Hi, my name is Brennan Clouner. I am from Cranberry Township which is a suburb fairly close to the city of Pittsburgh. Here at Gannon, my undergraduate studies degree was Sport and Exercise Science, and now I am still here at Gannon pursuing my Master of Sport and Exercise Science (MSES) degree.
I chose to come to Gannon for undergraduate studies for the interesting program, the beautiful campus and small, personal classes. What made me decide to pursue graduate studies at Gannon was the faculty in my program. They are all very enthusiastic about what they teach, and they try to make sure the students are able to understand concepts, especially the tougher ones to understand.
I was interested in pursuing this graduate program because I thoroughly enjoyed the Sport and Exercise Science core classes I took at the undergraduate level and wanted to learn more. I started out in the 4+3 pre-physical therapy program, but eventually decided that the MSES program suited me better.
Throughout my undergraduate years I took quite a few memorable classes. One that was specifically memorable was Gross Anatomy. This class is a cadaver lab offered at Gannon that has a corresponding lecture class. This class was so memorable because the difficult material presented in the lecture and lab resulted in me learning better study habits, I made new friends through working and studying together and it provided me with the unique experience to work on a cadaver.
Throughout college I played on the Gannon University Club Hockey team, or GUCH, as most people call us. Throughout my three years of playing ice hockey at Gannon, there have been countless memorable moments that I have had the pleasure to be a part of.
One memory, in particular, was my junior year when we played against CalU. The game was at the Erie Insurance Arena, and we were doing a fundraiser where half of the proceeds were going to support the troops. This game was so memorable because we have kind of a rivalry with CalU, and we ended up defeating them in a pretty exciting game; we had well over 200-300 people in attendance to this game cheering us on, it was absolutely an amazing feeling.
Another organization I was a part of was Alpha Phi Delta fraternity, where I was elected president for half of my junior and into my senior year. This experience was eye-opening because it taught me leadership skills and lessons about accountability and organization. Being part of a fraternity was a huge factor in my positive experience at Gannon, and I have met and connected with so many people because of it. Joining a fraternity was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Anyway, back to my graduate program. I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in my program because I was very interested about the material I was learning in my sport and exercise science classes and thought that it would be amazing to be able to work in a field regarding the areas of study related.
Another topic of interest to me in the field is research, and in the exercise science field there is so much research being conducted and so many varieties, as well. Personally, I want to do a thesis in my program rather than an internship and get into some research. So far, my experience in the program is going well, and I am learning a lot in my research methods class, advanced lab techniques class, and advanced strength and conditioning class. The material is very interesting and useful and the learning is more hands-on than at the undergraduate level.
The thing I am looking forward to most in my program is learning more about different styles of exercise and how the body responds to them at different intensities and at different training levels. I also am really looking forward to possibly getting an opportunity to help with research and do my own research and attempt to get a publication. I think it would be extremely rewarding to get published in a scientific journal and have people actually read my work.
As far as advice for anyone who is in the college searching process, my biggest piece of advice is to go somewhere where you feel comfortable and somewhere that makes you feel welcomed and important. The staff at Gannon made me feel like I wasn’t just a number or a statistic, and because of that, I was always more motivated to get things done and was less likely to be discouraged if I was having a difficult time. That being said, my experience at Gannon has been very eye-opening and life-changing, and I am certain I still have so much more to experience and learn!