Waynesburg University alumna Hayden Giuliani is an athlete at heart. She maintained her passion for sports by playing basketball throughout her career at Waynesburg. After four years with dedicated mentors, however, Giuliani determined that she does not just want to play sports – she wants to help make life better for other athletes.
Giuliani began her college journey as an athletic training major and eventually added an exercise science major during her junior year as she discovered more about her calling. She is now enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), pursuing a graduate degree in exercise physiology.
“I’m excited, especially because I think Waynesburg provided me with a strong physiology background and the confidence to succeed at the next level,” said Giuliani.
Giuliani names Dr. Bryan Hamilton, a professor of biology at the University, as one of her primary positive influencers. Along with other coaches and professors, Hamilton encouraged Giuliani to aim high, which Giuliani said has worked out quite well.
Giuliani loves her chosen field because of the opportunities to serve others as an athletic trainer.
“I think this field helps people tremendously,” she said. “We have the opportunity to meet people where they are in their lives, hear what their goals are and help them through every step of the process. I know how it feels to be on both sides of this relationship, and being the helper brings more joy than anything else.”
With options including athletic training, coaching, teaching and more open to her, Giuliani has not nailed down which specific career path she will choose. She plans to use her experiences at UNC to slim down the list of possibilities.
“I am hoping my time at UNC will narrow my interests and open doors of opportunity that will ultimately guide my path after graduation,” she said. “But I see myself as a teacher or basketball coach, while also working with strength training and exercise.”
Giuliani feels her Waynesburg education pushed her to take risks and introspectively determine the best path to success for herself.
“I’ve learned to step outside my comfort box and take the extra step,” said Giuliani. “In that way, as a person, I am stronger, more open to ideas and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.”