BS in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science and SHAPE America “Major of the Year”

Grace Michielsen

“The KRS program has allowed me to leave feeling 100% comfortable stepping into my career.”


Simi Valley, California


Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science

Related Degrees

  • BS, KRS: Health & Physical Education

How did you become interested in the field of health and physical education?
It has always been my passion to work with children in a physically active setting. Starting at the age of 15, I worked at Imagymnation Gymnastics Center as a coach for about five years as well as coached volleyball for a few years at the elementary level for Junior Olympics. Once I realized I could make a career out of working with children and have the chance to teach them about being physically active for a lifetime, I knew I needed to be a part of Health and Physical Education.

Where do you work?
Currently I am back in my home town gaining experience in all grade levels through substitute teaching. I just finished a long-term substitute position at the kindergarten level that has allowed me to gain solo classroom experience for the past two months. Using my KRS knowledge, I was able to integrate movement through my lessons in the classroom which was a great challenge for me.

How has the KRS program impacted or benefited your career path?
I feel that I would not have had as great an experience anywhere else but at UH Mānoa. The amount of care and guidance from professors and mentors allowed me to grow into the educator I am today. I was constantly challenged to learn from experiences in the classroom as well as out in the field. The KRS program has allowed me to leave feeling 100% comfortable stepping into my career.

Is there anyone in particular who inspired you to pursue a career in education?
The person who inspired me to be an educator was my dad. He is a physical education teacher in California and throughout my childhood, I grew up around him in the teaching environment. I knew early on in high school that I wanted to teach, but I also knew I didn’t want to only be in the classroom. Through him, I found I could do what I love (educate and work with children), while being active and outside!

What are your future plans with your degree?
My future plan with my degree is to build my career as a physical education teacher at the secondary level. My hopes are to have the opportunity to go back to Hawaiʻi and teach in the near future. I can’t wait to see where my future takes me, and I will forever be grateful for the students, mentors, professors, and family who helped me along my educational journey to be where I am today.

How were you selected as a SHAPE America “Major of the Year”*?
After completing my student teaching at Moanalua High School, my KRS professors Dr. Centeio and Dr. McMullen sat me down and told me I was chosen as “Major of the Year.” Being chosen for this award is such an honor. I got the opportunity to travel to Seattle, Washington in March where I attended SHAPE America’s 2023 National Convention and Expo. There, I was surrounded by individuals from the Health and Physical Education field from all over. I was able to make new connections and was recognized with many other educators/future educators from across the country. I was also very happy to be able to reconnect with the Hawaiʻi Health and Physical Education community, seeing my mentor Josh Suapaia, professors, and some classmates from my cohort.

* The SHAPE America Major of the Year award celebrates outstanding undergraduate students in the fields of health, physical education, recreation and dance.


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