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Athletic Training Student Earns 'Exceptional Research' Award at State Symposium

Symone McElroy, A.T.C., Is 7th WC Student to Receive Top Honor in Last 8 Years

May 14, 2012

Symone McElroy poses with her poster abstract of her research at the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium May 11. She received  OATA's

Symone McElroy poses with her poster abstract of her research at the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium May 11. She received OATA's "Exceptional Research" award and was the seventh WC student to earn this honor in the last eight years.

The Ohio Athletic Training Association recognized 2012 Wilmington College graduate Symone McElroy with the “Exceptional Research” award during its Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium May 11.

McElroy, a resident of Springfield, is the seventh Wilmington College student to earn the state association’s top honor in the past eight years.

Larry Howard, WC’s athletic training program director, said the award caps an outstanding senior year for McElroy, who this spring passed her Board of Certification examination and this winter was a member of the Ohio championship Athletic Training Quiz Bowl team.

“We’re thrilled for Symone and all she has accomplished during her years at Wilmington College,” said Howard, professor of athletic training. “She no doubt has a very bright future in the profession.”

(LEFT) Symone McElroy

McElroy’s research topic was “Athletes’ Attitudes Toward Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Athletic Trainers.”

Her abstract noted that, “As a growing profession that is more personal in nature, athletic training is going to be introduced to more and more diverse people. Education and a climate of openness to diversity must be demanded in order for there to be more equality among all individuals: athlete trainers and athletes alike.”

Erika Goodwin, interim vice president for academic affairs and professor of athletic training, also commended McElroy and the eight other students in her research course that presented at OATA.

“I am very proud of the nine students (now graduates) that did poster presentations at the Ohio Athletic Trainers' Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium,” she said. “I was especially glad to see Symone win this honor.”

Goodwin said research is what separates athletic training from being simply considered as a trade rather than a profession.

Goodwin, a champion of offering student research opportunities, spoke at the symposium on “Research — Getting Students Involved.”

She emphasized that students conducting research and having an opportunity to present their research — whether at professional conferences or simply before the campus community — constitutes a valuable educational experience.

“Presenting helps students build those critical soft skills that are often lacking in the young professional: critical thinking, polished oral and written communication skills, collaboration and professionalism,” she said. “Doing research projects and disseminating their findings helps students close the loop on their entire academic experience in college.”

In other athletic training news, Howard said that 100 percent of those athletic training seniors that took the Board of Certification examination this spring passed the test on their first attempt and earned the initials A.T.C. following their names.

“I’m just flabbergasted — it’s amazing to have had senior classes do this two consecutive years,” he said, noting that WC students have typically passed at much higher rates than the national average, which has been between 45 and 60 percent in recent years.