October 2013: Internationally Unique Scuba Diving Program

Barry offers the only scuba program of its kind

By Kayla Davis

Contributing WriterUnlike any other university in the world, Barry offers a four year degree that incorporates scuba diving. Those who complete the program receive a Bachelor of Science in sport management in the recreational diving industry with a minor in business. While many other universities offer a scuba diving class, they don’t offer students the same opportunities as this diving course.

The program is headed by Sharon Kegeles, coordinator of the sports management – diving industry program.

“She is in the Women Divers Hall of Fame,” said scuba instructor and graduate of the diving program, David Bone. “She is known for caring about her students. She puts safety first and makes sure her students are taken care of. She has taken students to Bonaire for the tropical environment diving class for a long time.”

Bone has also earned praise from his students.

“David is amazing. I have met lots of diving instructors and he is one of the best I have ever met,” said Thomas O’Brien, a sophomore double majoring in marine biology and dive industry. “He has a lot of experience for being as young as he is.”

Students learn not only about the actual act of scuba diving, but also the business behind the industry, as well as health and safety procedures.

“We learn basic open water certifications, advanced certifications, and rescue certifications,” said junior, Alexis Nyiro, a criminology major and dive industry minor. “We learned about the industry itself and the retail part of the industry. There is also a dive theory class which analyzes the effects of diving on the body and the science behind it.”

After completing the program, students have vast opportunities including becoming an instructor, dive videographer/photographer, or dive marketer and sales representative.

Even if a student does not want to take on diving as a major or minor, there are opportunities to try scuba diving.

“Try the beginner scuba class, ISR 155,” advises junior dive industry major, Jenelle Loughner. “It’s a semester long class in the fall where you learn scuba, first in the pool, and then the class goes to the ocean. It’s great for those thinking about the program or other students who just want to learn scuba for fun.”