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Athletic training alumni newsletter 2018 – Director’s column

Greetings from a very sunny and warm Arizona. I hope this newsletter finds you taking some time for yourself to relax with family and friends before heading to New Orleans for another National Athletic Training Association (NATA) meeting and starting up another academic year. This June, we celebrated the accomplishments of our students with our A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) commencement ceremony. We acknowledged the accomplishments of our five students in the master of science in athletic training (MS-AT) class of 2018 and 33 students who completed their doctor of athletic training (DAT) this past academic year in a wonderful ceremony featuring Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC, FNATA, dean of University of North Carolina’s College of Arts & Sciences as our commencement speaker. We are looking forward to welcoming 12 students into our MS-AT class of 2020.

Our Athletic Training Student Association (ATSA) has remained active in the University and community taking on many leadership roles at University-wide events including the TOPS sports physicals and providing athletic training services for local races and fundraising walks. ATSA also participated in the NATA Foundation Student Challenge and were in first place, raising over $5,000 for the Foundation. ATSA is also responsible for the content of this alumni letter and I appreciate their efforts in providing updates to the rest of the ATSU athletic training family.

We are proud to report several notable accomplishments among students, alumni, and faculty this past year. Katie Ritter, MS-AT, ’18 was awarded the Dwight Patterson Youth Sports Scholarship for her efforts in promoting youth sports safety. Melissa Kay, MS, ’15 and Kris Agena, DAT, ‘21, will both be awarded NATA Foundation doctoral scholarships in New Orleans in June. Suzie Squires, MS, ’14 will be recognized as the Gatorade Secondary School Athletic Trainer of the Year for District 7. We also congratulate Bart Anderson, DHSc, AT, ATC, ‘03, for being awarded tenure, Cailee Welch Bacon, PhD, ATC for her promotion to associate professor in ATSU-ASHS this past year and receiving the ATSU-ASHS Service Award and to Kenneth Lam, ScD, ATC for being honored as the ATSU-ASHS Scholar of the Year. We are proud of all of our student and alumni accomplishments.

We also congratulate several of our accomplished faculty members on receiving NATA Awards this year: Kellie Bliven, PhD, ATC (Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer); Dr. Anderson and Alison Valier, PhD, ATC, FNATA (Athletic Trainer Service Award); and Dr. Welch Bacon (Young Professionals Committee National Distinction Award).

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans where the Athletic Training programs will be well represented. We have 32 free communications presentations and eight session presentations between students, alumni, faculty, and external collaborators. Please join us at the alumni reception on Thursday, June 28 at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel (555 Canal Street), 2nd Floor, Galerie 6. If you did not receive the invitation, please contact Alumni Relations at

We would like to thank Sarah Piebes, MS, ATC, ‘08 and Tim Nicolello, MS, ATC, ‘11 for their service to the ATSU-ASHS Alumni Chapter Board. Serving on the ATSU-ASHS Alumni Chapter Board is not the only way to support the program. First, we simply ask that if you’ve moved recently or have just fallen out of touch that you take the time to renew your relationship to the program and to the University. Just visit the ATSU Alumni page for more information on how to do that. Also be sure to follow us on our social media outlets, like our posts, and share or retweet posts that you find relevant and interesting. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Josie Harding, MS, LAT, ATCWe’re also hoping to continue to highlight our students and alumni. Please send any updates and accomplishments to Amanda Vigil, MBA or Kaylynn Murphy-Schmitt.

Hannah Horris, ATC

Please consider providing your financial support to the Dwight Patterson Youth Sports Scholarship. This scholarship is the primary fundraising target for the program. It is reserved for current athletic training students whose research or leadership activities involve youth sports safety. We have had exceptional students receive this award and continue to make a difference in youth sports health and safety.

If you are interested in making a donation to the scholarship, please use this link and ask that your gift be directed to the Dwight Patterson Youth Sports scholarship fund. Additional information about the scholarship and opportunities to donate will be available at the alumni reception. We appreciate your support!

Looking forward to catching up with you in New Orleans!


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