Gabe Dennett '25

How do you choose a major at UNH? Our new How I Chose My Major blog series highlights students from different colleges across UNH and explores how they chose their majors and minors, what they've learned through their programs, the coolest places they get to study and so much more!

Today, learn more about how Gabe '25 chose to double major in exercise science and nutrition. Gabe explains how these majors complement each other by offering practical applications to everyday life and emphasizes the importance of finding mentors to guide you through your college journey.

gabe dennett '25 exercise science and nutrition
Gabe Dennett

Gabe Dennett

What is your major?

I am fortunate enough to be double majoring in exercise science and nutrition, on the nutrition and wellness track. When I entered UNH as a freshman, I planned on majoring in exercise science and obtaining a minor in nutrition, but I quickly came to love the concepts I learned in nutrition and decided to pursue it as a second major in the spring of my freshman year (2022). I believe these two majors complement one another perfectly and many of the ideas I learn in one seem to reappear or expand on my newfound knowledge of the other.  

Robert Kertzer Exercise Physiology Lab.

Robert Kertzer Exercise Physiology Lab.

What did you think you wanted to major in before you came to UNH?

Before coming to UNH, I was honestly all over the place! I always knew I loved learning and academia, but I floated around a few different major ideas like English, history, secondary education and criminology. When it came time to thoroughly explore different majors and decide, the exercise science program stood out to me as an interesting, exciting way to turn a longtime passion into a career and further my understanding of exercise on a mechanistic and large-scale level. It was only after I took Nutrition 400 that I realized I wanted to further my knowledge in that area, too.

Robert Kertzer Exercise Physiology Lab.

Robert Kertzer Exercise Physiology Lab.

Why did you choose your major? 

I chose exercise science based on my interest and passion for fitness, and truthfully, I under-explored the major before making this decision, although it proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. As far as nutrition goes, a select few people and experiences nudged me to commit to the major. I felt immense curiosity in Nutrition 400 when I took it in the spring of 2022, and this growing interest was a clear indication that I could pursue the major further. A key influence in my decision to upgrade to the major was my friend Roman, a fellow nutrition and wellness major, who described the classes and faculty, such as Dr. Stabile Morrell, as creating an exciting, rewarding and enjoyable environment for learning. 

New Hampshire Hall at UNH.

New Hampshire Hall at UNH.

What are some of the top places on campus you frequent for your major?

As an exercise science student, almost all my core classes are in New Hampshire Hall, so I spend quite a bit of time there. Specifically, a few of my favorite places to frequent are the Robert Kertzer Exercise Physiology Lab, where students in the major hang out and study, as well as the offices of Dr. Brian and Dr. Spicer, two of the professors I have grown close with and work with often.  

New England American College of Sports Medicine Conference (2023).

Dr. Brian and I at the annual New England American College of Sports Medicine Conference (2023).

What’s the coolest part about your major?

I think the coolest parts of both exercise science and nutrition are the immediate, practical applications of what I am learning to my everyday life and the observable world. The concepts I learn in class can be immediately applied to my own exercise routines and food choices and can help me understand further why certain phenomena I have already observed occur based on the science I learn in class. I have also met some of the coolest people I know through these majors, as well as mentors who have been monumental influences in my life and collectively reshaped my thinking for the better. In exercise science and nutrition, I can gain interesting lab experience and perform research work under faculty here at UNH, which has been a surreal experience working with remarkable equipment and protocols. 

What advice do you have for prospective students about choosing a major?

I would advise prospective students to consider a few things when selecting a major: What am I interested in? What excites me? What concepts evoke deep curiosity within me in a way that would make learning and studying them enjoyable? Wrestle with these questions for a while and then try selecting a major with classes and concepts that fit those molds. I would also suggest considering what environment you want in your college academics: Do you want small or large class sizes? A big major, or a smaller, close-knit community? Are you looking to be a face in a sea of students, or build close relationships with your peers and professors? 


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