MAY 14

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Experiential learning changed the course of Dr. Paul Dalton’s career.

“The purpose of education is to prepare students to operate in the field,” said Dalton, LVC assistant professor of exercise science. “As a graduate student, I was asked to help on a research study that I wouldn’t have pursued on my own. That experience changed my career direction.”

Because of this, Dalton gives his LVC students as many opportunities as possible to apply interdisciplinary knowledge. For students in the College’s M.S. in Exercise Science—Clinical Exercise Physiology degree program, this will mean real-time ECG interpretation, as well as exercise testing and assessment, he said.

“My background is in environmental physiology, particularly with post-exercise cooling techniques and how that affects recovery and performance,” said Dalton.

Now, Dalton draws on his expertise in environmental physiology to help general populations in Central Pennsylvania. He’s also partnering on a new education program about resistance training with WellSpan.

“I test individuals before and after this program to determine how effective it is for improving different health outcomes, like muscular strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility, and balance,” Dalton explained.

When he’s not busy testing patients in clinical environments, Dalton helps his students use complex research equipment, conduct in-depth patient assessments, and interpret results.

Currently, he’s excited to mentor clinical exercise physiology graduate students through the thesis process.

“I enjoy working as a research mentor for graduate students and helping with the research development process,” said Dalton. “The best part of science is talking shop with students and colleagues who have similar interests.”

Like LVC’s graduate students, Dalton also chose to stay in a faculty-student-mentor style college for his graduate studies. In fact, the decision to enroll at Springfield College for his Ph.D. wound up shaping his career in more ways than one.

“When I was accepted into graduate school, I was very interested in research,” Dalton recalled. He was so dedicated to researching environmental physiology that his dissertation advisor’s suggestion to pursue teaching initially surprised him.

“If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have opened my mind to pursuing higher education as a career,” said Dalton. “It was the right decision because I absolutely love what I do, and I love where I’m at now.”