• Overview
  • Faculty
  • Advising
  • Career Tracks
  • Off-Campus Study
  • Unique Opportunities
  • Graduate Success



Ripon College offers a minor in health. The wellness revolution, the fitness movement and business opportunities in the world of athletics have necessitated a more science- and business-oriented approach to heath and exercise science. The curriculum includes four tracks of emphasis: physical education teaching K-12, sport management, community recreation and athletic training. Our exercise science students take science-, recreation-, sports-, and business-oriented classes within the department, as well as courses from the biology, economics, business management and leadership studies departments. Students acquire valuable “hands-on” job experience through such practicums as assisting high school and college coaches with their teams, helping teach classes at the college and high school levels, working in the training room at Ripon Medical Center Rehabilitation Department, teaching at a local fitness club, and helping run the College intramural program.

Program Spotlight


Brian Azinger

Brian Azinger

Head Athletic Trainer

[email protected]
Katie Astrauskas

Catherine “Katie” Astrauskas

Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Athletic Administrator, Head Coach of Volleyball

[email protected]
Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel

Adjunct Professor of Exercise Science

[email protected]

Rick Coles

Professor of Exercise Science, Chair of Exercise Science Department, Assistant Coach of Football

[email protected]
Ron Ernst

Ronald Ernst

Professor of Exercise Science, Head Coach of Football, Assistant Athletic Director

[email protected]


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon.

Career Tracks

What can I do with a health minor?

A health minor can lead to careers in education, sports medicine, training and coaching. It often provides a background for further work in other disciplines, including government, business, law, medicine, marketing and other fields. This minor is primarily for students majoring in physical education so that they have the certification to also teach health.

Recent graduates have taken many paths, including graduate school programs in law, business, education administration and medicine.

In addition to the many schools where our graduates teach and coach, recent graduates of our program work for:

  • Accurate Controls Inc.
  • Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
  • Bank of Luxemburg
  • Bellin Sports Medicine
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Carthage College
  • Coe College
  • Harris Bank
  • M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank
  • Meriter Hospital
  • Mile Bluff Medical Center
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Shorewood Community Fitness Center
  • Spirit Winds Physical Therapy
  • TotalMed Staffing
  • UW-Madison
  • UW-Sheboygan
  • Wisconsin Golf, Inc.
  • Xperience Fitness
  • YMCA

Job titles of recent graduates include:

  • Teacher
  • Coach
  • Licensed athletic trainer
  • Sports director
  • Athletic director
  • Fitness specialist
  • Personal trainer
  • Marketing assistant

Off-Campus Study

Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off- Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.

Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.

Unique Opportunities

Exercise science and health students have completed practicums at various radio stations, at the University of Wisconsin campuses in Green Bay and Milwaukee, at the offices of the Midwest Conference, and for the Green Bay Blizzard, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Milwaukee Admirals, the Milwaukee Wave, the Rockford River Hawks and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Graduate Success

While earning his degree in sports management, Jake Marshall ’10 was Ripon’s record-setting quarterback. “The faculty in the exercise science department prepared me for basically any career I wanted," Jake says. "My major requires two internships. My experience interning for a minor league baseball team and the inspiration of Coach (Rick) Coles and Coach (Ron) Ernst made me realize I wanted to become a coach. I am now a graduate assistant and wide receivers coach at Coe College. I am thankful every day for the experiences Ripon offered me. Go Red Hawks!