NATA Now

March 1, 2018 by Beth Sitzler

In honor of National Volunteer Month, held each April, NATA thanked its many volunteers and highlighted why a few decided to give back in the March NATA News. If you’re interested in joining the hundreds of volunteers who help the association, learn more about NATA’s various volunteer opportunities and get involved. Here is a continuation of our volunteer Q&A:

 

Nick Cromidas

Volunteer Title: Chair

Committee: Student Leadership Committee

State/District: Washington, District Ten

Career Setting: Student/collegiate

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

My first volunteer role was as vice president of my dorm my freshmen year of college. The Student Leadership Committee is the first NATA committee I have served on. Before I was the chair of the SLC, I was the District Ten representative.

What words of encouragement would you give to others who are interested in volunteering?

Do it! It is extremely rewarding and you have the opportunity to change the profession for the better! Plus, you get to work with great people and broaden you network.

 

 

Ashley Crossway, ATC, LAT

Volunteer Title: District Two representative

Committee: LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee

State/District: New York, District Two

Career Setting: Collegiate

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

The first organized volunteering role that I can recall was during my undergraduate education at the State University of New York College at Cortland. As a part of our professional level athletic training program, we volunteered at “Loaves and Fishes,” which is the local soup kitchen that serves meals to the less fortunate. I performed a variety of tasks depending on the day and the number of volunteers. These tasks included everything from meal preparation, serving the food, cleaning, dishes and hospitality.

Why did you want to volunteer with NATA?

When my journey with the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee began, I was not necessarily aware of how much work it takes to become a committee or the extent in which I would be involved after we brought our concerns to the national level. My colleagues, Emma Nye and Sean Rogers, and I began this journey with the intent to raise awareness regarding our concerns of diversity and inclusion concerning the LGBTQ community for both our patients and fellow athletic trainers. This process began by talking to prominent Indiana State University Alum, most notably Marjorie Albohm who put us in contact with our, now chair, Pat Aronson. Once she and my colleagues starting diving full fledge into creating first the work group, now the committee, I knew there was no way for me to step away from something I feel so passionate about and have dedicated so much time and effort to. This all began as a grassroots effort to raise awareness and has evolved into much more.

 

 

Dale Grooms, ATC

Volunteer Title: District Four representative

Committee: Secondary School Athletic Trainers’ Committee

State/District: Illinois, District Four

Career Setting: Secondary school

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

Working with the secondary school committee was my first NATA volunteer role. I was the state secondary school committee chair before taking on this role.

What words of encouragement would you give to others who are interested in volunteering?

Years ago, I was one of those ATs who was not very keen on the work of NATA or my state organization. Much of this attitude was a “what have they done for me lately” kind of a feeling, and an overall feeling of “I just want to do my job and leave me alone.” It was not until a colleague of mine suggested I volunteer for a state position that I really started to pay greater attention.

It was when I volunteered and learned what great work so many of these volunteers are trying to do to make us a profession better, and I wanted to be part of it. Is volunteering work? Yes Has volunteering made me a better AT? Yes. Volunteering has been extremely rewarding and gratifying. I am very sad I am in my last year of term for this committee, but will cherish the time and friends I have made forever. I will continue to find ways to volunteer, on state, district or national levels, for it is an awesome experience!

 

 

Brian J. Hughes, ATC, LAT

Volunteer Title: Chair

Committee: Professional Development Committee

State/District: Missouri, District Five

Career Setting: Academic

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

I started out with the Education Planning Committee for the Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Meeting along with both the Missouri Educators’ Conference and Missouri Annual Meeting and Symposium.

What have you gained from your volunteering experience?

Immeasurable. The connections you make, the friendships made and/or reinforced, the professional support structure and, of course, leading by example; most especially demonstrating to your students that you can and should get involved with your profession.

 

 

Lovie Tabron, ATC

Volunteer Title: District Nine representative

Committee: ATs Care Committee

State/District: Georgia, District Nine

Career Setting: Collegiate

Why did you want to volunteer with NATA?

I wanted to volunteer with NATA because the organization offers us so much. Volunteering seemed like a good avenue to show some gratitude.

What words of encouragement would you give to others who are interested in volunteering?

Do it! It may begin as an avenue to help someone else but it is very self-fulfilling. Through servant leadership you will learn many things about yourself.

 

 

Kavin Tsang, PhD, ATC

Volunteer Title: Chair

Committee: Convention Program Committee

State/District: California, District Eight

Career Setting: Academic

What have you gained from your volunteering experience?

Friends, moments, gratitude, pride.

What words of encouragement would you give to others who are interested in volunteering?

Own it. Don’t limit yourself to only considering specific committees/groups. The true value in each opportunity/experience is found in the individuals you serve with.

 

 

Brian Vesci, MA, ATC

Volunteer Title: District Four representative; incoming chair

Committee: Professional Education Committee

State/District: Illinois, District Four

Career Setting: Collegiate

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

My first opportunity for professional service was with the Athletic Training Educators’ Conference planning sub-committee in the summer of 2013.

What words of encouragement would you give to others who are interested in volunteering?

Raise your hand. Find opportunities to meet the state and district committee representatives and directors at professional meetings. Inform them of your interest in professional service rather than waiting to be approached. I believe the benefits of these opportunities will far outweigh the time and effort you will put into them.

 

 

Cailee Welch Bacon, MA, ATC

Volunteer Title: District Seven representative

Committee: Education Advancement Committee

State/District: Arizona, District Seven

Career Setting: Academic

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

One of my first volunteer roles was to serve as the column editor for the Clinical Bottom Line column in the NATA News. I served as column editor from 2011-15 and was responsible for recruiting and securing authors as well as peer-reviewing all submitted materials for each Clinical Bottom Line column.

What have you gained from your volunteering experience?

I thoroughly enjoy engaging in service and have taken pride in the opportunities to contribute to the committees I have been involved with over the years. These opportunities to serve throughout the athletic training community have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. More importantly, these service activities have afforded me the opportunity to engage with several inspiring individuals who all share the common goal of continuing to elevate our profession. 

 

 

Alice Wilcoxson, PHD, ATC, PT

Volunteer Title: District Four representative

Committee: Executive Committee for Education

State/District: Indiana, District Four

Career Setting: Collegiate

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

I had the opportunity to serve as the NATA Liaison to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) from 2003-05. A component of this position was to serve as an ex-officio member of the NATA Education Council. This role allowed me to assist the NATA Education Council by providing updates on CAAHEP activities and changes in other allied health education programs that had potential impact on athletic training education.

Why did you want to volunteer with NATA?

I was fortunate to have mentors who were involved in significant leadership positions within the NATA as both an undergraduate athletic training student (Eastern Kentucky University – Dr. Bobby Barton) and in my first position as a collegiate athletic trainer (Purdue University – Mr. Denny Miller). In addition, the Program Director of the first Athletic Training Program that I had the opportunity to teach in (Purdue University – Dr. Larry Leverenz) was serving in a significant leadership role within CAAHEP – the accrediting agency for Athletic Training Education Programs at that time. As a student and young professional, I witnessed how much time and energy these individuals invested in advancing our profession and our education programs – and how excited they were to be able to do so and to get others involved in the process. I’m sure that it was because of their involvement within the profession, knowledge of the opportunities available, and encouragement/expectation of others to be actively involved in the professional organization that I felt compelled to do likewise. Quite honestly – I didn’t know any differently! 

 

 

Lynne Young, MED, LAT, ATC

Volunteer Title: District Ten representative

Committee: NATA Government Affairs Committee

State/District: Alaska, District Ten

Career Setting: Secondary school; outreach

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

I have always enjoyed volunteering – even early morning treatments as a student. My first role as a volunteer in athletic training was assisting in hosting our state meeting in Louisiana with the Louisiana Athletic Trainers’ Association many years ago.

What have you gained from your volunteering experience?

Oh my goodness, so much! The opportunity to meet and work with some amazing people in our profession. I have gained an increase in knowledge of the process and work it takes to continue to move our organization forward. 

 

 

Sam Zuege, MS, ATC, LAT

Volunteer Title: Chair

Committee: Young Professionals’ Committee

State/District: Kentucky, District Nine

Career Setting: Collegiate

What was your first volunteer role, either with NATA or another organization?

Student representative for the state of Indiana while in undergrad at Purdue University.

What words of encouragement would you give to others who are interested in volunteering?

If you have the interest run with it! Many times you have to seek out a position to serve in, but just getting involved in a small way is the best way to get your foot in the door.