Featured Faculty: Meet Dr. Amanda Gowin
Amanda Gowin, PhD, has a dizzying number of interests, from teaching college students about nutrition and health to traveling throughout rural Tanzania to juggling a busy family with her husband, Matthew Gowin, ’92 ΒΘΠ.
It makes perfect sense the chair of the Department of Health and Exercise Science recently added a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis to her list of accomplishments. Gowin earned her EdD this spring from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“I wanted to diversify my background,” she explains. “My dissertation research was over service learning and health behavior change. How cool is it that I can teach about health and exercise science and influence our students’ health behaviors?”
Gowin adds the Health and Exercise Science Department will be expanding its research in the future. At least some of that study will take place within the Exercise Science major that recently added a new 3+2 accelerated Master of Athletic Training program in partnership with Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO.
The new partnership will help Westminster students become certified athletic trainers one year faster than elsewhere: Because the rapidly growing field will require a master’s degree for certification by 2022, students now may obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years.
Despite departmental growth, the size of the Health and Exercise Science remains within Westminster’s smaller institutional framework, which Gowin says is a definite strength of teaching at the College.
“I love the small classroom size here, because I can engage and build relationships with students,” she says.
Gowin also loves what she calls an “intentional” learning environment at Westminster, where faculty work extra hard to seek out experiences for students that enhance learning and engagement.
“Relationships with other students, faculty members, and the community happen naturally in the small setting and make Westminster a great place to live and learn,” she says.
While this summer finds Gowin busily making plans for Fall Semester 2021, she also can be found with Matthew on the ball field with their blended family of four children: Hope, 19, Liv, 17, Katherine, 15, and Sam, 13.
Gowin also loves music — she admits with a grin to playing the guitar in an all-girl rock band in early high school and college.
No matter what, Gowin says being outdoors is her ultimate goal, whether she’s attending a baseball game, jogging, fishing, or just lounging in a hammock in her back yard in Fulton. And she can’t wait to travel abroad with Westminster students at some point in the future.
Gowin explains that she has traveled extensively through Greece and western Europe but plans to do so were cut short during COVID-19.
“I try to travel with my family and students as much as possible and am fully committed to a service partnership in rural Tanzania,” Gowin says, adding she has traveled to Tanzania with Westminster students five times. “I hope to take students with me on a study abroad again soon.”
Dr. Amanda Gowin oversees three majors within the Department of Health and Exercise Science: Exercise Science, Health and Wellness, and Physical Education, which is shared with Westminster’s Department of Education. The department also offers two minors: Public Health and Coaching. For more information on any of these programs, please feel free to reach out to Gowin at 573-592-5015 or Amanda.Gowin@WCMO.edu.