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SLIAC Celebrates National Athletic Training Month

SLIAC Celebrates National Athletic Training Month

 

The month of March is National Athletic Training month and the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is proud to join in the celebration of our athletic trainers throughout the conference. We will be highlighting athletic trainers from each of our member schools all month long so be sure to come back and get to know your A.T. And don't forget to tell them thank you when you see them around campus!

 

WHITNEY KESSLER - GREENVILLE UNIVERSITY

How long have you been at your current school?
Since 2011, almost 8 years 

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
Forming relationships with our student-athletes and watching them grow throughout their time here at GU.

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
I appreciate what you do. 

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
To work I assume? :) Gymnastics or baseball

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
I like to think we take care of our student-athletes' all around well being. Our job is injury prevention, clinical evaluation, immediate care of injuries, treatment, and rehabilitation. But it is so much more than that— we also have several other responsibilities such as documentation, insurance, referrals, practice/game set up, health fairs, community outreach event coverage, etc.  We form relationships with these student-athletes and often become a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen when they need some mental or emotional support as well and make appropriate referrals if needed. I heard something at a professional conference for continuing education once that stuck with me and has become my career motto for myself— "people want to know how much you care more than care how much you know."  I hope my student-athletes always know how much I care about them as people first, athletes second. 

 

RICHELLE PERKINS - WESTMINSTER COLLEGE

How long have you been at your current school?
1.5 month

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
Being able to impact my students' lives.

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
You don't live in here?

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Hockey

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
Athletic Trainers are health care because they treat the patient as a whole, both emotionally and physically.  We as athletic trainers are highly qualified multi-skilled professionals.  We are an integral part of health care, trained to deal with injuries while keeping our patients safe and healthy.  

 

JENNIFER POPKEN - WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

How long have you been at your current school?
I've been at Webster University for 7 years. 

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
My ability to help see an injured athlete go from the sideline to getting back to the sport they love is what I'm passionate about. I love connecting with the athletes and learning their stories and see them develop over their years with us as well. When a student comes back to campus after they've graduated it's a great feeling knowing that the athletic training staff is who they want to come visit first. 

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
"Thank God you were here." 

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Golf or Volleyball; still undecided. 

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
ATs are Healthcare is the mantra behind wanting all athletes to know that we care about their health and well-being whether that be their physical, mental, or emotional health: we are there for them. 

 

KATELYN KARPOFF - MacMURRAY COLLEGE

How long have you been at your current school?
About 7 months, since August 2018

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
I love building relationships with athletes and coaches so that when something does go wrong, they know they can turn to me for care and support. It's exciting to work with athletes that give it their all in rehab and translate that hard work to succeed in their sport once they return. 

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, in relation to your job?
Recovery run. No morning practice. 

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
I would love to work in professional hockey. 

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
Athletic trainers are part of the bigger picture when it comes to patient care. We are an integral part of athlete safety and an advocate for their health and well-being, on or off the field. ATs are an asset to those we work and collaborate with and can provide a unique perspective to other health care professionals.  

 

JUN MATSUNO - SPALDING UNIVERSITY

How long have you been at your current school?
3 years.

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
Daily interaction with all student-athletes.

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job? 
Better/Good/Cleared/Win/Thanks! 

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Football.

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
We provide Athletic Training services to student-athletes not only for competitions but also students' long-term health after their graduation from college.  

 

JOSH THOMPSON - WESTMINSTER COLLEGE

How long have you been at your current school?
13 years

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
My favorite part of the job is finding new ways to deal with injuries or problems. I also take particular joy in advancing the profession in the eyes of the public that don't understand the value of the athletic trainers, especially in our conference.

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
It really doesn't hurt anymore

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
I would be a left-handed reliever in baseball! I love to be paid a lot of money to get one out!

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
Athletic Trainers are the gatekeepers for medical services in the Collegiate Setting. We provide injury assessment, further medical referral, physical medicine, and rehabilitative services for the student-athletes at our respective institutions. We also are concerned with getting our patients back to full physical activity, not just the basic functions of daily living. This is the definition of how athletic trainers ARE health care because we provide so many various and quality services that our student-athletes may not otherwise have access to in the general public.


IOWA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

KACI MERTENS
How long have you been at your current school?
I have been an AT at my current job for almost 6 years, but have been helping at Iowa Wesleyan University for 2.5 years.

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
My favorite part is being able to help an athlete through the entire process of their injury/illness. From the initial date of the injury until they return to full participation. Also, seeing the athletes grow and succeed during their time at school. 

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
(When someone says to you) "I appreciate what you do." 

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Softball

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
To me, "ATs in Health Care" shows how versatile ATs are. We make a difference in so many aspects of sports, jobs and every day lives. We are able to be utilized in a number of different job settings that people don't realize.  Whether it is an emergent situation, concussion, injury, illness, etc in sports or someone's workplace, there is a way an AT can be utilized. 

EMILY SALVADOR
How long have you been at your current school?
9 months

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
Watching the athlete progress from the moment they are injured all the way up until they are back to their sport and the interactions and work to get there

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
Practice has been canceled today.

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Basketball for sure

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
ATs are health care means that we are there for athletes and that we work to keep them safe & healthy. It means that we're present for each athlete and can provide support and health care that is always accessible. 

SHANNON TERRELL
How long have you been at your current school?
I am brand new to the area, so I have only been at Iowa Wesleyan University since June 2018. I just recently moved here from Tampa, Florida. However, I have been practicing in Athletic Training for 15-16 years now.

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
That smile on an athletes face when we let them return to their sport after an injury. No one likes to see anyone get hurt. We are always with these men and women from the time of the initial injury, through the rehab they endure, to the point when they first set foot back on the playing field. The smile alone is gratifying.      

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
Can I get ice, please? I love being asked for our services

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
About 4 years ago I sat in for the head AT for 2 days with Tampa Bay's LFL (Lingerie Football League). Between the television coverage and VIP's standing over your every move, it was extremely stressful. Not to mention, everything at that level is so fast-paced. I'm not a big fan of the pros at any level. I'm quite happy with covering collegiate Division 2 and 3 athletics or high school.             

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
AT's are a large portion of the front line of defense when it comes to medical coverage for athletes, performers, military, or even other first responders. We're not just there to tape and stretch to keep individuals going through their sport or job. We are also there to recognize injuries, treat/rehabilitate those injuries, or transfer to MD's for further evaluations if need be. It doesn't happen a lot but in worse case scenarios we are also there to save lives.

 

CHRIS SHARKEY - EUREKA COLLEGE

How long have you been at your current school?
I've been in my current position since July 2014. However, I first worked as the Head ATC here in 1995. My mentor Dr. Bill Kauth, Sr. (Illinois State), was contacted by the AD and asked if he or someone he knew could take over the duties and responsibilities for the spring semester because they had an open ATC position. Also from 2007 through 2009 I worked as the assistant through Great Plains Orthopedic in Peoria. Getting back here to Eureka College has been my professional goal since I was first here in '95.

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
For me, the best part of being an AT is the relationship's that you develop with your student-athletes. I want my AT room to be the place where my student-athletes know they can come hang out for a few, visit, talk, and know that I do care.

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, in relation to your job?
Shark, you are the man

If you could go pro in any sport?
Golf.....my passion

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
It's the phrase of choice this year to help or try to get people to understand our profession. Unless you are a spouse/domestic partner/significant other, family member, athlete, parent, coach, or athletics administrator you'll never really truly understand the importance of our profession and its relationship with healthcare. 

 

MIKE PEPPLER - GREENVILLE UNIVERSITY

How long have you been at your current school?
This is my 19th year at GU

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
I enjoy the connections I have made with the student-athletes over the years.

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
I appreciate all you do.

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Baseball. I enjoy the strategy that goes into every play, and the unique demands that throwing a baseball puts on the body.

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
It means that AT's are an integral part of the health care system. Our education and skill set make us a unique profession that works with patients from prevention to emergency care to assessment to rehabilitation and return to activity. When working in collaboration with other health care professionals we can provide the best service to our patients/clients.

 

MARTIN FIELDS - WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

How long have you been at your current school?
16 years

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
Making new friendships, new freshmen/ transfers every year from all over, state, country, and the world.

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job? 
Thank you

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Skiing...downhill

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
AT's are expanding into many diversified non-traditional fields. We try and put the patient first.   

 

 

 

ANN SCHMERBAUCH - FONTBONNE UNIVERSITY

How long have you been at your current school?
8 years

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
Being able to impact my student-athletes lives for the better.

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, in relation to your job?
"You make such a difference."

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Hockey

What does "ATs are Health Care" mean to you?
It means that we are more than just ankle tapers, water cooler fillers, and ice bag makers.  We aren't "failed coaches" that decided to continue to hang around athletics.  We are passionate people that provide a number of health care services and support to our patients.

 

BRYAN LANGAN - MacMURRAY COLLEGE

How long have you been at your current school?
This is my ninth year at MacMurray College

What's your favorite part of being an AT?
Using my personal skill set to help the athletes compete at their highest level and being able to be a part of their personal growth during their time here. 

What 5 words are your favorite to hear, In relation to your job?
Our practice today is canceled

If you could go pro in any sport what would it be?
Golf

What does "ATs Are Health Care" mean to you?
To me, this slogan encompasses our unique skill set and expertise in the many different realms of Health Care.  ATs continue to adapt to the changing environments within healthcare and have remained an integral piece to the healthcare system.

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