Nic Alonzo

Major:  Kinesiology
Hometown:  Rocklin, CA
Class:  Graduate Student

Nick got his undergraduate degree in Recreation from Sac State and is currently working on his masters in Kinesiology at Chico State. He has been able to combine his passion for kids and a healthy life style in both his work and his academics. Prior to coming to Chico Nic was a recreation specialist for the City of Rocklin where he covered the spectrum from sports and special events to pre-school and before and after school care. Nic is a classic case of persistence at its best. His dream is to work with obese adolescents to teach them behavioral change which will have a lasting impact. He applied twice to be a counselor at a summer weight loss camp. Both times he was rejected. His work experience was impressive, but they wanted more academic credentials. So, he entered a master’s program and, as they say, third time’s the charm. He was hired and will head to southern California shortly after school is over to work with obese preteen boys.

Nic works as a teacher’s assistant with 2-6 year olds at the AS Child Development Lab (ASCDL). “I can’t imagine not working with kids. Coming to work at the ASCDL is like pushing RESET. I leave everything outside. Whatever stresses or problems I have are left behind. When I see one of my kids smile, that’s all it takes to make me happy.”

Because Nic plans to work with adolescents, he sees his experience at the ASCDL as the perfect foundation. “I get to see where motor development starts with 2-6 year olds and to watch their social development. I need to see where kids are coming from to inform my work with adolescents.”

Nic is also impressed with the ASCDL’s approach to healthy nutrition. “The ASCDL is great because they teach about nutrition and healthy food for a healthy lifestyle. We don’t call it junk food — we call it sometimes food.”

Nic recognizes that he can be a valuable male role model in a profession dominated by females. The kids bond with him in a slightly different way, especially the boys. Nic feels his strong suits are his spontaneity and creativity. He definitely puts the Nic touch on the activities that he plans. He’s clearly a kid a heart and his enthusiasm is undeniable. “It’s not about making money. You have to love what you do and I love working with kids.”

When he’s not in class or at work, Nic is actively involved with his fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha. He is currently in his second term as president and was also the chapter founder. The key to all his involvement is clearly time management. “Put everything on your calendar — when you’re in class, when you work, when you sleep. Find the gaps and take advantage of them. Discover all the student run activities on campus and be a leader.”

In Nic’s words:
“In the classroom there’s a lot of lecture and research. The ASCDL is like fieldwork, so I get to do field work five days a week. And no two days are ever the same!”