Photo caption: Former NATA Student Leadership Committee Chair Savannah Knighton, ATC, poses for a photo with SLC mentor and NATA Hall of Fame member Michael Goldenberg, MS, ATC, CES, and current SLC Chair Midge Peterson during the Student Reception, held during the 70th NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo this June.
By Savannah Knighton, ATC
Former NATA Student Leadership Committee Chair
When I decided to apply for the NATA Student Leadership Committee (SLC) three years ago, I never imagined how much it would benefit me in my future career.
I must admit, when I first heard of the SLC, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew what NATA was, but had only been involved in leadership positions at the school level. I had attended a few conferences hosted by the Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association and Louisiana Athletic Trainers’ Association, but my involvement within these organizations was surface level. On a leap of faith and through the guidance of my athletic training program, I decided to apply to be the NATA District Nine representative of the SLC. A few short months later, I would be traveling to my first NATA convention in Houston. Little did I know that in a year’s time I would be taking over the SLC as the chair of the committee.
I couldn’t be happier with my time spent on the SLC. First and foremost, I was able to grow as a leader. No matter what role you serve on the SLC, I promise you will develop lifelong leadership skills. My senior year, as I was applying for graduate assistantships, I was able to rely on the experiences I had while serving on the committee to market myself to future employers.
The committee also allows for numerous networking opportunities. We have three mentors on the committee. Each has a different background and experiences within the athletic training profession. They’re always available as a resource for the committee as well as life after the SLC, as former committee members transition into practice. The committee has two in-person committee meetings, which allows representatives to connect with other leaders within the profession. You never know who you may meet while serving on the SLC. At my first Joint Committee Meeting, I sat at a table for dinner with Marc Paul, MS, ATC, LAT, who is the associate athletic director of sports performance, health and wellness at Boise State. A year later he offered me a job.
My favorite part about the SLC was all the friends I was able to make. After serving on the committee multiple years, I now have friends within the athletic training profession from around the country. I still talk with many of the people I served with and have developed some lifelong friendships because of this committee.
I’m so thankful that I applied to the SLC because it truly has made me the athletic trainer that I am today.
If you’re not doing so already, follow the NATA SLC on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you would like to chat with a current SLC member, don’t hesitate to reach out to them on social media or at email@example.com.
If you or anyone you know is interested in representing your district and growing in the athletic training profession, take that same leap of faith and apply! The NATA SLC is accepting applications for Districts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine. For more information, visit the Student Professional Interests page.