concepts students learn in their classes are important and can make a positive impact in the college atmospheres and also in the communities around them. “If you never do more than you already can, you’ll never be more than you already are. I feel like it sums up exercise science and sums up life. It’s going to get uncomfortable at times, but you’ll be fine.”

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