Five Minutes with Nick Juday, Associate Professor and Chair of the Health and Human Performance Department

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Nick Juday formally serves as associate professor and chair of the Health and Human Performance Department, but his number one goal is to be a mentor to Comets. He has worked at The University of Olivet for nearly 14 years, and is driven to help students after the many mentors he had in high school and college helped him reach his goals. Professor Juday’s teaching focuses on exercise science and human performance through the practical courses of exercise physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, and principles and techniques of conditioning.

Professor Juday’s passion for human performance began during his undergraduate studies and as a sprinter on the Manchester University track and field team. During his master’s studies at Western Michigan University, he gained experience by being promoted from a graduate assistant to assistant strength and conditioning coach. He strives to help students find similar experiences through research studies and internships.

In addition to his love of teaching, Professor Juday is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and is currently a member of this organization. He also holds certifications through USA Olympic Weightlifting, USA Track and Field, and the American Red Cross.

Why do you love working at OC?

The University of Olivet has a great environment. There are quality faculty, administration, staff and students throughout the entire college. When you have the combination of great environment and great people, it results in an amazing place. It makes getting up in the morning and going to work something to look forward to!

Also, looking back, I had a bunch of mentors throughout my high school and college development who were The University of Olivet graduates. Reflecting back, if I could make a difference like these individuals played in my growth and development as a person and professional, then I would have made a difference for a lot of students.

Where does your passion for teaching stem from?

From my coaching background! I have always liked teaching individuals how to accomplish their goals or milestones. My dad, a few aunts and one uncle went to college to become educators. From there, I would often have teachers and coaches talk to me about teaching as a profession. I kept trying to do something different, but I finally realized teaching was my true calling.

How would you describe your teaching style?

To motivate students to better themselves. Never let a person settle, because there is always room for growth and improvement. I ask myself every day, “What kind of teacher do I want to be?” and I answer that before and after every class. To be an effective lecturer, I first have to know my strengths and weaknesses. I know my strengths are to be clear and fair. I also must make sure students are given the tools to be successful within each lesson I teach. When I instruct, I do not feel like I am trying to entertain; I feel like I am coaching them to become better at their chosen craft. My job is to make sure students are on target with the information necessary to become proficient, once they begin their chosen profession.

What is the average day in your job, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?

Within a typical day, I have the usual office hours, advising students, preparatory work for the courses and then the instruction of those courses. However, as a chair of a department, there are other duties such as course development, report writing, quality control and budget management to name a few.

Why do you encourage students to attend OC?

The University of Olivet is a great place to have individualized relationships with your professors. We truly want our students to find success during their time at The University of Olivet and once they enter their chosen profession.

What do you look forward to in your role?

I look forward to going to class. That is definitely the highlight of my day. I also enjoy helping students find solutions to issues or problems they might have.

What is the number one piece of advice you share with students?

Never sell yourself short.

What is an interesting or little known fact about yourself?

I was raised on my family’s farm, “Rainbow Acres,” named after the division my grandfather served during World War II, the 42nd Rainbow Division. My wife and I have two amazing daughters, Jovi, 8, and Sydney, 7. We also have two dogs, Bella, a Golden Retriever, and Chase, a Border Collie.

Visit campus or attend an upcoming admissions event to check out The University of Olivet for yourself and connect with outstanding professors, like Professor Juday. Learn more by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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