Students attend the Minnesota State, Mankato Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology graduate program from all over the region, nation, and world. Current and past students have hailed from Florida, California, Idaho, Utah, Ohio, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and many other states. Internationally, students have joined the program from Mexico, Canada, Israel, South Africa, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Latvia, and the Czech Republic. Students bring a range of perspectives and sport and performance experiences that make the classroom an exciting space to learn, grow, and develop as sport and exercise psychology professionals.

Below are our current first and second-year graduate students and profiles about their backgrounds and career interests.

Second Year Cohort

Carson (tan).jpgMy name is Carson Fields. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. My interest in mental health and human behavior, coupled with my experiences as a Division I track and field athlete, has inspired me to pursue a career in sport and exercise psychology. I look forward to helping individuals better themselves, their wellness, and their performance. I also hope to help normalize mental health struggles and end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Carson Fields

Taylor E (purple).jpgMy name is Taylor Elliott, and I was born and raised in Eagle, Idaho, a small town just north of Boise. I completed by undergraduate education at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, majoring in Psychology and double minoring in Child, Youth & Family Studies and Community and Public Health. During my undergraduate studies I also was a full-time student athlete on the track and field team competing in the high jump and am currently completing my last year of track here at MNSU. One of my greatest goals is to engage in an exciting career where I can interact with athletes and help them improve their performance and mental health each and every day. I strongly believe that the mental pressures and challenges that exist for athletes are unique and should be treated by professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the psychological factors related to human performance. I hope to someday become a professional in the world of sport and exercise psychology and utilize my passions for health, fitness and strong mental health advocacy to treat athletes with any mental health needs along with improved performance in their specific sports field.
Taylor Elliot

Brodie (tan).jpgMy name is Brodie Vieweg. I grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, California-- a suburb of Los Angeles. I received my undergraduate degree from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa where I majored in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise science, minored in psychology, and played on the men's lacrosse team. I am drawn to sports psychology because I am interested in helping people train their minds like they would train their bodies. I hope to be a resource for those struggling with mental health problems, as well. In the future, I hope to gain CMPC certification and work with athletes and those working in high-risk occupations as a sport psychologist. In my free time, I like to spend time outdoors, exercise, and read a good book!
Brodie Vieweg

Via (purple).jpgMy name is Via. I was raised in the small tourist town of Munising, Michigan. It is one end of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore--if you've ever heard of it! I completed my undergrad at Michigan Technological University. I received a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a focus in Ceramics. In my senior year, I worked closely with the Human Factors department and that was where I found my love for Sport and Performance Psychology. My professional goal is to work with pro athletes of adventure/extreme sports.
Via Ouellette-Ballas

Taylor H (tan).jpgMy name is Taylor Holewa, and I am from St. Anthony, Minnesota which is just outside of Minneapolis. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of St. Thomas majoring in psychology with a minor in family studies. I love being a part of athletics and am a big advocate for mental health wellbeing. I believe it is so important for any type of athlete to take care of their mind as well as their bodies. In the future, I would love to work with college or high school athletes as a sports psychologist.
Taylor Holewa

Abigail (purple).jpgMy name is Abigail Mattson. I grew up in a small Minnesota town – Saint Peter. I completed my undergraduate studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. At Gustavus Adolphus College, I majored in psychological studies and minored in business management. I became interested in sports psychology through my experience as a swimmer and undergraduate studies. My hope is to work as a sports psychologist for high schoolers to master level athletes at a sports psychology center. I also have an interest in working with coaches/parents on mental practices to help their athlete/s excel in their performance.
Abigail Mattson

Thomas (tan).jpgMy name is Thomas Carlson. I was born and raised a Badger boy as I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and raised in Onalaska, Wisconsin. I obtained my undergraduate degree from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. I graduated with honors as I received my degree in psychology coupled with a minor in statistics. As a result of my passion for sport and psychology, my passion has grown for a career in sport psychology. Playing sports growing up, I have developed a fondness to work with athletes in all areas of their life. I hope to combine my interests in sport and psychology into a career that helps those I work with live the best life they can. I wish to work with collegiate and professional athletes as a sport psychologist. Additionally, I have an idea of opening up my private CMPC business to help athletes and non-athletes of all ages.
Thomas Carlson

Gabriele (purple).jpgMy name is Gabriele Simonti. I was born in Florence, Italy. I moved to the United Stated to complete my undergraduate studies first at Orange Coast College, California then at The George Washington University, Washington DC. I competed as a NCAA Division 1 water polo player for the varsity team, while I completed my studies in psychology. I chose sport psychology because it embodies both my passions: sport and psychology. I love to learn how impactful mental skills and health can be for an athlete's performance. Looking at the future, I would like to work with professional teams, but I also have different projects to improve mental health for athletes and military personnel that I would like to bring to life. I was awarded Student-Athlete of the Year both at Orange Coast College and at The George Washington University.
Gabriele Simonti

Brandt (tan).jpg​My name is Brandt Nye, and I'm from Fruit Heights, Utah. I previously studied at Weber State University, where I completed my undergraduate work and earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology. I am passionate about Sport Psychology because I love the idea of improving performance - not only in sport, but in all areas of life. The most exciting times that I have experienced are times of improvement, progress, growth, learning, stretching, striving, etc. In the future, I hope to help others take full advantage of performance opportunities and maximize their potential by applying the principles of Sport Psychology. Specifically, I would like to work with athletes and other performers as a certified mental performance consultant.
Brandt Nye

My name is Robert Cizek. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic which is also where I spent most of my life. I started my undergrad at Charles University in Prague and eventually decided to transfer to Georgia and play tennis for Valdosta State. In Valdosta I majored in psychology and earned a minor in sociology and anthropology.

I have been into sports throughout my whole life with experience at several different levels - playing pro junior tournaments, international leagues and NCAA competitions. I have learned how important the mental aspect of sport is and how little attention it often receives. I started to educate myself and realized that I want to get involved in this field and pursue a career in it.

My plan so far is to gain more experience with athletes as a coach and eventually become a consultant with focus on elite performance, coach/parent education and diversity & inclusion. Sports I would like to focus on include martial arts, bodybuilding, soccer and tennis. If I get the chance, I would like to stay in touch with the academic environment by teaching courses and doing research.
Robert Cizek

Justine (tan).jpgMy name is Justine Schultz, and I am from a town in southeastern Minnesota called Winona. In Winona, I completed my undergraduate studies at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a major in psychology and a minor in leadership. I also had the opportunity to compete on the softball team. I am passionate about sport psychology because I believe that every day, we can become mentally healthier, and oftentimes our biggest opponent is hidden within ourselves. Therefore, I want to create a space for individuals to develop an understanding of themselves, increase awareness, and help others bridge the gap between mental and physical well-being. I am hoping to combine my knowledge and experiences to open my own mental performance consulting business.
Justine Schultz

Edwin (purple).jpgMy name is Edwin Perry, and I was born and raised in Dellwood, Minnesota. For my undergraduate years, I left Minnesota and made my way to Chicago where I completed my studies at DePaul University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Public Relations and Advertising. At DePaul University, I had the opportunity to compete on the DePaul Men’s Soccer Team while earning my degree and gratefully learned many valuable life skills from living the student-athlete college experience. For the past four years, I have also been a member of the USA Deaf Men’s Soccer National Team and will compete with the team in the Deaf Olympics in Brazil in May 2022. My collegiate athletic experience, coupled with my current involvement as a member of the USA Deaf Men’s Soccer National Team and my lifelong love for sports, have all contributed to my interest in sports and performance psychology. As I look to my future, I plan to work with athletes in top sports programs on the mental perspective of training, development, and performance, including applying sports and performance psychology training to team building, group cohesion, and achieving team goals. Additionally, as an athlete with hearing loss, I plan to incorporate working athletes with disabilities to achieve their sporting goals as part of my future career. Currently, I serve on the Board of Northern Voices Oral School for the Deaf and a part of the USSF ADAPTandTHRIVE Working Group. Both of these ongoing opportunities have heightened my interest and desire to make a difference for the athletes in disability sports.
Edwin Perry

Kayla (tan).jpgMy name is Kayla Evans and I am from Seattle, Washington. As an undergraduate, I attended the University of Washington, where I studied biology and education. I also competed in cross country and track & field for the Huskies. Following graduation, I taught and coached for several years. While mentoring young athletes, I realized the need for coaching that incorporates mental health awareness and psychological skills. I intend to utilize sport psychology to integrate a whole-athlete focus with high performance running training. When not in the classroom, you can find me coaching with the MNSU Maverick cross country and track & field teams.
Kayla Evans

Yovanny (purple).jpgMy name is Yovanny Maldonado. I was born in Santiago, Chile. Then since I was about 4 years old, I lived in San Antonio, Texas. I finished my undergraduate studies in BYU-Idaho in psychology. I am interested in studying sport psychology because, not only my love for different sports, but because of the wide application that this field can have with different types of professionals. Going forward in my career, I hope to work with high level athletes, and/or high-risk professionals such as the military. Eventually I would like to continue on my education with either a PhD or a PsyD.
Yovanny Maldonado

Ryanne (tan).jpgMy name is Ryanne Klabunde, and I was born and raised in Blue Earth, Minnesota. I completed my undergraduate studies at Missouri State University where I earned by bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in coaching. After being involved in sports most of my life, I wanted to be able to be able give something back to athletes in an advisory role, but not as a coach which led me to sport psychology. I love that I can continue to stay in the sport world while being an aid to athletes. After earning my masters, I hope to work with the military doing resistance training work and later work with a professional sports team as a mental performance consultant.
Ryanne Klabunde

First Year Cohort

My name is Alison Zigler. I was born and raised in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. I competed on the cross country and track and field team while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science with a minor in Spanish. Starting in high school, I had a strong interest in sport psychology and would lead visualization and motivation sessions for my team. This passion carried into my undergraduate studies as I worked under the licensed psychologist in the athletic program. Now, at MNSU, I am thrilled that I get the opportunity to grow my knowledge and learn how to conduct sport psychology sessions with a variety of athletes. In the future, I am hoping to combine my knowledge of sport psychology with mental health counseling so I can work holistically with athletes to improve their athletic performance and overall well-being. 
Alison Zigler

My name is Allison Koenig. I grew up in Waukesha, Wisconsin- a suburb of Milwaukee. I completed by undergraduate studies at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut where I studied psychology and minored in Spanish. I captained the Division I Women's Rugby team and played on the U18 and U20 USA National Teams. In addition, I have been coaching high school ice hockey for a number of years. I was introduced to sports psychology in my collegiate athletic years and immediately grew an interest in the field as it combined my passion for psychology and love for sports. My goal is to gain certification as a mental performance consultant and work with athletes to improve performance and grow as individuals. I am an advocate for mental health and would love to combine all my passions into helping athletes in a holistic way.
Allison Koenig

My name is Lois Page. I am from England, and I came to the USA to play tennis and complete an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. I have played tennis for over 15 years, and I am now completing my last season as part of the MNSU team. Having a passion for Psychology and playing competitive tennis brought me to Sport Psychology. I want to use my experience and knowledge to help athletes perform at their best and use their mental game to its full potential. I would especially love to work with tennis players because it is such a mentally challenging sport where a player's mindset can make or break a match.
Lois Page

My name is David Jansen. I am from the little town, Cologne in Germany. I completed my undergraduate at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter Minnesota, where I majored in psychology and minored in History & Religion. Throughout my 4 years at Gustavus, I was playing soccer on the varsity team, which helped me to identify my passion for sport psychology. For me, I believe that sport & exercise psychology is the next step to become a better athlete or human being. Every day, there is stress or emotions around us and to perform on the highest-level individuals need to be aware and prepared for those situations. That's exactly where mental performance training begins, and I want to use my opportunity to guide people towards more mental resilience, wellness, and a more successful life. For the future, I want to gain more experience in the field that and hopefully reduce the stigma around mental health and male student-athletes.
David Jansen

Hello! My name is Alexis Edmundson. I grew up in Hastings, Minnesota. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Movement and Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. Growing up, I played many sports, but I was most passionate about figure skating. I had the wonderful opportunity to integrate mental skills training into my figure skating and it made a huge impact. Immediately, I knew that I wanted to work in the field of sport psychology. I am passionate about the lifelong benefits of mental skills training, and I am excited to continue growing my knowledge base. In the future, I would like to become a Certified Mental Performance Consultant and work with youth to collegiate athletes and performers.
Alexis Edmundson

My name is Nate Grimm, and I was born and raised in Fremont, Nebraska. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where I earned my bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in coaching. There, I also coached track and field at the high school level. My enthusiasm toward sport and coaching combined with my knowledge of psychology lead me to the field of sport and performance psychology. With this degree, my goal is to work with student­athletes to enhance their mental performance, skills, and overall satisfaction with their sport and performance. Many understand the importance of physical training in sport. I want to be an advocate and resource that works to normalize the importance of mental skills training.
Nate Grimm

My name is Emily Peterson. I was born and raised in Broomfield, CO before moving to Rice Lake, WI in 2015. I completed my undergrad at the University of Minnesota Duluth, receiving degrees in psychology and French. I've been involved in gymnastics throughout my life as an athlete and coach. While in gymnastics, my team worked with a mental skills coach, who introduced us to the incredible connection between mind and body. The mental training made a huge impact on my attitude, confidence, and ability to overcome fear. The best part of this training was that I was able to transfer these skills to other areas of my life. Learning these essential skills at a young age is something I am grateful for. In the future, I will help youth athletes and other performers develop these same skills, helping them improve not only their sport performance but their life performance as well.
Emily Peterson

My name is Izzy Mattecheck. I was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I completed my undergraduate studies at Minnesota State University­Mankato in Sports Management with a minor in Psychology. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to sport psychology in my athletic career and believe it is the key to not only improving performance but also other areas of life. As I move forward in my career, I plan to earn my CMPC certification and open my own private practice to assist performers in taking their game to the next level.
Izzy Mattecheck

My name is Ben Harding. I was born in Alberta, Canada but grew up all over Arizona where I was involved in a large variety of sports, but heavily involved in the martial arts world. I completed my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology where I also transitioned my sport profile into the world of weightlifting, Mixed Martial Arts and Jiu-Jitsu. Having spent many years involved in learning how our brain interfaces with our body, I'm very much invested in utilizing sport, exercise, and performance psychology to not only increase performance, but also to build up the mind as a whole in order to increase mental toughness and protect against factors such as burnout and decreased sport enjoyment.
Ben Harding

My name is Andy Metcalf. I'm originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, where I played football, basketball and baseball growing up and through high school. I went on to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where I earned my bachelor's degree in Psychology. While completing my Psychology degree I was fortunate enough to play football for the university as well as play for an amateur baseball team in the summers. I have always been drawn to the world of sports and always been curious about how people's minds work, and I think Sport and Exercise Psychology is the perfect marriage between the two. In my future, I hope to become a licensed mental health counselor and mental performance coach so I can help people in various settings.
Andy Metcalf

Hello! My name is Kinzee Miest. I grew up on a farm about 10 miles outside of St. James, MN. In the spring of 2022, I graduated Cum Laude as a first-generation college student from Gustavus Adolphus College with degrees in Communication Studies and Psychological Science with Honors. During my undergraduate studies, I competed for 4 years as a varsity cross country and track & field runner and my performance was transformed when I was introduced to mental skills. The skills I learned helped me build confidence and perform to higher standards than I had ever imagined, and I am passionate about helping others achieve the same. In the future, I aspire to be a CMPC and would love to use my knowledge and experience specifically to help girls and women develop life-long mental skills to use in their schools, athletics, and workplaces.
Kinzee Miest

My name is Hayden Allen. I am from the small town of Blackfoot, Idaho. I completed my undergraduate studies at BYU - Idaho. I graduated with a degree in pre-clinical marriage and family studies with a minor in psychology. As a former football player and track athlete, I am passionate about sports. I combined that passion with my interest in mental health counseling to find sports psychology. I love to learn about how mental skills training can greatly improve an athlete's performance and enjoyment in their sport. I also like how these skills can not only be applied to sport performance, but all aspects of life as well. In the future, I plan to become a certified mental performance consultant and licensed counselor. I am interested in both the mental health of an athlete and helping them reach their athletic potential.
Hayden Allen

My name is Abigail Page, and I was born and raised in Mankato, MN. I completed my undergrad here at MSU with a bachelor's in psychology and a minor in communication studies. Growing up I had the opportunity to play gymnastics, dance, soccer, golf, and curling. I still play curling competitively to this day. While in curling I have gotten to meet some sports psychologists and fell in love with the field. I believe that in order to be an elite athlete you need to have the right mindset and that starts with sports psychology. As I continue my education here, I hope to increase my depth of knowledge for sports psychology and how to help athletes better their performance. My goal is to one day work with Olympic and/or Professional level athletes. If you want to become the best version of yourself on and off the field/court or just in life, sports psychology is your next step and with that, I hope to see you giving it a try soon! 
Abigail Page

My name is Libby Miller. I lived in many states while growing up before settling in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I then graduated from the University of South Dakota where I majored in both psychology and kinesiology and sport management- exercise science. I also had the opportunity to complete a year-long athletic training internship with the USO Division I football team. Before attending higher education, I was a multi-sport athlete that strived to perform at my best, and that is when I found my passion for sport psychology. My favorite aspect of sport and performance psychology practices is that all mental tools taught are specialized for each team and the individual athlete we work with. In the future, I would love to integrate my experience with injured athletes into my work as a sport psychology professional. My major career goals are to open my own practice and create learning opportunities for adolescent athletes by doing outreach in the community.
Libby Miller