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Louisiana State’s ATEP Selected As Cramer’s 2015 Professional Development Award Recipient

August 6, 2015

Congratulations to the Athletic Training Education Program of Louisiana State University—the 2015 winner of the Bill Cramer Professional Development Award. The annual $2,000 award was created following the death of Bill Cramer in 2007 to honor his passion and enthusiasm for athletic training education.

Ray Castle, PhD, ATC, is professional practice program director of LSU’s ATEP and is associate professor, School of Kinesiology. In his letter of application for the award, Ray wrote that the program has maintained a +96 percent first-time BOC pass rate throughout the past four years, “with all graduates obtaining their desired work or graduate school assistantships in athletic training.” Typically, four to six of LSU’s athletic training students receive NFL internships each year.

Through LSU’s athletic training student organization, Alpha Tau Sigma, students organize and participate in many volunteer and philanthropic activities throughout the year. In addition to helping the needy with food, shoes and holiday gifts, they host an athletic training student symposium for 200—250 high school students and encourage participation in the National Bone Marrow Donor Program through the BeTheMatch program. The students also volunteer their time at various endurance events, including the Ironman Texas, Boston Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon New Orleans and Louisiana Marathon.

Ray and three students volunteered at the 2013 Boston Marathon, and Ray and student Derek Carter were assigned to an area near the finish line. In the aftermath of the bombing, they were among the first responders who treated victims, and also witnessed first-hand the impact of laypersons who took steps to save lives in the early moments after the bombing. Inspired by what he saw while volunteering that day, Derek initiated the LSU TigerHearts CPR Program to help athletes learn simple life-saving techniques. Athletic training students volunteer their time to educate student athletes about calling 911 and starting chest compressions, incorporating the American Heart Association’s “Hands-Only CPR” program. Upon completion, participants receive a “LSU TigerHearts” rubber wristband when a session is completed. The program is in its second year, and the LSU Athletic Department adopted the activity as an introductory educational program for all incoming student-athletes. Learn more about the program here: https://youtu.be/MhQCy4sATmE

Ray says the award money will offset student professional development fees, and may also be used to put on an educational conference at LSU. He’s especially thrilled with the award because he met Bill Cramer while working on his master’s degree in 1994. He says, “Knowing Bill Cramer’s dedication to education, and Cramer’s contribution to this profession, we’re very honored to receive this award.”

Congratulations to the LSU ATEP faculty, staff and students from everyone at Cramer!