Our Team

Stephanie McDaniel

HPFS Director

Stephanie McDaniel, M.S.

Tracy Weston

Administrative Support Specialist

Tracy Weston



IHHS Health & Wellness Coordinator

McKenzie Hellman, CHES

Lead Personal Trainers

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson, CPT

Hi, my name is Ben Wilson. I grew up in Sawmills, North Carolina, which is about 45 min from Boone. I graduated from Appalachian State University in 2016 with a major in Recreation Management, and a minor in Exercise Science. I am certified as a personal trainer through The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). I have taught many of the classes at Health Promotion for Faculty and Staff, including H.I.I.T, Strong Women, Kettle Bell, Core Conditioning, and TRX. I have worked with all kinds of people of different ages, with different goals, and with different injuries. An interesting fact about me is that I lost 80 pounds in my senior year of high school. I was overweight most of my life until that point, but I decided to change myself for the better. This weight loss, along with taking a weightlifting class in community college set me on the path of health and fitness for a field of study. I have been on all sides of the spectrum (losing weight and gaining weight) and would love to help you with whatever fitness goal you may have!

Ben's Recommended Sites:

  • AthlenX is great. He talks about the body and how the workouts affect it. He has a lot of workouts. I have even seen him bring out an anatomical skeleton before for example. He trains some big-name clients as well.
  • Fitnessblender is good too. They have good home workouts on their YouTube channel that I have used to get ideas from in the past.
  • Born Fitness is a website that I think might be useful. They don't have ads and have interesting fitness and nutrition articles. They seem pretty reliable.

Seth Pruitt

Seth Pruitt, CPT

My name is Seth Pruitt and I am an Appalachian State Alumni with a bachelor of science in health and exercise science. I am also nationally certified as a personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. I have been with HP since Fall 2017 when I started as an intern, moved to a weight room attendant, and now a personal trainer since Spring 2019. I have experience training a wide variety of demographics with varying fitness levels. I am from Franklin, NC so I have been in the mountains my whole life. I love Boone and plan to stick around for the foreseeable future. When I am not in the gym, some of the things I like to do include watching movies, hiking, playing basketball, and occasionally snowboarding.

Seth's Recommended Sites:

  • Home Gym Build: This is a relatively new blog that I have been using to find descriptions of proper form for my less experienced clients. It has several videos from Scott Herman fitness and even includes a step-by-step of how to build a deadlift platform in your home. I thought this might be a useful resource specifically for people who are working out at home, and as it turns out, most everyone is at this time!
  • Healthline: Healthline is where I get most of my news as it pertains to health trends and worldwide wellness. I had not actually been on their website until doing this little project because my experience with Healthline is exclusively on Twitter (Since I am on Twitter a lot.) But after looking through the website, there is a lot more going on than I thought. They have articles on a majority of health concerns; MS, diabetes, etc. They also have a lot of really helpful tools including a symptom checker which seems to be a lot more accurate than others like pubMed.
  • Barben: I was a little hesitant to include BarBend on this list because it is mainly tailored towards advanced lifters and athletes but there are a lot of people in the Appalachian community who fall under that category. This website has a wide variety of resources from proper lifting form to the good, the bad, and ugly of a lot of popular diets. There is also a BarBend podcast where they bring on powerlifters and health professionals from around the world to talk weightlifting.