When she isn't spending time on her family's homestead, Kyra Noerr is teaching Franklin College students about exercise science and life after college.
Noerr arrived at Franklin College in 2013. She currently teaches introductory courses, special populations, research methods and motor learning.
Noerr said exercise science combines a lot of areas she likes into one career—anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, physics and working with people.
“It's a field where we have to enjoy working with people, that's the majority of what we do, it's patient facing or client facing,” she said. “I can work with athletes, I can work with individuals who are very very sick and need physical activity to help prevent disease progression so it's a very wide area, and it allows me to explore all different aspects of the human body.”
Seniors Madi Ripberger and Taylor Neely said while Noerr holds her students to a higher standard, it’s apparent how much she cares about her students’ and patients' well-being.
“Kyra is a very strong willed woman. She’s got the type of personality that instantly gains your respect,” Ripberger said. “But also she’s very down to earth and preaches to us students the importance of making sure the people we are working with feel welcomed and empowered.”
Neely said Noerr’s teaching style engages and challenges students.
“Kyra Noerr is one of the best professors I have ever had. She goes above and beyond for her students,” she said. “Not only does she care about how you are doing in her class, she also cares about how you are doing in other classes, sports, and life in general. She does an amazing job at caring for her students and really helping them succeed in college and after they graduate.”
Junior Maddie Bright said she’s never had another professor quite like Noerr.
“She goes above and beyond for her students every single day; She wants to see us succeed,” Bright said. “She celebrates our successes right along with us and is there in our hard times as well. I have never met another professor that cares the way Kyra does.”
Noerr said the relationships she makes with her students feel much more personal and impactful than at larger schools, like IUPUI. She said she tries to learn every student's hometown and what they want to do after school.
“I like that I know where they want to go to grad school and when I write a letter of recommendation I have stories and stories and stories to talk about, and because I've either seen them do those things or they are so excited about this new job at this hospital or this internship that they want to come and tell me.”
Noerr isn’t just a people person—she loves animals too.
She has been a vegetarian for most of her life, but now she and her husband own and live on their Johnson County farm.
Noerr said after the couple moved there four years ago, and one day they decided to get chickens. They picked up their first flock in December of that year and by February had chickens, ducks, cows and turkeys.
“If we're going to eat meat I need to be willing to raise it. I need to be willing to butcher it and process it and give it a good life and so we always say that our animals, hopefully will only have one bad day in their life, and that's when you know we butcher them,” Noerr said. “So, all of the poultry that we eat, turkey chickens, things like that. We have raised them from day old chicks to the day that we slaughter them.”
In fall 2020, the first-year seminar class Farm to Table visited her farm for a day and some of the students cut the heads off chickens, so students could learn more about the process.
“We’re, my husband and I, are kind of learning as we go but we really like it,” Noerr said. “I just had 50 chickens delivered, so i should have a lot of eggs over the summer once they get big enough.”
Noerr said she loves spending time with family and friends on the farm.
“We put them to work sometimes but playing a lot of cornhole and just being with family is the best.”