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Jeff Young, BS ‘96, Exercise Science 

My experience at Penn State had a profound influence on who I am as a professional.

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Jeff became a Penn State student at age 27, after serving in the U.S. Army. From the moment he stepped foot on the beautiful campus, he felt a sense of awe and gratitude. Little did he know that this experience would shape his future in ways he could have never imagined.

Under the guidance of Dr. Bill Kraemer, a renowned strength and conditioning researcher, Jeff became deeply involved in one of the longest studies of its kind. Dr. Kraemer's expertise and the valuable insights gained from the study left an indelible mark on Jeff's professional journey. Even after 27 years, he is still practicing the knowledge he received from his mentor.

Jeff's time at Penn State opened doors he never thought possible. As a result of his dedication and education, he landed an internship and later a job at Duke University Medical Center's prestigious Diet and Fitness Center. His connection to kinesiology played a significant role in this career-defining opportunity. A decade later, Jeff was asked to become the founding fitness coordinator at a Mount Sinai Medical Center facility in New York City. His reputation as a skilled professional had spread, and his Penn State roots continued to be a vital part of his success. 

Some of Jeff's fondest memories were the times he spent playing basketball at the IM building and had many an opportunity to play with and against several of the 1994-95 legendary Penn State football players.

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Beyond his professional achievements, one aspect of Jeff's life stands as a testament to the power of his knowledge and dedication. Jeff's wife has faced a challenging battle with multiple sclerosis (MS) for 18 years. Using his kinesiology knowledge, Jeff crafted a progressive resistance training program for her. She can now deadlift more than twice her body weight, squat over 1.5 times her body weight, is now medication free, and is stronger and healthier than most people her age who haven't been diagnosed with a disease. 

Jeff's wife's story was so remarkable that he presented her journey at an ACSM conference in 2020 and shared it in an article published in the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) Health and Fitness Journal in 2021. Her transformation became a testament to Jeff's unwavering dedication to his profession and the impact he could have on people's lives. 

Today, Jeff Young's name is synonymous with success in the world of kinesiology and fitness. He is the co-founder of the Medicine-to-Fitness Institute, which is dedicated to building the bridge between medicine, rehabilitation, and fitness. Additionally, he is the president-elect of the American College of Sports Medicine's Greater New York Regional Chapter; the founding and current chair of the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Special Populations Interest Group; is completing a master's program in Exercise and Sport Science (expected graduation, December 2023), and has been accepted into a doctoral of Kinesiology program. All these incredible accomplishments stand as a testament to his passion and expertise.

Jeff's story is a reminder that the pursuit of knowledge, coupled with a genuine passion for helping others, can lead to remarkable achievements. His journey from a returning adult student at Penn State to a renowned expert in kinesiology is an inspiration to all who aspire to positively impact the lives of others.

This profile was published August 2023.