EIU Student Graces Cover of National Magazine
It was a happy coincidence.
The American College of Sports Medicine wanted a cover photo for its January/February 2014 issue of Health & Fitness Journal. A Lincolnshire, Ill.-based photo studio had a young model they had worked with before; he was young, attractive and, perhaps most importantly, physically fit.
The fact that he’s preparing for a career involving health and fitness was just icing on the cake.
“This is definitely an unexpected, but exciting, opportunity,” said Tarrence Williams, a senior exercise science major at Eastern Illinois University. “I now have the perfect piece of artwork to hang on my office wall – once I graduate and get an office to hang it in, that is.”
Williams, of Villa Park, Ill., believes there will be an office in his future. Most likely, it will be attached to a gym.
He and fellow EIU students Evan Williams (no family relation) and Katherine German have already planted the seed by working with other students and faculty in Eastern’s Student Recreation Center to “better their lifestyles.”
“Rather than a 9-to-5 job, we plan to start our own fitness consulting business,” Williams said. “We already have a nice amount of clients with whom we’re working to develop effective physical fitness programs.”
Those programs, he added, are developed by “putting into practice the principles we’ve learned in the classroom.”
Williams, who says he has been an athlete “basically all (his) life,” chose Eastern after visiting the campus as a high school student and observing, then competing in, the Illinois High School Association’s annual state track meets.
“(The campus) was easy to navigate, easy to find things… it was just a nice size,” he recalled.
More critical to his decision, however, were the educational opportunities Eastern offered in furthering his personal goals.
“I jumped around a bit, looking at other directions I could take, but in the end, I knew this was where my heart is at. It’s a career I have a passion for,” Williams said.
“I have a purpose, and that purpose is the pursuit of health and fitness.”
His passion still leaves time for fun, however. Like most students, William was looking for a way in which to earn some extra cash. Three or four years ago, he began modeling.
“It was an extra activity just for fun,” he said.
So far, his image has graced the pages of catalogues by Eastbay, Foot Locker and Nike. The cover photo for Health & Fitness Journal was quite an opportunity, he said.
Jeff Willardson, associate professor in Eastern’s Kinesiology and Sports Studies Department, called the magazine cover “a huge honor – for both Williams and Eastern – in that “every university exercise program nationally (and probably internationally, as well), teaches curriculum based on American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for health and physical fitness.
“This opportunity gives credibility to the exercise science program at EIU and the quality of students we are recruiting,” he said.