Ellen Perrella


  • Head Athletic Trainer
  • Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Athletics
Ellen Perrella, Head Athletic Trainer and Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Athletics

Perrella has served as Head Athletic Trainer at Mount Holyoke for over 30 years, providing health care for our student-athletes with her staff of assistants and in collaboration with the Health Center. In addition to being a certified and licensed athletic trainer, Perrella is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Perrella teaches "FUNctional Strength-Training", with an intentional emphasis on fun. Perrella believes passionately in the value and importance of strength training for all, including those that are not involved in sport. “Life is kind of like a sport-it requires resilience, teamwork, and strength.” This class teaches a variety of (non-machine) exercises that incorporate balance, proprioception, and coordination to strengthen the basic movements in life and sport. It also includes mini-lectures on all kinds of health-related topics, i.e. sleep deprivation, nutrition, plyometrics, etc.

Perrella received the Twentieth Anniversary Service Award from the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts.

Perrella is active in the public speaking realm, presenting at numerous health-related conferences. She challenges many of the myths and misunderstandings regarding obesity with her lecture “Challenging Conventional Wisdom: Separating Fat from Fiction”. Perrella is a long-standing member of the Five College Eating Disorder Task Force and the campus Eating Issues Team and Alcohol and Drug Advisory Committee.

Areas of Expertise

Fitness; functional strength training; sports medicine; body image/eating disorders


  • M.S., University of Colorado
  • B.S., University of Utah