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University of Montana’s ATEP Named Cramer’s 2014 Professional Development Award Recipient

August 8, 2014

Congratulations to the Athletic Training Education Program of the University of Montana--the 2014 winner of the Bill Cramer Professional Development Award. The annual $2,000.00 award was created following the death of Bill Cramer in 2007 to honor his passion and enthusiasm for athletic training education.

Valerie Moody, PhD, ATC, is director of UM’s undergraduate and graduate athletic training programs and is associate professor, Health and Human Performance. In her letter of application for the award, Val wrote that the school’s five-year average first time pass rate on the BOC exam is 91 percent, and for the past two years, UM students have had a 100 percent first time pass rate.

“Professionally,” Val said in her letter, “our students are devoted to promoting and serving the profession of athletic training. Each year, our program celebrates NATA month in March. The students continue to impact local, regional and national entities in promoting our profession. The past six years, we have been recognized nationally for our efforts, winning the NATA PR contest (Best Student Effort, Best Grassroots Effort, Honorable Mention, Greatest Impact, and the past two years Best Student Effort)!”

UM’s students consistently go above and beyond what is required of them in the program, Val noted. For example, for a classroom assignment to contact and interview a past NATA president, several students contacted Mark Smaha. The students stayed in communication with Mark, met him at a district meeting, and learned about his experiences with the Marshall tragedy (editor’s note: plane crash that killed most of the Marshall University football team, as well as the coach, athletic director, doctors, and 25 boosters) that occurred 40 years ago. Funds were raised to fly Mark to UM for a weekend to speak to the students. “His presentation was candid, humorous and inspiring,” said Val. “It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity as a direct result of our students going beyond what was asked on a simple assignment!”

This past summer and fall, UM athletic training students volunteered along with faculty and staff to provide medical coverage at the Missoula Marathon, Freezer Burn Road Race, and the Diploma Dash. “Our students raise funds to attend the District 10 meeting, are actively involved with the NWATA student senate, and provide volunteer help to the NATA Foundation,” Val noted. Last year, they helped raise more than $3,000.00 for the Mark Smaha Scholarship Endowment Fund.

The school’s athletic training student association is dedicated to mentoring younger athletic training students, promoting the profession of athletic training, and serving the community. The students participate in community service projects each semester, including serving food to the homeless, collecting food for the less fortunate, helping to raise money for and awareness about head injuries, and conducting in-services for first responders.

Concluding her letter, Val wrote, “Hopefully you can see just how proud I am of the work our students do each and every year. They are dedicated students, enthusiastic advocates, and aspiring leaders that will undoubtedly make an impact on the future of athletic training.”

Upon learning that UM’s program was selected to receive the $2,000.00 Bill Cramer award, Val said, “It is an honor to be this year's recipient of this award and we are humbled to be selected, as we know there are so many deserving schools doing amazing work. Our program is incredibly grateful to Cramer for their longstanding support of education and the athletic training profession. We intend to use the development award for our students to gain KT1 and KT2 certifications and we have already begun our planning to host a kinesio taping workshop in April. Our students are so excited to have this opportunity to enhance their education and further develop their clinical skills!”

“All of us at Cramer are so pleased that the University of Montana has been selected for the 2014 Bill Cramer award,” says Ed Christman, Cramer’s vice president of marketing. “Their outstanding program, remarkable students, and dedication to community service would make Bill very proud. Congratulations to Val and her colleagues and students!”