Dr. Lori DeLong loves athletics – the associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Mobile is a certified athletic trainer and has been a collegiate cross-country coach and assistant women’s basketball coach. She’s even served as an athletic trainer in the 2004 Olympics! Now, as dean of the School of Health and Sports Science in the College of Health Professions, she leads a program that prepares graduates to be known in a variety of movement-related fields, from healthcare and education to sports marketing and athletic administration.
We asked DeLong for an inside look at the School of Health and Sports Science and the variety of opportunities the field of study provides for students.
Q: Why should someone choose to study Kinesiology?
A: Kinesiology is the study of movement where there are so many professional choices for careers. For those who want to be healthcare providers, it is a great foundation to physical therapy, occupational therapy and athletic training, to name a few. For those who want to be educators, it provides health and physical education certifications to teach young children and adolescents. Exercise Science provides opportunities to work in fitness (exercise specialist, strength and conditioning coach or fitness instructor) or healthcare professions (cardiac rehabilitation or exercise testing). Sport Administration rounds out our undergraduate programs for those who are interested in athletics as their career choice, whether it be in sports marketing, sports media, sports agent, athletic administration or coaching. Our new Master of Athletic Training program prepares students to successfully pass the Board of Certification exam and enter the field of athletic training.
Q: You have taught at UM for 6 years. What is your background?
A: I am a lifelong learner in kinesiology. I began my study in adapted health and physical education teacher certification for my bachelor’s degree. I completed my master’s degree in exercise science while I was a collegiate assistant women’s basketball coach and cross-country coach. My love of athletics led me to completing my athletic training certification while coaching. I then completed my doctorate in pedagogy (the study of teaching) while teaching full time in an athletic training education program and covering multiple athletic teams as a certified athletic trainer. I was blessed to be able to participate in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, as an athletic trainer. Relocation to Mobile opened more doors for me, and I was able to be an athletic trainer in a D1 athletic program before returning to teaching full-time in kinesiology at UM.
Q: What do you like most about the University of Mobile?
A: The University of Mobile is a family university. People genuinely care and invest in each other’s lives. We want all of our graduates to be prepared for their professions as well as be prepared to be ambassadors for Christ.