Student Services Wellness Center

Meet the Trainers

dottie kerkman
Dottie Kerkman
  • Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
  • Education: B.A. Biology from Colorado University
  • Certifications: ACE Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Krave Instructor, Kettlebell Specialty
  • Why I Love to Train: It makes me feel good to see people excited about changes in their body, nutrition, and overall well being!
  • Favorite Quote: "He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything." ~Thomas Carlyle & "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong." ~Abraham Lincoln
  • Personal Interests: Fishing, volleyball, hiking, doing 14ers, and watching movies with my family
  • Fun Fit Fact About Me: I am always trying to work myself harder because I never think it's good enough. Also, to make up for all the bad foods I eat!

Lynsey Mandela
  • Hometown: Burt, MI
  • Education: BA in Electronic Media/Broadcasting from Cedarville University
  • Certifications: AFPA Personal Training, NETA Group Fitness Instructor
  • Why I Love to Train: I love helping people better their lives and well-being through exercise and eating healthy.  I enjoy motivating people to meet a challenge, grow in confidence and take steps forward to succeed.    
  • Favorite Quote: "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" - John Wooden
  • Personal Interests: Hiking, camping, water skiing, playing and watching sports and healthy cooking and baking.
  • Fun Fit Fact About Me: I've played basketball my entire life and also coached several years.  I still love competition and enjoy finding new ways to challenge and push myself.

Michael Merrill
  • Hometown: Pipestone, MN
  • Education: Pursuing B.S. in Psychology and minor in Interdisciplinary Sciences from USD
  • Certifications: ACE
  • Why I Love to Train: Over my relatively short lifetime, I've spent a sizable percentage of it at a gym. I love spending my time in that type of atmosphere and want to be apart of something bigger than myself. Training is a way that I can express my passion while helping others at the same time.    
  • Favorite Quote: "You don't set out to build a wall. You don't say 'I'm going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that's ever been built.' You don't start there. You say, 'I'm going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall." -- Will Smith "You give me 100%, I will give you 200% back. If you give me 95%, you're not getting back anything." -- Arvin Lal
  • Personal Interests: Trucks, Motorcycles, Jet-skis, Snowmobiles, ATVs, and Disney Movies. I have played just about every sport and enjoy being outside.
  • Fun Fit Fact About Me: My fitness mentality is that if I can't give something all of my effort, time and focus, it's probably not worth doing anyways. I truly believe that with discipline, belief and the right attitude, anything is possible.

Heather Petrino
  • Hometown: Helena, MT
  • Education: BS Marketing & Management University of MT; MBA University of Mary
  • Certifications: Personal Training - ACE; Pilates - AAAI; Pre-Postnatal Pilates - DSW; Yoga for Group Fitness - DSW
  • Why I love to Train: I love helping others achieve their goals and helping them reach new limits
  • Favorite Quote: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
  • Personal Interests: Reading, Running, Playing with Kids, Scrapbooking
  • Fun Fit Fact About Me: I love teaching kids yoga

Amie Simmons
  • Hometown: Valparaiso, IN
  • Education: Pursuing Master of Arts in Kinesiology & Sport Science, Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science with a Minor in Dietetics
  • Certifications: ACE Personal Trainer, Indo-Row, Shockwave, Indoor cycling
  • Why I love to Train: I love helping people and giving them the tools to better their lives. We all have such great potential and I am there to educate my clients and help them see that they already have the power it takes to make change in their life.
  • Favorite Quote: "I aspire to be a giver. A giver of love, a giver of good vibes, and a giver of strength."
  • Personal Interests: New trends in fitness, cooking, music
  • Fun Fit Fact About Me: I was a member of the All American Dance Team for 2 years and I danced in the Disney Christmas Parade.

Tanya Woodard
  • Hometown: Sterling, CO
  • Education: University of Colorado - Boulder - Speach, Language & Hearing Sciences
  • Certifications: AFAA Personal Trainer
  • Why I Love to Train: I love training because I get to interact with clients and watch transformations take place as they realize their potential not only physically, but also mentally.
  • Favorite Quote: "It's not about perfect, it's about effort!" - Jullian Michaels
  • Personal Interests: Journaling, running, reading classics, spending time outdoors
  • Fun Fit Fact About Me: My fitness goal is to run a marathon.
Barbara Yelverton
  • Hometown: Vermillion, SD
  • Education: University of South Dakota, Iowa State, University of West Florida
  • Certifications: NETA Personal Trainer, Spin, Cycling
  • Why I love to Train: Empowering people to realize what their bodies can do when trained properly, as well as being a part of this process is exciting and gratifying
  • Favorite Quote: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" - Ghandi
    "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life" - Picasso
  • Personal Interests: Cycling, running, kayaking, traveling, hiking and reading
  • Fun Fit Fact About Me: Spent 3 days sea kayaking off the San Juan Islands, WA. Also, hiked 2 weeks Patagonia, Chile.