Stepping into professionalism

WWU students present to health and physical education professionals at annual SDA conference


On March 27, two students from Walla Walla University’s health and physical education department presented at the Seventh-day Adventist Health, Physical Education and Recreation Association Conference (SDA-HPERA) in Seattle, Washington. An annual conference for health and physical education professionals in Adventist K–12 schools, colleges, and universities across North America, the WWU students that presented were also able to meet and network with health and physical education professionals. 

Jenna Wagner, a senior exercise science major, was one student who presented at the conference. Her presentation, “Managing Adolescent ADHD Symptoms with Exercise,” used research to suggest exercise as a symptom-management technique for children with the disorder. Colton Fleming, a senior health science major, was the second WWU student who presented at SDA-HPERA. His presentation on how rock climbers should train, focused on applying research he conducted to knowledge gained from health sciences classes taught at WWU. 

Providing valuable opportunities for both Wagner and Fleming, the experience at SDA-HPERA allowed them to expand on their presentation skills while making new connections with peers in the field. For Wagner, it was an opportunity for her to network with current professionals in her area of study. “The topic of my presentation allowed me to have really insightful conversations with teachers and professors about ADHD and how we can build more accessible programs that extend beyond the classrooms,” said Wagner. For Fleming, the conference revealed the possible paths he could take after graduation. Reflecting on the experience, he found the conference inspirational. “It was rewarding to listen to what other physical education professors had to say about their programs and goals for the future. This inspired me to pursue teaching sometime in the future.”  

Rodd Strobel, chair of the health and physical education department at WWU, said, “This presentation was a first step away from being a student and into being a professional in their field.”

To learn more about the health and physical education department at WWU, visit 


Jenna Wagner giving her presentation at conference
Colton Fleming giving his presentation at conference