HES Club fosters connection between students, alumni


Collegian | Chloe Leline

Ivy Secrest, Life and Culture Director

In an active state with active students, it is no surprise that Health and Exercise Science is one of the top 10 most popular majors for the latest incoming classes at Colorado State University.

In line with that popularity, the Health and Exercise Science Club aims to foster that passion and help students in the major or minor network with each other and, in some cases, alumni.


Club leaders such as President Isabelle Snyder and Financial Officer Brendan Mikolajczyk have put in substantial effort to connect with current members and meet their needs.

“There’s a lot of pressure, especially in our field, to kind of know what you want to go do,” Mikolajczyk said. “I think having some specific alumni who are in the same position share that it’s OK to not know exactly where you want to go right away and that for most HES majors, it’s a marathon to their ultimate career. … That’s pretty important for a lot of us to know.”

“The relationships not only that I’ve formed but the relationships I’m seeing the current students form with each other is really cool.” –Brendan Mikolajczyk, HES Club financial officer

Beyond determining future career paths and getting comfortable with the major, the club provides social connections as well. Consisting of mostly first-year and sophomore members since the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the younger CSU students reach out to the club for social connections.

“When we were operating during COVID, it was hard to really do things and get together — we kind of lost some of our older members,” Snyder said. “So in our recent recruitment, we’ve had a lot of those (first-years) and sophomores looking to build relationships and just have more HES experiences.”

Those connections stand the test of time, bringing back alumni as well. On April 17 the club hosted alumnus Daniel Ward, who graduated in 2003. Ward is the owner of Inward Fitness, a business focused on personal training, corporate wellness and sports performance at two Denver locations.

Ward reached out to the club to speak, looking to give back since the program gave him so much in his time at CSU.

“He wanted to pay it forward and give the knowledge he has from his experience in the field to the club,” Snyder said.

While the networking aspect of the club does connect students with alumni and gives them a real idea of what the careers they think they want actually look like, networking can’t be everything.

“The relationships not only that I’ve formed but the relationships I’m seeing the current students form with each other is really cool,” Mikolajczyk said. “Especially since where we were a couple of years ago with COVID not allowing us to even have a club really.”


Both preparing to graduate, Mikolajczyk and Snyder have attributed their next steps to their participation in the club along with education and personal capability.

“I have an internship over the summer down at the (University of Denver); I feel really ready, I’m excited,” Mikolajczyk said. “I’m actually going to have a leadership role at that internship. I think being in this club (and) being an advisor in this club was really impactful for that.”

Between the social and career connections as well as opportunities to connect with faculty and staff, the HES Club helps HES students find meaningful connections with their peers and the broader world.

Reach Ivy Secrest at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @IvySecrest.