“Learning how my body works and learning ways to improve my performance is something I have always thought about. Exercise and Sport Science is the perfect major for the interests that I have always had.”
Jacob Stroup, originally from Texas, is in one of Western Colorado University’s Accelerated Degree Programs (3+2), on track to earn his bachelor’s in Exercise & Sport Science (ESS) and his master’s in ESS with an emphasis in High-Altitude Exercise Physiology in just five years total. He expects to graduate in 2022.
“Growing up, my family always vacationed in the valley,” Stroup said. “We got a flat tire going over Old Monarch Pass and we had to stop in Gunnison to change it. My mom told me that there was a college here and that I should look into getting on the track team. I emailed the coach, then came on a visit over Thanksgiving and loved it.”
When deciding what he wanted to study, Stroup looked at one thing he has always been passionate about.
“It really started with myself, being an athlete,” Stroup said. “Learning how my body works and learning ways to improve my performance is something I have always thought about. Exercise & Sport Science is the perfect major for the interests that I have always had.”
Stroup stays busy outside of class as well. He is a Resident Assistant (RA) in the Escalante Complex, is in the Academic Leadership Program (ALPs) and runs hurdles on Western’s NCAA Track & Field team.
Stroup is in his second year of ALPs, learning how to better lead and serve the community.
“My favorite thing to do off campus in the wintertime is to go to the movie theatre in Crested Butte or to find new places to eat, because there are a lot of good places to eat here,” Stroup said. “In the summer, I like to hike and drive around. For track we get to work out in cool places like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.”
Since coming to Western, Stroup has learned a lot about himself.
“I think moving far away from home has helped me become independent and focus on the core values that define me. I have learned who I am on my own,” Stroup said. “I have made mistakes because of things I didn’t know, but it is all a part of the experience of college.”
Story by Western student Taya Olson.