Kinesiology Alumni Profiles

In the Fight against Malaria

Melody DalyThe fight against malaria is no easy task, but Melody Daly ‘09 brings extensive field experience to the battle in her current role as a public health expert and Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. After graduating from Westmont College with her Bachelors in Science, Melody continued to add to her arsenal of knowledge by earning her M.P.H. in Global Health from Emory University and a certificate in theology and work at Fuller Theological Seminary. Not about to slow down, Melody went on to work for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the five plus years she worked for those two organizations, Melody served as a Public Health Advisor for the CDC President’s Malaria Initiative, provided technical assistance to government malaria programs in East Africa as a Monitoring and Evaluation Fellow, and reviewed all non-pharmaceutical response measures implemented during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

Since joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and marrying her best friend Blair Daly in 2015, life has certainly not slowed down. In her current role, she supports the foundation’s strategy and efforts to eradicate malaria, including leading and managing a $80-million-dollar portfolio of investments aiming to introduce new innovations, optimizing existing interventions, and maximizing eight national malaria programs in southern Africa. Her work involves close engagement with Ministries of Health, U.S. and UK government agencies, and a cross-discipline network of non-profit partners working in research, policy, financing, and governance. Melody is a huge asset to her team as she leads efforts in training, optimizing, and motivating community health workers and engaging communities in the fight against malaria.

From Practice to Professional

Ben Johnson“I feel so blessed to have been a part of Westmont and its incredible community. Not only did it provide me with a foundation of knowledge and tools that allow me to be successful, but it also helped me develop a deep, holistic perception on life,” says graduate Ben Johnson ’10. Ben certainly got the most he could have from Westmont College when he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and cum laude honors to top it off.

Taking all he learned from Westmont, Ben launched into the field and became a staff member for Peak Performance Project (P3), a sports science facility in Santa Barbara that has distinguished itself as a leading figure in both Strength and Conditioning and Applied Biomechanics.  P3’s services cater to individuals of a variety of sports, including members of organizations such as the NBA, MLB, and MLS. At P3, Ben holds multiple roles within the company’s operations. He spends a majority of his time as an Applied Biomechanist with the goal of better understanding the underlying principles of athletic performance and injury prevention. His involvement in the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of Motion Capture and Force Plate data has developed into unique insights into athlete movement. Even now, Ben credits Westmont for much of his success, saying, “My experience as a student in the Kinesiology program helped me to cultivate a multifaceted perspective of the human body and its function as a system that I continue to use on a daily basis.” Beyond his role as a Biomechanist, Ben serves as a Performance Specialist, implementing a science driven approach to the training of athletes on both the professional and amateur levels.

Finding Adventure across the World

Allison SandquistAfter graduating from Westmont in 2002, Allison Sandquist spent a year working and enjoying Santa Barbara before she started the Physical Therapy program at Chapman University. Allison graduated from Chapman with her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy in 2006 and began working for Hayashida and Associates in Santa Barbara at the end of the same year. Allison lived in Santa Barbara and worked as a Physical Therapist at Hayashida for six years. During that time she became certified as an Orthopedic Specialist (OSC), competitively raced outrigger canoes for the Santa Barbara Outrigger Canoe Club, and coached pole-vault at Westmont. In September 2012, Allison married her best friend, Rob Sandquist, and they moved to New Zealand at the end of October for Rob to pursue an adventurous career move. They have been living in Auckland for the past four years where they raise their son, Josiah, and a daughter, Sidney. As if raising two children was not enough, Allison has busied herself with on and off work as a Physiotherapist, touring the beautiful country of New Zealand, and leading the children’s ministry program at their church. In all of it, Allison proclaims, “God is good,” and she looks forward to all He has planned for them in the future.