Student Spotlight

Graduation Spotlight: Bonnie Kerlin, Kinesiology

Written By: Lasha Markham | December 18, 2023

Bonnie Kerlin flexing her bicepts in front of the UCF READY Lab.Meet Bonnie Kerlin. She is a performer, turned strength and conditioning specialist, turned entrepreneur. She’s been showcasing her talents on stage since she was 18 and has been with Universal Orlando Resort for more than a decade, working as an actor and stilt-walker. Fine arts is her passion and she never expected to fall in love with science, but that changed when she helped her now wife recover from an injury. After that experience, she earned a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology in the human performance track at UCF then continued in the master’s degree program. She started her own company, Performable, to help performers meet the physical demands of their roles, and after graduation, she’ll be opening a new brick-and-mortar location to expand her company even further.

Hometown: Orlando, FL 

Degree: Master of Science in Kinesiology  

 

What will you be doing after graduation?  

I will continue to work as a certified strength and conditioning specialist and licensed massage therapist for my own company, Performable. We will be opening a physical training space soon in Longwood to continue our specialized work with performing artists of all kinds along with other general population clients. I will also continue my work with AdventHealth as a massage therapist and keep working with our awesome kinesiology team at UCF to publish our SpongeBob the Musical case study, which assessed physiological intensity and volume of professional musical theatre performances. I also hope to present our research this summer at the Performing Arts Medical Association conference in London!  

 

What are your long-term career plans?  

I’d love to travel to universities, film sets and preprofessional performing arts centers to educate performing artists about strength and conditioning. 

 

Bonnie Kerlin massaging a man's back. What accomplishment from your time at UCF are you most proud of?  

Bridging the gap between performing arts and kinesiology in a real life setting by partnering with Orlando Family Theatre to conduct research was an honor. I was also excited to become an NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist.  

 

What did you love the most about your time at UCF?  

The collaborative and approachable atmosphere of the entire Division of Kinesiology was my favorite thing about my time at UCF. Everyone’s passion, curiosity and excitement for the science of movement was infectious and encouraged all of us to push the field forward. Just the experience of being around people that love the same things was awesome!  

 

What was your favorite class, professor, or experience at CHPS, and why?  

I wouldn’t be the coach I am today without Dr. Michael Redd’s Program Design in Strength and Conditioning class. Dr. Redd is a once-in-a-lifetime lecturer and did such an incredible job teaching us such fundamental and practical concepts for our work in the field. Dr. Stout’s sports supplementation course was also a favorite! The opportunity to learn with such an accomplished and kind researcher was incredible. Finally, I gained incomparable value from my time spent with Dr. Fukuda. His insight and guidance throughout the research process was crucial for my academic and professional growth. Thank you, Dr. Fukuda!  

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