Department Spotlight

Whitworth Alumna Selected for Summer Internship at U.S. Olympic Training Center

When Whitworth alumna Beth Abbey, '03, entered The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., last fall to pursue an M.A. in exercise physiology, she planned to take the thesis-writing option rather than the 10-week internship option for her final requirement. After discovering the internship opportunities, she changed her mind.

Abbey has been selected as a summer intern in the sports science department at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., which serves as the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters.

"I have to say that I was kind of surprised to be offered this internship," Abbey says. "It's highly competitive and the area that I'll be working in hires only one summer intern."

Abbey will work with exercise physiologists to conduct exercise performance tests on athletes in a variety of sports, including swimming, cycling, basketball, track and boxing. Abbey will live in the residence halls where some of the athletes stay and will eat in the athletes' dining hall.

"The thing that I'm probably most looking forward to is just getting to work with some amazing athletes and finally apply what I've been learning in school," Abbey says.

Abbey will graduate from St. Scholastica in May and plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in nutrition this year. As a recent Whitworth graduate, Abbey says she has already seen the benefits of her liberal-arts education.

"I think my double major in biology and chemistry from Whitworth gave me a good science base for my master's degree.," Abbey says. "The variety of classes I took at Whitworth made me a much more well-rounded person."

Abbey, who competed in cross country and track at Whitworth, will return to Duluth after her internship concludes to be an assistant cross country coach at St. Scholastica this fall. She hopes someday to teach and coach cross country and track at a small, private college like Whitworth.

"I know that I will learn so much from the internship, and I hope to be able to use some of that knowledge in my coaching," Abbey says.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls more than 2,200 students in 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

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