During the summer of 2014, renovations were completed in the student lounge, located below Salem’s Corrin Refectory, to make way for a new home for the Exercise Science Program. The repurposed space now serves as home to two faculty offices, a multi-use classroom, and laboratory for the program.
The upgrades were desperately needed for one of Salem’s fastest growing majors. Karen Hixson, Director of the Exercise Science Program, commented, “the new space has totally transformed the program. It allows faculty and students alike to benefit from a new space where they can connect theory and applications with live demonstrations with greater ease.”
Dr. Susan Calovini, Dean of the College, added that the new Exercise Science Complex is not just a bright and attractive classroom and lab facility, “it is a truly up-to-date, interactive learning environment that will greatly enhance our students' education and provide them with valuable opportunities for research.”
The renovation was made possible by a generous grant from the Cobb Foundation, which has shown a special interest in Salem’s science and mathematics programs for women. The renovations spanned many areas: new classroom technology, including a document camera, a DVD/VCR player, speakers, a smart board, and a projector; base and wall cabinets with granite counter tops and sinks to provide extra storage and work space; shock resistant sports flooring in the lab area; a wall mirror; and desks, chairs, and lab tables.
Bianca Ritchwood, a senior Exercise Science major, says the new facility is the perfect space to study, because it allows for close proximity to faculty offices. The new home is expansive, offering ample room for equipment on which students conduct their experiments. Whitney Hill, class of 2016, adds, “the space we had before was too small and it negatively impacted our research and experiments.”
Since adopting the new space, there has been greater interest in the Exercise Science program among students and it continues to grow, with 13 graduates in 2014 and 38 currently enrolled and declared majors for the BA and BS Exercise Science degrees. More than 15 additional students are actively participating in the program and plan to declare their major at the close of the current semester.