If you have visited Temple University Ambler and taken a tour of campus in the last four years, Kinesiology major Amanda Hoff may very well have been one of the first people you met.
“There’s not another campus set up quite like it. We have the same variety of resources, but so much more green space — there are wonderful places to study,” said Hoff, a member of Temple’s Class of 2020. “I’ve taken courses at both Temple Ambler and Main Campus — I came to Temple Ambler in my first year and took many of my general education courses and electives. As an experiment for myself, I had the opportunity to try off-campus housing at Main Campus.”
Hoff said it was a great deal of change and transition in a very short period of time. Combined with a course load of high-level science classes — physiology, biomechanics, biology, physics, chemistry — and it was a great lesson for her in setting her own pace and getting the most out of her educational experience, she said.
“In order to succeed, I think, you have to be comfortable with the pace you set. It’s a lot to take in — a lot of change, a lot of new experiences,” she said. “It is okay to struggle and it is okay to ask for help. Sometimes it’s going to take longer and there might be different ways you have to approach something, but as long as you try, you can accomplish almost anything.”
Arriving at Temple University, Hoff had already achieved academic success at Pennridge High School and had begun her transition to higher education early thanks to the high school’s dual enrollment program with Bucks County Community College.
While exploring potential careers, she found the path toward health professions “interesting and, in a good way, challenging.” While initially interested in nursing, it was then Temple Ambler career coordinator Lucille D’Emilio-Wilkinson that helped set her on the journey of completing her Kinesiology degree.
“Kinesiology (offered at Temple through the College of Public Health) focuses on the way the human body moves. The courses that are required for the program are a truly interesting mix, from physical movements that I’m undertaking myself in yoga and Zumba to studying the physics of the body in biomechanics — a lot of math combined with real-world body movement,” she said. “I feel with the skills I’ve developed and what I have learned at Temple, there are a lot of options in my field where I could be successful. To me, everything I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, the experiences that I’ve had, are as important as completing my degree.”
During her time at Temple, Hoff has certainly made a positive impact on the people that she has met. As the lead Owl Ambassador at Temple Ambler for spring 2020, she takes her role as a communicator for the campus seriously.
“The Owl Ambassadors are definitely among the first people that you meet that relate to you as a student the most. I came to visit Temple Ambler three times and met a different ambassador each time,” she said. “Some of them I have since had a chance to work with. Each of them had something about them that helped me make my decision; a positive attitude that they wanted you to come to campus and be a part of this community. Everyone I’ve met on campus, I’ve felt they cared sincerely about who I was and my intentions and what my aspirations were.”
Becoming part of the campus community, “helped me make more essential connections and friends and made me feel more passionate and excited about being in the classroom,” said Hoff, former vice president of the Ambler Campus Student Government Association (now called the Ambler Campus Student Life Board) and a student leadership scholarship recipient.
“The leadership roles that I’ve had at Temple Ambler have definitely made me step out of my comfort zone many times and in different ways,” she said. “I’m more comfortable meeting challenges and trying things I’m not used to doing. At the same time, I feel quicker on my feet and have increased my ability to adapt to new situations.”
As Hoff prepares for the next phase of her life, she said her degree in kinesiology will provide an excellent stepping stone into any number of health profession fields.
“You gain an understanding of the science side of life, how things work and also how the body itself functions. It’s such a broad scope of information that you can apply it to other fields in so many different ways,” she said. “A lot of people with kinesiology degrees go into physical therapy or fitness training. I think I’d definitely like to become a Zumba instructor while also exploring careers in doctor’s offices or in higher education — not unlike my owl ambassador role in trying to ensure the success of others. I want to take the time to explore all of my career options.”
Hoff is also taking another bit of inspiration from Temple Ambler with her.
“After graduating, I would like to start a fruit and vegetable garden so I can eat healthier and have a way to de-stress that is also good for the environment,” she said. “I definitely have Temple Ambler to thank for that goal.”
For students just beginning their higher education journey, Hoff’s advice is simple — get a calendar.
“Get the syllabus from your classes and read through each of them. Write down all of your tests in a different color,” she said. “Make yourself a to-do list every week — it makes me feel great when I can cross something off that list. You don’t forget things when you have them written down in the order that they are due!”