Val Hershberger

Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Val Hershberger


  • BS, Eastern Mennonite University, 1984
  • MS, James Madison University, 1996

Read interview with Val Hershberger

Activity Classes

  • Aerobic Conditioning
  • Badminton
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • International Folk Dance
  • Racquetball
  • Swimming
  • Tumbling
  • Weight Training – Co Ed
  • Weight Training – Women
  • Wellness for Life – General Education


Majors Courses – Fall Semester

Introduction to Kinesiology

This class provides an introduction to the field of Kinesiology and includes an overview of the history of physical education, sport and Kinesiology. The time line begins with early civilization and continues through modern events including the Olympics. Additionally, a variety of philosophical approaches and their implications are discussed.

First Aid/CPR

Introduction to first aid, practical experience in basic first aid skills, first aid for specific sport injuries and a practical guide to sport related to liability. Successful completion results in certification for two years.

Basic Athletic Training

Valuable for anyone who plans to coach or pursue further certification in athletic training. Topics include: evaluation and management of injuries to the head, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, and foot. Additional topics include: adverse weather conditions, rehabilitation, emergency situations, recognizing different sport injuries, and helping the injured athlete psychologically.

Sport Management

A focus on administrative practices in the areas of legal responsibility, personnel, finance, public relations, equipment, and facilities. Issues related to youth sport, high school, collegiate, and professional sports are discussed. Sociological and psychological issues related to leadership roles in sport are also included.

Major Courses – Spring Semester

Theory and Techniques of Coaching

This course presents an overview of basic theories and coaching applications, including topics such as; philosophy, psychology, ethics, coaching diverse athletes, current training techniques, practice and game preparation.

Camping and Recreation – Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Students will have a hands on learning experience along with an interdisciplinary approach. They will learn a variety of skills including: Canoeing safety and paddling skills, equipment selection, trip planning, map and compass, food selection, preparation, environmental care and study, spiritual growth and leadership skills. This course is  two weeks, with the first week spent at Wilderness Wind in Ely, MN in classroom and orientation sessions. The second week is a seven day wilderness trip in the BWCA along the US/Canada border in pristine wilderness. The next time this class will be offered will be May of 2017.


This past spring (2015),  I was fortunate to be selected for a Sabbatical leave. Since I am considered a generalist, I needed to focus on a few specific areas for development or improvement.

One of the primary areas that I had chosen was to begin a collaboration with Manchester University in developing an option for students with an interest in Athletic Training here at Goshen College. We currently have a four year Exercise Science major which would prepare students for a graduate program. In working with Dr. Huntington, we have begun to develop a  3/2 Athletic Training program. Students will be able to come to Goshen College for 3 years in undergraduate work and then begin a transition to the graduate program at Manchester for their Masters degree in Athletic Training. Students who are early in their career decision could already start working toward this option. The catalog will reflect the changes for the 16-17 academic year. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Dr. Huntington, (Manchester University), Linda Kaminiskis, (Goshen College, Head Athletic Trainer) and Dr. Jewel Lehman, (Goshen College), on the project.

A second area of focus for me was strength and conditioning. I have been using the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) a Nationally recognized leader in strength training study and research. Their recommended textbook, (Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, 600pgs) was the main focus for my reading in January and February. With an NSCA membership I also have access to current research articles. My interest was to look at current trends and techniques to enhance my work with individuals in my wellness and strength training classes. Along with the reading, I attended a one day seminar at the University of St. Francis in Ft. Wayne Indiana.

A third area was the Introduction to Kinesiology course that I teach every other year. This class looks closely at the history and philosophy of sport, Physical Education, and recent trends in the growing field of Kinesiology. In using the recommended Ross Peterson-Vetch (Course Development Institute) curriculum planning guide,  I have begun working on curriculum planning for the upcoming fall. Along with recommendations from HLC (Higher Learning Commission), to our department, we wanted to add projects that included student work. Myself and Dr. Jewel Lehman will institute an E-portfolio for the Kinesiology majors. This class, as an introduction to the field, will be a platform where they can learn how to upload major projects to Mahara, an on-line portfolio, throughout their four years at Goshen College.

In conjunction with this course I will be traveling to Rome, Italy for ten days in June to visit several key areas related to ancient sport and philosophy. I am excited to visit this area and look forward to sharing my stories and experiences with the students in the classroom this fall.

Elkhart River Adoption

Every fall for the past ten years the Kinesiology department organizes a group of students to remove trash from a six mile stretch of the Elkhart River between Roger’s Park and Oxbow Park.  This year, twenty-two people canoed the river pulling small and large items from the water.  We removed about 25 tires, 6 big garbage bags of recyclables, fiberglass, appliances, bikes, toys, batteries, and many other items.

 Hi-Line Golf Course

For the past four years, along with Dr. John Ingold (golf course designer and builder), we have maintained the three hole golf course located to the south of campus. Due to budgetary restrictions the college no longer maintains the course. In 2013, we were able to obtain a 2000, Toro greens mower which was needed to replace the older Jacobsen. This machine keeps the greens in perfect condition and is much easier to operate.  We have replaced older signage and the old backstop was removed. We continue to clean up brush along the railroad tracks. The course is currently in excellent shape to play golf and work on that short game.


American Red Cross First Aid and CPR Training

For the past several years I have taught  First Aid, CPR/AED  courses to area community members in Elkhart and Lagrange county. Many teachers and health services individuals are required to carry CPR and AED certification. It has been fun meeting new people in the community and at the same time passing along valuable training that might assist in saving someone’s life.

This past school year (2014-15) along with Heidi Collins (assisting in Lagrange County) have conducted 10 classes for 83 people.

Groups that we have typically certify each year are the graduate students at Merry Lea, Umble Center staff and Sauder Hall staff. We also hold classes for the Goshen College Education department to certify all new teachers each spring. We have certified many teachers in the Lagrange county area.

AAHPERD – American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

IAAHPERD – Indiana Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

NSCA – National Strength and Conditioning Association


WSI – Water Safety Instructor – American Red Cross

First Aid/CPR/AED Trainer Instructor – American Red Cross

First Aid/CPR/AED – American Red Cross