COE Student Spotlight: Reina Ashley

Reina Ashley
Reina Ashley

Hometown: Chicago
Program: M.S.Ed. Kinesiology and Physical Education/Sport and Exercise Psychology
Year in school: Second-year master’s student

What inspired you to pursue this degree/career? In high school, I was a student athletic trainer. Those three years really inspired me to get more involved in sport and exercise science.

Why did you choose the NIU College of Education? I chose the College of Education because it was close to home, I liked the campus and thought it was an ideal location for me to grow in my interests in sport.

What has surprised or impressed you the most? The amount of opportunities you have, whether to research with your professors and go to conferences, and the amount of classes NIU gives you that cater to so many needs.

How has your NIU College of Education experience been so far? It has been amazing. I started Boxing Club as a volunteer coach for the first semester last year, and I learned so much from the kids. It was so much fun. I had never taught kids before. Dr. Jacobs gave me the opportunity to be a guest coach for day, and for that entire day, I was teaching different boys and girls basically a condensed version of our boxing lessons.

What are your career goals, and why? I would like to be a rehabilitation aide in a hospital to help people who have different ranges of injuries and different levels of therapy needs to get them better.

What are you learning here that you know will help you to shape your career? With the Boxing Club girls, I definitely get to learn different teaching skills and styles to see what works and what doesn’t work for people and other philosophies I can incorporate into my work.

Reina Ashley
Reina Ashley

Why would you recommend the NIU College of Education? I definitely recommend the College of Education for people who want to explore different areas of sports for what fits their passion and what they want to do. The classes are really good, and the teachers are really approachable. They help you to figure out your goals, and they’ll sit down with you to help you with your résumé. The college overall makes sure that you succeed.

What advice do you have for future students? Never give up. Always have faith in yourself. No matter how hard college is, whether it’s your classes or in your personal life, it will get better. You can succeed.

Are you involved in any activities at NIU? I am a graduate assistant for NIU’s head athletic trainer. I help him with all of the medical insurance.

Fun fact: I was a cheerleader and swimmer in high school, and I am a first-generation college student.

Do you know an amazing student who should step into the COE spotlight? Email with names and Z-ID contact information of your nominees.

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