There are a number of Teachers College facilities – the ceramics studio; the (now shuttered) swimming pool and 19thcentury lift elevator; the Earth Friends cooking lab; the vast underground boiler room – that often prompt visitors (and sometimes even longtime employees) to say, “I never knew TC had …” But the showstopper may be the College’s new EXerT Clinic & Applied Physiology Lab on the tenth floor of Thorndike Hall, which hosted a walk-through for attendees at Academic Festival 2019.

Visitors  entered a bright room that resembled a fitness center tucked into a tidy medical clinic. Or, perhaps, a tidy medical clinic tucked into a fitness center.

They were greeted by a team of Movement Science graduate students assigned to measure the blood pressure, height and weight of each guest.

EXerT, directed by Carol Ewing-Garber, Professor of Movement Sciences, boasts stethoscopes, blood pressure sleeves, digital scales, treadmills, an advanced Body Composition Analyzer (mBCA) that measures a person’s Body Mass Index through electrical impulses that are transmitted through their bare feet, and other devices not normally associated with a graduate school of education.

A venue for TC students to launch cutting edge research studies on movement, exercise and health management, the lab has hosted Olympic-caliber men and women’s rowing teams, who underwent evaluations for the physiological outcomes generated by intense exercise. But EXerT, which offers sweeping views of Upper Manhattan, also welcomes the TC and surrounding community each week for health screenings and counseling.

Academic Festival 2019

The day included an extensive lineup of presentations, panels and other events featuring TC faculty, students, alumni and staff.

“It’s a place where we can offer different evaluations about people’s physical activity and exercise habits, from the world-class Olympic hopeful to that person who hates exercise and really isn’t active at all,” Garber says. “Other universities may have fitness programs or traditionally-run exercise classes. Ours is a way of bringing our scientific knowledge and expertise to everybody and making it accessible.”