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Boffey joins PSU in exercise science

David Boffey, assistant professor in health, human performance, and reacreation, shows Camilla Roy, graduate student, a testing device that allows them to see different aspects of a lift. This is Boffey’s first year teaching at Pittsburg State University. Alyssa Tyler

David Boffey is a new faculty member this year at Pittsburg State University. Boffey teaches strength and conditioning, kinesiology, and graduate biomechanics. 

This is Boffey’s fifth year teaching, but his first year teaching as a professor. 

“My goal is for my students to learn the fundamentals of exercise science and to apply it,” Boffey said. “And the best way to apply it is in person, the other best way to apply it is in a weight room or a field. And then ultimately to measure it and explain it.”

Boffey found his interest in exercise science while earning his undergraduate degree at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

“During my undergrad, I studied music but in my senior year, I took some PE classes that were offered for free at my school,” Boffey said. “And I realized that’s what I wanted to do in the field of kinesiology or exercise science. So after college and a couple of random jobs, I got a job in personal training. And that started the whole career in this field.”

After working as a personal trainer, strength coach, and fitness director, Boffey went back to school.

“While I was doing personal training after college I realized that I wanted to learn more about science,” Boffey said. “Not just the research that was part of but how everything truly works. And that’s why I got my master’s. And after that, I took another year or two off just to work. I realized I wanted to keep learning and being in that role to keep learning and ultimately teaching is the real application of learning.”

Boffey received his master’s in kinesiology at Sonoma State and his Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Central Florida. While working on his Ph.D, Boffey taught undergraduate courses while doing research in labs. At the University of Central Florida, Boffey also received an award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching in 2021. Boffey came to work with PSU after his interview and hearing about the students, work environment, and the lab.

“The interaction with the students, the small class sizes, and because of those two things being able to have students apply the information right away,” Boffey said. “So I can go right from a lecture into a lab into a practical technique session.”

Boffey tries to include as many labs as he can into his classes to focus on the two main aspects of strength and conditioning. Those two goals include gaining basic motor skills and qualities such as strength, speed, or endurance. Then preventing injuries through strength and conditioning.

“Our testing and training so it’s not just how to do the test but actually doing it and measuring it and then tracking changes over time than the training is how to lift weights correctly and efficiently,” Boffey said. “And then how to program your resistance training for your goals.”

Outside of work, Boffey focuses on spending time with his family. 

“I have a wife, Elizabeth, and a son, Matthew, so I spend all of my free time when I’m not teaching or working in the lab here, being with my family, or working out by myself,” Boffey said.

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