Recent Health and Wellness master’s graduate sees experience as a path to progress
What does fitness have to do with freight?
Spring 2021 Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management (MSHWM) graduate Sarah McKenna Rogers has the answer. For a leadership capstone project through the UW-Green Bay program, she found a partner company (Paper Transport, Inc.) that wanted to improve the health of its truck-driving population. Rogers examined their health and wellness needs and developed a wellness program for those driving long distances.
A fitness professional with more than 10 years of work experience, Rogers saw the degree program as a path to progress in her wellness career.
“I saw an ad for this program in one of the fitness professional magazines and thought I would look into it,” she says. “A year later, the time and circumstances were right for me to consider going back to school for my master’s degree, so I applied. Having the option to do my course work 100% online was really what sold me on the program. I knew I would need to work full-time throughout my time in school and this was the best program out there for both content and flexibility.”
Rogers says the professors and coursework in the program challenged her to grow professionally and academically, with the flexibility of online content.
For her capstone project, she found a company that wanted to work on their employee health. She discussed her ideas with the wellness coordinator and arrived at the conclusion that a wellness program paired with a job requirement would provide the desirable impact.
“Drivers need to pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical exam to maintain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). If they are in poor health, they may not qualify for the medical card and lose their CDL and possibly their job. The aim of this project was to identify the areas of health that are concerning and disqualify drivers on the exam and what health topics, based in this employee population and national truck driver’s data, would encourage health changes at least three months prior to the medical exam date.”
Without a specific career path in mind, Rogers says she now feels prepared to progress where ever new career adventures could lead.
“I am a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor, health coach, corporate wellness specialist, and have managed a corporate wellness facility and exercise and movement is important to me. I have loved my time with the MSHWM program because it has emphasized the other elements of wellness above and beyond exercise,” she said.
Story by Marketing and University Communication student assistant Charlotte Berg. Photos submitted.