It’s been said that if you pursue your passion, it will eventually lead to a job you love.
That maxim could easily sum up Assistant Professor Marianne Morano’s career.
“My first degree was in business,” says Morano, chair of the Health and Exercise Science department at County College of Morris (CCM).“But my lifelong passion was tennis.I left corporate America and became a certified tennis professional, teaching children and adults. While I was teaching tennis, there was always something that bothered me. I never understood why some people would get injured or why they would pass out in the heat. I wanted to understand the effects of exercise on the human body so I could better serve tennis students.”
She attended CCM to earn her associate’s degree in exercise science. “I thought I would stop there, but I loved it so much that I earned a dual master’s degree in the field,” she says. First she worked in a hospital setting as a clinical exercise physiologist, but soon realized she’d prefer to prevent illness and switched to corporate wellness.
Then, a professor from East Stroudsburg University offered her a teaching position. “I wasn’t sure if I should accept it. I’ve always had a fear of public speaking, but I took it and ended up loving it!” In 2007, she joined the CCM faculty.
What she enjoys most about teaching is the chance it provides to impact and change lives, similar to the way exercise science does.
“Last semester, I had a student who returned to thank me for teaching him. He told me that I actually changed his life,” says Morano. “He was floundering and had no idea what to do. Then he took the nutrition course and decided to major in exercise science. He broke down and cried as he was telling me this. He was grateful for the assistance with his career path and is currently working as a personal trainer at a major fitness center. It was so rewarding to know that I had that much of an impact on that young man’s life.
“If my actions positively affect a person, and help them in some way, there’s no greater gift. I get a lot of letters from students and I save every one of them.”