Athletic Training encouraged to research

The Baldwin Wallace University Athletic Training program gained a new faculty member at the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester. The new assistant professor in Athletic Training, Elizabeth Walters, is encouraging growth for her AT students beyond the classroom by introducing them to student-led research.
Walter’s experience with research goes back to her time as an undergrad, as well as her time in grad school, and through her doctorate.
“Prior to coming here, I did a couple of student research things where I was at BG (Bowling Green), Springfield, and I did a little bit of undergrad research,” she said.
Research within the Athletic Training program has never been introduced before. That is, until Walters arrived at BW.
Walters felt that it will be most beneficial to get AT student immersed in student-led research now because it going to be an expectation of them at some point, especially if they want to go to grad school.
Walters introduced the idea of research to the class and she said she had “a ton of students interested.” Research is not something that is required in the AT program. It was thought to be offered as an internship credit, but AT students already have a full credit load. They are taking the initiative to do extra work and go above and beyond expectations, Walters said.
One group of students are working on case studies and one group of students are working on clinically appraised topics. The goal of the research at the least is to get it submitted for ovation and hopefully take it to the state and district levels.
Six students are participating in the research studies currently, out of a total of 17 students in the program.
The AT program prepares their students in a way that best prepares them for their future careers whether that be with hands-on training, clinical practice, conducting research, or traditional lectures, Walters said.
Professional growth outside of the classroom is a key part of the AT program at BW.
Athletic Training students gain extensive experience in the field whether that be with sports teams, team physicians or with other athletic trainers, said Karyn Gentile, Athletic Training Program director.
Conducting research opened a new door for professional development for AT students, said Walters.
Research is something new within the program, and it turned out for the students to be “a passion they did not know existed,” Walters said.