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workout instructors

Campus Recreation> Fitness/Wellness > Group Fitness > Meet the Instructors

Meet the Instructors

Aaron Karp

Aaron is a junior Kinesiology major who joined Campus Recreation in the summer of 2013. After competing for the UMass Men’s Rowing team his freshman year, Aaron began to develop his passion for fitness. He became a certified personal trainer and Spinning® instructor to share his passion. Aaron’s Spinning® and Boot Camp classes are designed to be challenging, forcing anyone who takes his class to push beyond normal limits. He hopes that everyone will leave his classes with a sense of accomplishment.

Aaron Karp

Ali Cook

Ali (RYT Back Bay Yoga, Boston), a yogini with eight years on the mat, believes that all bodies, no matter the fitness or wellness level, can experience healing and release through yoga. With influences from many disciplines, including Vinyasa, Forrest, Baptiste, Anusara, Yin, Iyengar and restorative yoga, Ali's classes fuse intensity, strength-building and Pranayama. Ali provides participants a direction at a variety of levels and an intensity that works for them personally. Using music and meditation combined with intelligent sequencing, Ali strives to create an experience that incorporates and engages the whole self.

Ali Cook

Alicia Milch

Alicia is a Soil Science graduate student from Pelham MA who prefers yoga and outdoor activities of all kinds.  She was introduced to Bellydance through a fitness class during her undergrad and was instantly hooked. She continued to study bellydance in RI, Santiago, Chile and Valparaiso, Chile.  Finally returning to Amherst, she took classes with Jackie at the Rec Center and joined the UMASS bellydance club.  Inspired by Jackie and all the members of UBDC she got her instructor certification.  She teaches one class that focuses on the foundations of bellydance moves as well as a fusion class that  explores the variety of styles found all over the world.   In all bellydance classes she focuses on posture, isolations, endurance, and strength through energizing from within. Alicia believes that one important aspect of fitness is synchronizing the body and the mind and bellydance is a beautiful and fun way to incorporate it into your life.

Alicia Milch

Bethany Welch

Bethany is a sophomore Public health major who joined campus rec in December of 2013. She fell in love with fitness and working out during high school after joining her local gym and playing hockey, lacrosse, and field hockey. Certified in Spinning and Cardio Sport, Bethany also teaches boot camp and is a nutrition advisor. She plans on receiving more certifications in the future as well. Bethany strives to give her participants a fun and challenging workout that will leave them feeling accomplished. When Bethany is not at the gym, you can find her at the rink playing for the UMass women’s ice hockey team.

 

 

Bethany Welch

Chastity Beach

Chastity Beach is a Public Health major. Chastity got into fitness and discovered her love for running when she participated in cross country and track in high school. She began taking Spinning® classes in college and loved Spinning® so much that she decided to get certified to teach. Chastity makes her classes interesting with great music and fun themes for every ride.

Chastity Beach

Chekara Jean

Chekara is a Senior English major and Political Science minor at UMass. During high school, she was involved in the dance team, step team, and cheerleading. When she arrived at UMass, she was looking for a fun way to work out and stay healthy that incorporated some of the dance rhythms that she was familiar with. That’s when she discovered the group fitness classes. She had taken Zumba classes before, but she absolutely loved the classes offered at UMass. In July 2013, she became a licensed Zumba instructor. In each class, Chekara hopes to bring fun and energetic routines to help her students achieve their fitness goals no matter how big or small and have a great time while doing it.

Chekara Jean

Courtney Rogers

Courtney is a sophomore economics major who joined Campus Rec in December of 2014. She has always been an avid gym-user, especially once coming to UMass, and believes in using exercise as an outlet.  She enjoys running and yoga and discovered Spinning, a new and challenging workout in early 2014. It is now her favorite form of cardio exercise, which has encouraged her to get her certification. Courtney enjoys designing new rides and creating playlists. Her class is sure to leave you feeling the perfect combination of sweaty and rejuvenated.


Eliav Ehrenkrantz

Eliav has been practicing yoga for 4 1/2 years. Eliav practices Hatha yoga following the Anusara principles of alignment. By maintaining a steady home practice Eliav, finds inspiration from which to teach as a learning and growing student of yoga. He has taken a 50-hour alignment training, 70 hours of Anusara immersions and a 250-hour Ashtanga-Vinyasa Teacher Training. Eliav believes that engaging one’s self in a consistent yoga practice gives a person the tools to affect lives in a positive, compassionate and self-loving way.

 

Eliav Ehrenkrantz

Eric Soule

Eric is a Kinesiology major who joined Campus Recreation in September 2013. He loves all activities, both indoor and outdoor, year round, but some of his favorite things are cross fit, biking, freestyle skiing, soccer and mountain climbing. His classes are impeccably choreographed with a superb understanding for body mechanics and a knack for proper technique. 

Eric Soule

Gillian Gagne

Gillian is a sophomore History major minoring in Education. She began taking Spinning® classes at the Rec Center during her freshman year and loved it so much that she decided to become certified. Gillian believes that the ultimate fitness class should be challenging but also fun, and she strives to incorporate both in her workouts. 

 

Gillian Gagnon

Hannah Winn

Hannah is a senior Accounting major with a Psychology minor. Through taking group fitness classes since freshman year, she realized her passion for health and exercise and became a certified Group Fitness Instructor through the American Council on Exercise. In her cardio kickboxing classes, she hopes to challenge and motivate people through cardio, strength and conditioning while also inspiring her students to lead healthier lives. Her high-energy classes feature fun playlists, choreographed cardio, endurance routines, and classic kickboxing sequences. Hannah enjoys traveling, running, spending time with family and friends, and being involved on campus!

Hannah Winn

Ivy Hauser

Ivy is originally from Atlanta, GA and is currently pursuing a PhD in Linguistics. She received her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  At UNC she also discovered group fitness and trained in various styles of dance including Latin ballroom. Ivy is now a licensed Zumba® instructor and teaches Zumba® and Cardio Hip-Hop. She loves things like body positivity, having a healthy relationship with exercise, leaving class feeling energized and encouraged, and having a blast on the dance floor.

Ivy Hauser

Jamele Watkins

Jamele is a PhD candidate in German and Scandinavian Studies. After tearing her ACL playing rugby, she came to the UMass gym to rehab the muscles in her knee. With group fitness classes and weight training, her muscles are finally identical again. Lately, Jamele goes to the gym to keep her sanity while working on her dissertation. Her Pilates class focuses on control and “makes it burn so good.” Pilates has given her more awareness of her body and movement. As Joseph Pilates said, “In ten [Pilates] sessions, you will feel the difference. In twenty, you will see the difference. And in thirty, you’ll be on your way to having a whole new body.” Join her in your healthy body and mind journey Mondays and Wednesdays at 11am. Her certifications include AFAA Personal Training, Pilates, yoga and Pilates on the ball.

Jamele Watkins

Jenn Konjoian

Jenn plans to study Marketing or Communication with a minor in Nutrition or Kinesiology. After participating in several sports, she got a job working at a gym in her hometown and soon involved herself in the group fitness world. Certified in Group Power and BodyPump, Jenn is also a certified personal trainer. Jenn teaches Tabata and P90X at the Rec Center where her high energy classes encourage participants to challenge themselves and make the most of their workout.

 

Jenn Konjoian

Jessica Capri

Jess is a Biology and Neurobiology major with a minor in Psychology and Anthropology. Jess will be graduating in 2015 and hopes to become an eye doctor. She is a certified Spinning® instructor as well as certified through AFAA in Pilates. Her interest in science and the body is what inspired her to become a fitness instructor. Jess enjoys motivating and encouraging others to reach their fitness goals. She hopes to continue teaching Pilates and Spinning® after she graduates.

Jessica Capri

Jill Isabelle

Jill graduated from UMass with honors with a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Community Health. Prior to joining Campus Recreation in 2009, Jill had competed in fitness and bodybuilding competitions. She still trains regularly, enjoys running and is always trying new things. Jill believes that family comes first, that friends should always make your life better, and the little things really do matter. Jill is focused on professional development as she continues to work on her Master’s and expand her qualifications. Her certifications include first aid/CPR/AED, AFAA kickboxing instructor, Spinning® instructor and ASFA personal trainer.

Jill Isabelle

Julia Amodeo

Julia is a Nursing major in the class of 2017 who has a passion for fitness. During high school, she practiced mixed martial arts, which sparked her love for exercise, and earned her black belt within 3 years. When Julia came to UMass, she wanted to find an outlet to continue her training and love of exercise. She decided to try a group fitness class. Since then, she has attended many different types of classes and has found a place where she feels most at home and confident in herself. Inspired to provide others with a sense of self-confidence and love of fitness, Julia became a group fitness instructor and began teaching cardio kickboxing after finishing her freshman year. She is looking forward to sharing her love and passion for fitness and exercise with others, and helping others find new ways to enjoy their time at UMass.

Mulia Amodeo

Julia Ginsburg

Julia (RYT Prana Power Yoga, Cambridge, MA) began practicing yoga at the age of ten and knew that she wanted to spread the love of yoga and the love of life to as many people as possible. She double majors in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Sustainable Food and Farming. Julia believes that through a steady practice of yoga and breath, we can make our lives happier, one day at a time. Her classes are for all skill levels and combine strength with stretching and breathing. Vinyasa is often thought of as a meditation in motion, breath synchronized with asana (poses) that are all aligned with one another to make your body feel energized and refreshed. As always, Namaste.

Julia Ginsburg

Katie Hill

Katie is a sophomore nursing student who has loved fitness her entire life. She found a love for cardio kickboxing and became certified to teach by the second semester of freshman year. She participated in swimming, cross country, and track in high school and holds the school record for the 4x800m run. Katie has spent her entire life moving all along the east coast and then to Colorado before arriving to UMass where she plans to graduate and become a traveling nurse to see even more of the world. She hopes to share her passion and excitement for fitness with every member of her classes and help each and every one push their limits to feel confident, strong, and accomplished!

Katie Hill

Kayla Clogston

Kayla is an Accounting major planning to graduate in 2015. She has always been interested in fitness but decided to get Spinning® certified in 2010 when her dad opened a fitness studio. She fell in love with leading group fit classes and became a certified TRX instructor a year later. Kayla knew she wanted to teach classes at the Rec Center since she was a freshman and was really excited to be a part of introducing TRX to the group fit schedule. Kayla also enjoys designing and teaching strength based classes such as buns, guns and guts. She always tries to lead safe, fun and effective classes for all fitness levels.

Kayla Clogston

Kelsey Baumgarten

Kelsey is in her junior year as a Nutrition major. She loves everything that revolves around food and being active. After a lifetime of training in gymnastics and other competitive sports, she discovered a passion for Zumba® because it allows everyone to be winners, feel good and have fun. She attended Zumba® classes for many years and finally decided to teach in order to share the positive energy and promote health and well-being. She tries to make classes fun and easy to follow, so that everyone can get a great workout and leave feeling accomplished!

 

Kelsey Baumgarten

Laura Berglass

Laura is a Kinesiology major with a minor in Biology and Psychology. By combining her interests in various fields of science, Laura has spent several years studying the correlation between the body and mind. She discovered yoga three years ago, and after making it a daily routine, she recognized its healing and restorative abilities. Laura completed her certification in Boston’s heated power vinyasa studio, Health Yoga Life. She feels very passionate about sharing her love of yoga with others through teaching. Laura welcomes everyone to her class, regardless of their previous yoga experience.

Laura Berglass

Lily Sexton

Lily has been practicing yoga for five years. She is a registered Kripalu yoga teacher as well as a dancer and swimmer. Through yoga, she learned to respect her body and mind and now wants to share this gift with others. Her yoga classes are designed to be accessible to EVERY body, regardless of ability, injury, age, gender or previous experience. Lily believes that yoga and dance are therapeutic exercises that anyone and everyone can benefit from.

Lily Sexton

Lizzee McKibben

Lizzee is a junior Psychology major with minors in Chinese and Spanish. She began yoga as a freshman in high school because of various physical ailments. After only a few months of practice, Lizzee noticed significant improvement in her health. She obtained her first yoga teaching certificate from Yoga Kingdom Sanctuary, a private studio in Los Angeles, where she learned the importance of breath and meditation in yoga and life. She recently completed a second training in Heated Power Vinyasa Yoga at Health Yoga Life in Boston. These trainings have given her a deep appreciation for the spiritual, theoretical and physical practice of Yoga. Her classes are accessible to all and emphasize garnering awareness of the mind-body connection.

Elizabeth McKibben

Madeline Howe

Maddie is a Nursing major in the Class of 2017. From a young age she has always loved exercising and living a healthy lifestyle, participating in soccer, track and lacrosse in high school. In the off-season she decided to mix up her workouts and discovered her love for spinning. Participating in spinning classes throughout her freshman year she decided to become spin certified her sophomore year. She hopes to share her love of spinning and motivate students to challenge themselves both physically and mentally on the bike. Check out her classes for a fun and upbeat workout that will leave you feeling accomplished!

 

Maggie Ricciardi

Maggie is a sophomore Nursing major from Saratoga Springs, NY and hopes to one day become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. While training for a half marathon, she discovered that long distance running was too harsh on her back and decided to get more involved in her choice of cross training, Spinning. Since then, she has fell in love with the amount versatility and intensity squeezed into an exhilarating hour of a single class. Maggie aims to lead a upbeat, motivational ride that invites her students to challenge themselves and leave the room drenched in sweat and satisfaction. 

 

Maya Bergandy

From Tiverton, Rhode Island, Maya is a sophomore honors student majoring in Computer Science. During high school, Maya played lacrosse, soccer and basketball year-round. Once at UMass, she dreaded coming to the gym to use the machines and began searching for a fun alternative to workout. She quickly became involved in multiple group fitness classes, uncovering her hidden love for Zumba®. Maya earned her Zumba® certification in April 2014 and now teaches 30-Minute Abs and multiple Zumba® classes. She believes that working out is extremely beneficial for your emotional health and is a great way to escape the everyday stresses of life. Overall, she strives to get others excited about going to the gym by providing fun and upbeat workouts.

Maya Bergandy

Melissa Midgen

Melissa is a marketing and psychology double major in the class of 2017. Since she was young, Melissa has always had a love for sports and exercise. She grew up dancing and playing softball until the summer before she started high school, during which she found her love of running. Melissa joined her high school track team and instantly fell in love. Through track she learned how to push herself through tough workouts and realized how rewarding fitness is. No longer running in college, Melissa found a new love of group fitness classes. Inspired by other instructors, Melissa decided to get certified to teach. She joined campus rec during the fall of 2014 and began teaching cardio kickboxing. She hopes that when people take her classes, they too will be able to gain a love for fitness.

melissa Midgen

Michelle Nowak

Michelle is a Nursing major in the class of 2015. She got into group fitness when she was looking for a way to continue working out after her high school track season ended. That is when she found Zumba® and fell in love with it. She got certified in October 2010 and has been teaching it in many different places ever since. She has a real passion for it and it shows in her classes. Michelle believes that Zumba® truly helps her to de-stress and stay fit and happy. She hopes to inspire and motivate UMass students to join the Zumba® movement so that they can be healthy and happy, too!

Michelle Nowak

Milana Morozova

Milana is a junior at UMass and has a strong passion for fitness and nutrition. She is a Psychology major who lives through the importance of having a healthy lifestyle - both physically and mentally. Spinning® has been her passion since freshman year of college because it can be such a high intensity workout, yet people of all different ages and fitness levels can participate and have fun. Music is extremely important to Milana and she focuses a lot on making the perfect playlist that will motivate everyone. She hopes to get more certifications under her belt before she graduates, but it's safe to say that Spinning® will be her true love (for at least a while!).

Milana Morozova

Molly Shunney

Molly Shunney is a senior Sport Management major. This will be her third year teaching Spinning® at Campus Recreation. Working with Fitness/Wellness has really impacted her overall college experience. She enjoys the process of picking playlists, creating new rides and facilitating class. Her passion for Spinning® - both as a teach and a student - continues to grow. If you're looking for a fun environment that will challenge you physically and mentally, she's got you covered.

Molly Shunney

Monica Davis

Monica is a second year master's student in the Environmental Conservation program. She graduated from Colby College in 2013, where she was a captain of the track and field team. Throughout her racing years, she incorporated cross training into her workouts and discovered the benefits of low-impact cardio work. She loves to motivate people to achieve their goals and strives to make every spin class a new experience. Head to Monica's spin class for a challenging, upbeat ride that will leave you dripping with sweat, with no regrets

Monica Davis

Natalie Beekman

Natalie is a Public Health major in her sophomore year. She has a love for dance and fitness and enjoyed teaching classes at her dance studio during high school. In order to bring the passion with her she became certified to instruct Zumba in 2012. She feels it is so much more fun than a bland workout on the machines and can create amazing results. Natalie strives to deliver a high- energy, positive, sexy class to everyone. She knows how much of a mental release movement can be and finds happiness in helping others find an outlet thru exercise. 

Natalie Beekman

Niki Farahani

Niki has been dancing for over 14 years and has been teaching for five years. She is currently a junior majoring in Dance and minoring in Education. A certified Zumba® instructor, she also teaches cardio hip hop classes. Niki aspires to become certified in yoga and kickboxing. Niki has preformed on numerous stages including venues such as the John Hancock Theater in Boston and the Citigroup Theater in the Alvin Aliey Building in New York. She hopes to continue performing and teaching classes after college.

Niki Farahani

Robin Hammond

Robin is senior Kinesiology major anticipating graduation in 2015. She is 200-hour certified yoga instructor with a passion for movement. As a runner and competitive horseback-rider, Robin began practicing yoga as a way to balance the demands on her body. She immediately fell in love with the mental, emotional, and spiritual balance that also accompanied a consistent yoga practice. She teaches a Vinyasa-based practice aimed to strengthen and stretch the body while calming and rejuvenating the mind. She welcomes all levels and encourages students to tailor their practice to the changing needs of their body and mind.

Robin Hammond

Sarah Marotta

Sarah is a Business Management major planning to graduate in 2015. In high school, she enjoyed playing field hockey and teaching group fitness classes at the local athletic club. With certificates in both strength-training and yoga classes, Sarah is able to combine the two for strength-based yoga. The SBY class is set to fun music and will allow participants to become more balanced and flexible. She also teaches 30-minute body and acrobatic yoga. She looks forward to bringing new material to the Rec Center and hopes to help male participants overcome their group fitness fears.

Sarah Marotta

Sarah Sawayanagi

Sarah is an Animal Science/Pre-Vet major graduating in 2016. From Cape Cod, Sarah started running regularly in high school and started entering local races and events. Since then, she discovered the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle by exercising, eating well and staying motivated. After participating in many group fitness classes during freshman year, she knew what she wanted to do. Today, she teaches INSANITY and Turbo Kick classes and hopes to energize people with the high intensity workouts.

Sarah Sawayanagi

Taylor Barrett

Taylor is a Public Health major with a concentration in fitness and wellness. In high school, Taylor played soccer and lacrosse and ran indoor track. She found a new love for Spinning® when she started school here in 2012. Exercise and health have always been a vital part of her life. She will continue to branch out and discover other types of challenging physical activity.

Taylor Barrett

Tess Curran

Tess is a Public Health major with an anticipated graduation date of 2016. She is a certified Kripalu yoga instructor and has been practicing on the mat for six years. After discovering yoga, Tess began to explore all things fitness and loves to rock climb, bike, and horseback ride. Tess believes that yoga is a personal journey anyone can participate in, no matter his/her fitness level. Her classes include breath work, physical asana, and meditation that include options for everyone from newcomers to practiced yogis.  

Tess Curran

Tracy Conner

Tracy is a PhD student in Linguistics. Previously she earned a BA in Linguistics and an MA in Sociology from Stanford University before completing an MA in Communication Disorders at UMass. Originally from Leawood, Kansas, Tracy has moved from coast to coast for academic pursuits, but along the way she has always made time to dance. From competitive dance in high school, directing and choreographing for jazz and hip-hop groups at Stanford, to hitting the court and the national stage with the UMass dance team, and forays into Flashmobbing with her church MERCYhouse, Tracy has explored many styles of dance. At present, Tracy has also become AAAI/ISMA STRIDE certified by fitness guru Shaun T to teach cardio dance and body-weighted toning exercises toward an INSANE body. 

Tracy Conner