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Brockport Today, Qatar Tomorrow
BS in Exercise Science and Kinesiology
For Alyssa Mills, it was the job offer of a lifetime. After a summer internship in Washington, DC, with Bounce Fitness, she would accept the title of wellness advisor in the company’s branch located in Doha, Qatar. A passion for fitness and a desire to experience the world had culminated in this wonderful opportunity that she credits to her time at Brockport.
Daughter of distinguished wrestler and coach “Mean” Gene Mills, Alyssa was introduced to fitness and athletics from a young age. A fascination for the human body and its performance led her to pursue studies in physical education so she could introduce others to the benefits of fitness and overall wellness. In her college search, she was drawn to SUNY Brockport because of its reputation for strong academics and a nurturing community (as well as first-class dining through BASC). Combined with a comforting distance from home and a chance to continue to play field hockey at the collegiate level, those factors made Brockport an easy decision.
Midway through her Brockport career, an exercise physiology course with Dr. Craig Mattern was a real turning point in Alyssa’s educational path. She found her true calling in exercise science and a more in-depth look into the human body that interested her so much. “Dr. Mattern was very knowledgeable and engaging, which ultimately led me to realize where exactly I wanted my education to take me,” Alyssa recalls. “The switch from physical education to exercise science and physiology was very simple for me and the faculty was very helpful and inviting.” She also credits Dr. Elizabeth Lenz for her perseverance in bringing the exercise science department to where it is today, including premier accreditation with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Plans after school became clearer as Alyssa prepped for graduation and an internship in the nation’s capital, which she discovered through the guidance of a Brockport alumna. Alyssa had a strong background in travel, with various trips through the US and the Americas as well as a venture across the Atlantic to Europe, so the chance to move around was one she jumped at immediately. During her time in DC, she was able to grow and develop in her field with the skills and tools she received at Brockport. Alyssa credits her time working in the Employee Fitness Program, as well as the social aspects of Brockport’s diverse campus, for her success in applying her education to her clients and coworkers.
Alyssa’s passion for wellness is driving her future plans as she intends to stay on her current path while maintaining the impacts she has on her clients, family, and friends. “Brockport opened my eyes to the vast opportunities available to me,” she says. “The support system on campus and in the community gave me the confidence to pursue those opportunities.”