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Health Promotion | Selected Student Profiles

Chase Chewning

Chase Chewning

After a couple of years in the Army, Chase attended the Virginia Commonwealth University where he majored in Exercise Science. He then went on to be a full time, in-house health coach for a physician’s office in Richmond. After finding the MS.HPRM program at American University, he knew it was the place for him. His commute was long, but luckily, all the required classes never start until 5:30pm. (Good News Update: The physician’s office transferred him to their DC location and now his commute is quick). Even so, he says the program is flexible, allowing him to study when it’s best for him. He loves that the classes are less textbook oriented and focused more on what’s going on in the world right now. After he graduates from AU, Chase, his brother, and friends are opening a gym that will focus on rehabilitation after Physical Therapy. Chase is very family orientated and can’t wait to be his own boss. He says that he loves DC because it’s active and offers the greatest food and history lessons. His best advice for anyone is to network! He says to never turn down an event or a chance to meet someone new because you never know where it may lead.

Yasha Ghamarian

Yasha Ghamarian

Yasha is a Bethesda, Maryland native. After graduating from Virginia Tech he tested his skills in Sports Journalism and as a marketing research analyst. He decided both paths were not for him and wanted to go back to school. He tested out classes in public health, and still it did not feel right. Finally, he met an American University graduate, and after talking, he decided to look into the MS. HPRM program they offer. He says the program has been beyond great because the schedule is flexible; however, the very best part of the program is the research opportunities. In his first year he was approached by Dr. Snelling dean of the program, who gave him an opportunity to be a part of an USDA funded research team, to access the behavioral-economic impact of fruit and veggie consumption in 12 area schools. Last summer, he was approached by Dr. Roberts, a professor at AU, who offered him a job teaching nutrition to children at a local summer camp. The experience has been irreplaceable, and will be of great help to him as he follows his future goals. After a few more years in the health work field, Yasha hopes to get his PhD and become a university nutrition professor. He says that AU is the place to be if you want to learn about the best internships, have an opportunity to get to go to great conferences, and if you want to work alongside faculty and don't just want to be another face in the crowd.

Mitch Wightman

Mitch Wightman

Mitch was on varsity wrestling at Boston University. After the school put down their wrestling program Mitch's senior year, he knew he had to have a chance at one more season. Although his undergrad major is in economics, after a poverty and discrimination class, Mitch hit a turning point and knew he had to go into health. His previous wrestling coach offered him a chance to speak to Dr. Karch, a professor from AU. After that meeting, Mitch saw only one way to put his need to wrestle again, and his new found interest in health together, and that was to attend the MS.HPRM program at AU. He secured an internship in DC for the summer, but now as school has started he is focused solely on his studies and of course, wrestling. He says he loves AU because in his first semester they have offered him opportunities in career fairs and entrepreneurship panels that come straight to his classrooms. He also appreciates that the program can get you working right away in your desired field upon graduation. As soon as he's done, he wants to stay in DC for a little while because it is a slow pace, but powerful city that will open many doors especially with his AU connections.

Erin Seaboyer

Erin Seaboyer

Talk about a woman who is not holding back, Erin from Brookfield, New Hampshire is taking on the yoga world one class at a time. She is the assistant manager and a respected teacher at Corepower Yoga in Georgetown. After graduating from Georgetown with bachelors in French and Linguistics Erin suddenly felt a lack of passion for where to go next. For a couple years she took small jobs, and practiced yoga. Then one day she decided to go back to what had most inspired her in high school: health. She started doing research, and found AU's HPRM program. It was perfect, the program could be tailored to her specific interests, the alumni were accomplishing amazing things, and the night classes offered personal attention from professors. Dr. Snelling, the dean of the program, even offered Erin a position as an adjunct yoga instructor for the undergraduate students, which she says was such fulfilling work. Erin is currently going from part-time to full-time classes depending on her professional workload each semester. She is a city girl who needs green space, and that is why she loves DC. However, her future plans include moving to Colorado, opening her own yoga studio which will incorporate other workout movements, become a health coach, officially open the doors to her yoga T-shirt business she and a friend have already started, and have three French bulldogs.

Justine Kelley

Justine Kelley

Raised throughout West Africa, and having spent her life traveling, Justine knows exactly what she wants to do with her life. It all started about a year after her college graduation, she was entirely fed up with her job in insurance, she researched a few health programs online, came across American University, and that same evening she was traveling on a bus from New Jersey to DC. Justine wants to combine her interest in women's health and nutrition, and translate it unto a global scale. Her background from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan is in International Development with a minor in Business. Combining both her background and interests Justine's main goal would be to start a non-profit focusing her mission in developing countries. She says not only has AU provided her with a job in the health center, but she also loves the class hours, the campus resources, being able to tailor the program to your wants and needs, the DC location, and of course all the alumni panels offered. She wants to remind everyone that health promotion is still a new and upcoming field so it's important to keep exploring, keep researching, and do not be afraid to take a day off to go to a health related conference where the opportunity to meet a diverse, influential crowd is endless.