Professional Development Excellence Award

Formerly the Continuing Education Excellence Award, this award honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the profession of athletic training in the area of continuing education and professional development. Any NATA member may submit an individual for nomination. To be eligible to receive this award the candidate must have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to continuing education and professional development in athletic training that is sustained and impactful.  Contributions to continuing education should be demonstrated at the state, regional and national levels. Candidates are evaluated on four different criteria including: 1) volunteer service related to continuing education and professional development, 2) speaking/presentations, 3) creative works, and 4) a miscellaneous category to include contributions not previously listed. Members of the Professional Development Committee are not eligible for this award. Sub-committee members may be nominated.


Award Eligibility

  • NATA member in good standing with a minimum of ten years of membership in the organization.
  • Recognition for service to continuing education and professional development that is sustained and impactful at the state, regional and national level.
  • A minimum of five years contribution to continuing education and professional development.


Candidates who meet the minimum requirements will be evaluated on the criteria below: 

  • Volunteer Service Related to Continuing Education & Professional Development (40%)
    • Such as committee work, planning / hosting events, advising and related activities
  • Speaking and Presentations (40%)
    • Such as peer-reviewed and invited workshops, platform and poster presentations
  • Creative Works (10%)
    • Such as writing, technology, reviewing, editing and related activities
  • Miscellaneous Category (10%)
    • Further innovations or activities not included in other areas



Any NATA member in good standing may submit a nomination by downloading and completing the nomination form and submitting it to the Professional Development Committee by March 8. Nominations will be valid for two successive years.

Contact and submit to


Application Guidelines

  1. Nomination may be made by any NATA member in good standing.
  2. Each nominator is responsible for completing the nomination form.
  3. A maximum of one candidate will be selected for this award per year.
  4. Once nominated, the candidate’s materials will be kept on file for a two-year period and considered both years if not selected in the first year.
  5. The award need not be given each year if no candidates are deemed qualified for the award.
  6. All candidates are reviewed by the Professional Development Committee (PDC) of the NATA.
  7. The award will be presented at the subsequent NATA Clinical Symposia and AT Expo.

Dr. Stanley Herring received his medical degree from the University of Texas, Health Center at Dallas, Southwestern Medical School. For over 15 years he has specialized in spine care at Puget Sound Sports and Spine Physicians in Seattle, Washington. He has served as Team Physician for the Seattle Seahawks and the University of Washington, as well as, consultant for the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco Forty Niners and the University of Washington Sports Medicine Programs.

Dr. Herring has authored numerous textbooks, chapters and journal articles relating to the physiology of injury, spine care and the athlete, and team physician preparedness. He has been a member of several editorial boards including The Physician and Sports Medicine, Medicine and Science in Sports, Exercise and Current Sports Medicine Reports and The Spine Journal. Dr. Herring has served as a Board Member for the American College of Sports Medicine as well as chair for their Task Force on Clinical Sports Medicine Leadership. He also served on the Spine in Sports Medicine Task Force - North American Spine Society. He contributed to the monograph: Prehospital Care of the Spine Injured Athlete: A Document from the Inter-Association Task Force for Appropriate Care of the Spine Injured Athlete.

Dr. Herring is a well sought after speaker who has given numerous presentations in the athletic training arena. He was instrumental in bringing a yearly session of the North American Spine Society (NASS) to the NATA Annual Symposium. He has also served as President of the NASS.

Dr. Herring received Honorary Membership into the NATA in 2005 and the Citation Award from the American College of Sports Medicine in 2004. He also received the Distinguished Clinician Award in 1999 from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1977 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of the New Jersey Medical School.