calling as a graduate assistant at Auburn under Dr. Bruce Gladden. Referred to as the first physiologist in exercise fitness, Dr. Gladden shared his passion for performance testing with Carroll. A decade later, Carroll leans back in his chair and smiles at the road he has traveled.
"I have the coolest lab at the College," Carroll says with a grin. "I get to combine different interests of mine while acting in correlation with the PEHD department. I love that!"
Surrounded by bookcases of biology and exercise testing books propped up by pictures of his family and autographed pictures of famous athletes, Carroll's office is a welcoming place for students. Nestled on the main floor of the Silcox Gym, his office doors are always open for students to stop in and grab a quick conversation before heading to their next class. Through a side door, Carroll's exercise physiology lab is found. Wingate bikes, treadmills, stopwatches and various measuring instruments line the perimeter. No desks are anywhere to be seen, just a few chairs and floor space leaning up against the life-size model of a human skeleton. Carroll directs students in his lab to take the initiative and fully interact in each experiment.
"We all get to be a part of every lab," C of C exercise physiology student Martha Shepard says. "Hydrostatic weighing, testing lung capacity, Wingate tests, we are the ones testing our peers and Mr. Carroll makes every lab so interesting. The time in we spend in lab is really fun!"
Carroll serves as a liaison between various research projects and the physical education department. He has worked hard to develop and culture a great relationship between various athletic teams and the lab. As supervisor of the Human Performance Laboratory, Carroll conducts physical testing such as VO2 max, body composition, aerobic and anaerobic and the overall collection of data, which goes directly to the coaches or respective athletes to be used to monitor the success of their training or towards newer training schedules. He is a great source of information for students as well as anyone interested in performance testing within the community.
Fellow PEHD professor Dr. Timothy Scheet works closely with Carroll providing invaluable research data linking academics to athletics. "Tom plays a key role in the exercise science program providing an essential link for students between the research-based theoretical concepts presented in lecture to the applied physiological outcomes during testing in the lab," Scheet says.
Tom and his wife Lynn, a former College of Charleston swim team member, reside in Charleston and value daily activity with their kids. Carroll is a coed Under-10 recreation soccer league coach for his son Carson as well as a keen volleyball player. His presence in the C of C physicial education family is unparalleled. He encourages his students to dive into the science and explore every angle while having fun. Campus Recreation Supervisor and College of Charleston student Charlie Pingree agrees. "Each day that I encounter Tom, I find that kindness, sincerity and professionalism are both ever-present and limitless," he says.
Tom Carroll has found that balance; somewhere among the rush of breakfast with seven people in the morning, during the advising meetings with students that turn into an uplifting chat, in-between doubles matches against students in his volleyball class, listening to Hootie on his computer as yet another student finds solace in a crazy day, coaching his young children to enjoy every moment and take nothing for granted. Our professors at the College of Charleston are among the elite, and to shine in the midst of them is remarkable. Professor Tom Carroll does exactly that.