Would you travel 8,000 miles to achieve your dreams? For ASU Online student Pat Doyle, his trek included traveling to Australia to discover how to fundamentally affect the overall health of his community.
The concept of the New American University is one of reimagining education and pursuing meaningful societal impact. This concept has redefined what Arizona State University students can achieve, a door that is open to those in the digitally enabled environment through ASU Online. For Doyle, ASU has enabled him to have access to ground-breaking courses and faculty leading the area of sports nutrition, an area he is passionate about.
Doyle is a student in Tucson, Arizona and is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Healthy Lifestyles and Fitness Science. Through his own personal and professional experience, he learned the vital importance of exercise and nutrition.
In his early 20’s, a friend motivated him to start working out and commit to his health. A few years later, he would transform his own lifestyle, lose over 50 pounds, co-own a smoothie shop, and also offer nutrition counseling and bootcamp classes.
Doyle says helping people lose weight and adopt healthier lifestyles was one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences he’d ever had.
This transformation empowered him to pursue a healthy lifestyles and fitness science degree and wants to inspire others to pursue their own path to wellness. A study abroad trip through ASU was the ultimate catalyst to shape his future.
The Australia study abroad opportunity is offered through the College of Health Solutions and is innovative in that it focused on sports nutrition and exercise immunology. As an avid traveler, Australia was a destination he had wanted to visit since he was a child - this was an opportunity too good to pass.
In the summer of 2017, he and a group of ASU students spent a few weeks traveling to universities in cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and more. At each stop, they heard guest lecturers present on methodologies in sports nutrition, sports medicine, physiotherapy and athletic training.
They also got to experience the beauty and culture of a different country, and formed new bonds along the way.
Thanks to the things he learned and the perspective gained during his study abroad trip, Doyle decided to take his education even further.
“I decided that I’m going to get a Master’s in a field called clinical exercise physiology. And I may go abroad to study that,” said Doyle.
“One of the big things I learned in Australia is that they’re using exercise to prevent illness, as preventative medicine part of their healthcare system,” he said. “So essentially a doctor will prescribe exercise and that patient will go next door to the facility where the exercise physiologist is and they will teach them how to exercise or write them workout plans.”
Doyle is determined to own his own practice where he would partner with a doctor and help people achieve a healthier lifestyle.
This experience is the embodiment of what ASU strives to deliver as a New American University. Students are encouraged to engage globally, seek knowledge beyond the classroom and transform society by connecting to social needs.
“It’s been fantastic so far. One of the best scholastic experience for me ever,” said Doyle.
Through ASU Online, Doyle has been able to continue a college journey that began when he was younger. As an entrepreneur, pursuing college online was the perfect fit for his busy schedule. He also gained confidence in his abilities as a student and in his future as a health and nutrition professional.
He credits the uniqueness of ASU Online’s success coaching model for giving him the boost he needed.
“I found a lot more confidence and I think that really established my path,” said Doyle. “That was a huge benefit. I had never experience anything like that in school before - having someone call just to see how I was doing. It really made a difference for me in the beginning."
And another key to his success: curiosity.
Doyle realized that past academic failures were not a reflection of his abilities to learn, rather they presented an opportunity to better engage learning opportunities moving forward. At ASU Online, he began to thrive academically which helped him aspire to new heights and absorb knowledge with a purpose and fresh eyes.
“I think curiosity is hugely important and an open mindedness to learn,” he said.
Doyle’s spirit of discovery is a shining example of what it means to be a Sun Devil: to re-envision education, to apply a global perspective, and to create new knowledge that will transform society.