October 31, 2016
Christian Barnes is fascinated with human physiology.
“The functions of the human body are a seemingly endless puzzle, and I get a thrill every time I understand why it does what it does,” said Barnes, a lecturer in the UNCW School of Health and Applied Human Sciences. “I’ve long aspired to figure out how to put just the right kind of stressor on a body, so it can be stimulated to adapt in optimal ways based on particular performance goals.”
Barnes’s interest in learning more about the human body is reflected in his classes, where theoretical and practical aspects of exercise, fitness and wellness are applied within real-world settings. He supervises the exercise science practicum experience and teaches courses from A to Z (anatomy to Zen golf), as well as physiology lab and yoga.
Barnes earned his bachelor’s degree in human movement science and his master’s degree equivalent in exercise physiology from the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. He joined the UNCW faculty in 1997.
“To be honest, I never planned on having a career in academia,” Barnes admitted. “However, I am naturally drawn to the pursuit of truth, and academia at its heart is just that. So opportunity and availability aligned, and here I am, almost 20 years in.”
What drives him as an educator is his students’ desire to acquire new knowledge. “We have so many great students, and their desire to learn and gain skills constantly challenges me to stay current with developments in the field, and to figure out how to teach more effectively.”
He hopes he has inspired his students to become lifelong learners and to use their abilities to contribute to the world in a way that is meaningful to them.
“Every day at UNCW, there are literally thousands of people, including students, faculty and staff, working diligently to improve the lives of folks in southeastern North Carolina and beyond.”
-- Venita Jenkins