Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education
“I have been involved with sports since I was in the third grade, and basketball has always been my favorite.” For 21-year old Pete Tanzillo of Kewanee, Illinois, the opportunity to play basketball on the collegiate level had always been a dream. Today, he’s a seasoned member of the Ashford University men’s basketball team, a team that won the 2011 Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship and earned a place in the NAIA National Tournament.
Sports are much more than an extracurricular activity for Pete. With a major in Physical Education, he’s turning his passion for sports and physical fitness into a career as an educator, a decision no doubt influenced by his father. “My dad was my elementary and middle school coach for the first part of my basketball career. After my dad, I came across a lot of great coaches who guided me and taught me how to be a great basketball player, and a great person.” With these influences in mind, Pete added endorsements in Special Education and Health to his degree program, and he’s already completed his Coaching Authorization.
But it is not just Pete’s dad who influenced him; he feels great gratitude for all of his family. “My family has been very supportive in everything that I have done. That is why I am such a big family person, because of all the support and love they have given.” In fact, part of why Pete even considered Ashford for his college experience is because it is close to home. “Then, when I went on my visit, I fell in love with the campus right away. The people were so friendly and the atmosphere was just amazing! This is a great place for a high school graduate, especially if you went to a small school.”
After graduation in December 2012, Pete will be looking for a position as a Physical Education teacher. “Hopefully I will find a job in the secondary setting, but if that doesn’t work then I feel I have the qualifications and characteristics it takes to teach any grade level.” Pete’s confidence in his academic preparation is something he prizes most about his time at Ashford. “Before coming to Ashford, I wasn’t the greatest student. But now I have turned my academic skills around tremendously. I have made the Dean’s list two years in a row, and I plan on making it again!”