Faculty and Staff | M.S. Exercise Physiology

Email information is followed by @css.edu unless otherwise noted.

Position: Professor/Chair, EXP
Department: Exercise Physiology
Phone: (218) 723-6621
E-Mail: LBirnba3@css.edu

Academic Degrees

1999 M.A. (Exercise Physiology)
The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN.

1990 Ph.D. (Higher Education)
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

1979 M.S. (Medical Technology)
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.

1976 B.A. (Medical Technology)
The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN.


Larry has been teaching at the college level for over 30 years, which includes two universities, a private college and a community college. Recent courses taught include ECG and Graded Exercise Testing, Cardiovascular Physiology,  Applied Exercise Physiology, and Biomechanics. Larry is the EXP Department Chair and Graduate Program Director. Larry has published five research articles in peer-reviewed journals and has written several articles for online journals.

Larry's teaching philosophy is to try to make course content real for students by including real life applications. If students can associate material with real life situations, they are more likely to understand it and remember it. His door is always open to students.

Larry is an outdoor enthusiast and thoroughly enjoys what the Duluth area has to offer in outdoor activities.

Position: Asst Professor, EXP
Department: Exercise Physiology
Phone: (218) 723-6601
E-Mail: JDargan@css.edu

Academic Degrees:

M.A. - Exercise Physiology
The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota; 2000

B.A. - Chemistry
The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota; 1979

Academic appointments:

2007 - Present: Assistant Professor
Department of Exercise Physiology, College of St. Scholastica

2003 - 2007 : Instructor
Department of Exercise Physiology, CSS

2000 - 2003 : Instructor
Department of Chemistry, CSS

1987 - 2000 : Assistant Instructor
Department of Chemistry, CSS

Courses Taught:

EXP 3323 - Sports Nutrition
EXP 3331 - Exercise Physiology
EXP 3332 - Physiological Assessment
EXP 3334 - Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
EXP 4441 - Advanced Lab Research
EXP 6522 - Biochemistry, Nutrition and Exercise
EXP 6532 - Professional Development of Exercise Physiology
EXP 6540 - Psychophysiology of Health and Exercise
HSC 4700 - Health Care Interdisciplinary Leadership

Exercise Physiology Interest Areas:

  • Physiological assessment and evaluation
  • The impact of exercise and physical fitness on health
  • The use of exercise in the treatment and prevention of "lifestyle" diseases
  • The development and delivery of worksite wellness programs

Teaching Philosophy

John believes in recognizing students as individuals with unique abilities, skills and challenges. An outgrowth of this philosophy is to help them recognize and overcome their personal challenges while maximizing their knowledge and abilities and encouraging them to demonstrate the attitude and behaviors of a health care professional. This philosophy also leads to the recognition that learning takes place not only in the classroom but also in the lab and in interactions outside of formal learning situations. Programs such as the SHAPE UP personal fitness program which John developed and currently oversee, allows students to gain experience in a professional setting before their formal internship experience.

Personal Information

John was born and raised in Northern Minnesota and graduated with a degree in chemistry from the College of St. Scholastica. He spent most of the next decade working in chemistry labs in industry, government and academia before returning to CSS to teach and supervise labs in the chemistry department. After being diagnosed with diabetes, John entered the Master's program in exercise physiology to gain a better understanding of the disease and the affect that exercise has on it. Upon completion of the degree John was invited to teach several courses in the Department of Exercise Physiology which ultimately lead to a full-time appointment in EXP.

John tries to maintain his health and fitness through an overall exercise regimen that includes running, strength training and stretching. On a more recreational level, John stays physically active with year-round outdoor activities - in-line skating and kayaking on Lake Superior in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing when we have snow.

Position: Asst. Professor, EXP
Department: Exercise Physiology
Phone: (218) 723-6297
E-Mail: lkappes@css.edu

Academic Degrees:

  • Ph.D. - Kinesiology (emphasis in motor behavior)
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • M.S. - Clinical Exercise Physiology
    University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
  • B.S. - Physical Education PreK-12
    University of Wisconsin, Superior
Position: Assoc Professor, EXP
Department: Exercise Physiology
Phone: (218) 625-4928
E-Mail: JWarpeha@css.edu

Academic Degrees:

Ph.D. - Kinesiology (emphasis in exercise physiology)
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

M.A. - Exercise Physiology
College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota

B.S. - Marine Science (emphasis in marine geology)
Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida

Academic Appointments and Experience:

The College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN):
• Associate Professor, Department of Exercise Physiology (2015 - Present)
• Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Physiology (2008 - 2015)
• Director, Exercise Physiology Laboratories (2008 - Present)

The University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN):
• Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Kinesiology (2003 - 2008)
• Lab Manager, Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene and Exercise Science
(2005 - 2008)

Exercise Physiology Interest Areas:

• Strength, speed and power development
• Physiological testing and evaluation
• Cardiovascular adaptations to training
• Thermoregulation and exercise

Courses Taught at the College of St. Scholastica:


• EXP 3330 - Psychophysiology of Stress and Exercise (with lab)
• EXP 3342 - Strength Training and Conditioning
• EXP 4431 - Advanced Exercise Physiology (with lab)
• EXP 4436 - Research in Exercise Physiology


• EXP 6532 - Physiological Assessment (with lab)
• EXP 6536 - Clinical Exercise Physiology
• EXP 6538 - Exercise Testing and Electrocardiography (with lab)
• EXP 6542 - Strength Training and Conditioning (with lab)

Teaching Philosophy:

Lead by example. Yes, it is that simple. In the field of exercise physiology I believe "practicing what you preach" is critical to being able to communicate with students on a different, and crucial, level. I have always tried to model an active and physically responsible lifestyle by exercising and being physically active beyond what is minimally recommended for health. I believe this has enabled me to connect with people in a unique way. I have personally known too many academic exercise physiologists who could have avoided such health issues as stroke, heart disease, and hypertension but instead chose the philosophy of "Do as I say, not as I do." Additionally, it has been my observation that many college professors claim to teach students how to think under the guise of "critical thinking" but instead are only interested in teaching students to think what they think. Unfortunately, many students are told they are not thinking "critically" when they disagree or don't think the way their professor does. My philosophy is to teach students how to think and not what to think. I welcome, and encourage, differing thoughts and perspectives.

Personal Information:

I was born and raised in the Chicago area and first came to Duluth for my masters degree in exercise physiology at the College of St. Scholastica. While finishing my doctorate degree at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis I decided to return to Duluth. I am a nature enthusiast and enjoy fishing, among other outdoor pursuits. Anything related to weather or the earth sciences is very interesting to me (my undergraduate degree is in marine geology). I have been a competitive powerlifter since 1997 and remain active in the sport as a competitor, coach, meet director, referee, USA Powerlifting Executive Committee member, and state chairman of USA Powerlifting of Minnesota. It was my involvement in powerlifting that first sparked my interest in the physiology of exercise, physical activity, and sport. I also enjoy running and have completed races ranging from 5K to the marathon.


• American College of Sports Medicine
• Clinical Exercise Physiology Association
• National Strength and Conditioning Association
• USA Powerlifting


• American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM):
           - Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist [RCEP]
           - Clinical Exercise Specialist [CES]
           - Health Fitness Specialist [HFS]
• National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA):
           - Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist [CSCS]
           - Certified Personal Trainer [CPT]
• USA Powerlifting (USAPL) / International Powerlifting Federation (IPF):
           - Category I International Referee
• USA Track and Field (USATF):
           - Level 1 Coach
• USA Weightlifting (USAW):
           - Level 1 Coach

The information above is current as of August, 2015.