Discussing University Employment

February 21, 2023 by Lydia Hicks

NATA Timely Topics kicks off anew this year with “The State of Athletic Training: College/University Employment” at 1 p.m. CST March 2.

In support of the recently released white paper, The Collegiate Athletic Trainer Labor Crisis: A Data Driven Guide Outlining the Current Collegiate Workplace Environment and Strategies to Improve Workplace Engagement, this Timely Topic will address the document and provide additional discussion, resource sharing and calls to action for athletic trainers, employers, external media outlets and the public. 

Hosted by NATA President Kathy Dieringer, EdD, LAT, ATC, the event features NATA Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine Chair Brant Berkstresser, MS, LAT, ATC; NATA AT Compensation Task Force Co-Chair Murphy Grant, LAT, ATC, NASM-PES; NATA Early Professionals’ Committee Chair and AT Compensation Task Force member Emily Mulkey, MS, LAT, ATC and NATA AT Compensation Task Force members Ann Wallace, MSEd, ATC, NASM-CES, and Kenny Boyd, MS, LAT, ATC.

Also on the panel are University of Minnesota Duluth athletic training director Forrest Karr, who brings in the athletic director perspective; A-G Administrators LLC and Sports Insurance Specialists chief executive officer Dixon Gillis, providing the risk management perspective and Society for Human Resource Management senior vice president of enterprise sales George Rivera III, who will speak from the human resource perspective.

Continue reading to learn more about the speakers.

Attendees are encouraged to read The Collegiate Athletic Trainer Labor Crisis: A Data Driven Guide Outlining the Current Collegiate Workplace Environment and Strategies to Improve Workplace Engagement white paper and have questions ready to be answered. Also, prepare to engage in discussion and provide thoughts and feedback to the topics being discussed at the event.

While Timely Topics registration is normally $45 for nonmembers, this particular event is free to all attendees. While CEUs are not offered for this event, ATs can submit the contact time as Category D in their reporting mechanism. This event would be considered one contact hour.

Register now to attend this opportunity.

View more Timely Topics lined up on the NATA Timely Topics Series webpage.

Brant Berkstresser, MS, LAT, ATC
Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine, Tarleton State University
NATA Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine Chair

Brant Berkstresser, MS, LAT, ATC, came to Tarleton State University in July 2022 from Harvard University, where he has overseen the sports medicine department for over 1,100 Ivy League student athletes since 2008 as associate director of athletics for student athlete health and performance. He has over 30 years of experience in athletic training and collegiate athletics.
At the national level, Berkstresser currently serves as the executive chair of the NATA Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine. He also serves on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Concussion Safety Protocol Committee. His previous NCAA committee involvement includes the NCAA Bylaw 17 Working Group, Health and Safety Cross Functional Team and the NCAA Drug Testing Sub-Committee. He is also a former chair of the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport Committee.

Why should ATs attend this event?
“[This Timely Topic] is addressing the current employment setting with identifiable action items Data points will be provided showing the current hiring challenges are not due to the number of athletic trainers or a change in professional setting, but related to other factors. Our group of panelists who performed this research will further discuss what college athletic trainers have identified as important to them in this setting. We welcome athletic trainers, employers and others to be informed on how to evaluate and implement effective change.”

Kenny Boyd, MS, LAT, ATC
Senior Associate Athletics Director, Student Athlete Health and Wellness at Baylor University
NATA AT Compensation Task Force College/University Representative

Kenny Boyd, MS, LAT,ATC, started his role with Baylor University in Waco, Texas, as senior associate athletics director for Student Athlete Health and Wellness in July 2017. He oversees the execution and expansion of athletic medicine, athletics performance, athletics mental health services, athletics performance and applied performance services. Additionally, Boyd is the current sport administrator for women’s basketball and serves on various committees and working groups with Baylor University. An active member of NATA, Southwest Athletic Trainers' Association and other professional organizations, Boyd has served with several groups, including the Council on Revenue, the College/University Athletic Trainers Committee as District Six chair, College/University Value Model Working Group and the NATA AT Compensation Task Force.

Why should ATs attend this event?
“Regardless of the setting, the compensation conversation impacts everyone. No matter the age or experience level, all ATs need to engage in activities to learn current strategies on how and what to effectively communicate. This Timely Topics event will equip the AT with various perspectives to help navigate important discussions with key decision makers to influence our individual success and the success for those we lead.”

Murphy Grant, LAT, ATC, NASM-PES
Assistant Athletic Trainer, the Cleveland Cavaliers
Owner, Grant Sports Performance & Therapy
NATA AT Compensation Task Force Co-Chair

Murphy Grant, LAT, ATC, NASM-PES, has been an athletic trainer for more than 24 years and has been recognized as a leader in the collegiate sports medicine space. Grant has continued to stay on the forefront of collegiate sports medicine and COVID-19 policy development. Murphy’s knowledge base in injury prevention, sports performance and rehabilitation has kept him on the cutting edge of the health care being provided in both the professional athletics and collegiate settings. Through this leadership and commitment to the profession, Grant was named executive chair of the Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine in January 2017. Grant is entering into his second year in the NBA – his first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and his previous season with the Utah Jazz. Grant spent two years at Wake Forest University where he was the senior associate athletic director for sports performance and health care administrator.

Why should ATs attend this event?
“The state of athletic training is a big topic. There are so many athletic trainers around the country having conversations on many different platforms about this (employment, salaries, AT shortage, etc.). This event will give attendees an opportunity to hear from their colleagues who've spent time at different levels within the college athletic training setting, but have also dedicated their time to look into this topic and share their findings and strategies. It's an amazing panel and I am excited to hear the information that will be shared.”

Emily Mulkey, MS, LAT, ATC 
Staff Athletic Trainer, Youngstown State University 
NATA Early Professionals’ Committee Chair
NATA AT Compensation Task Force member

Emily Mulkey, MS, LAT, ATC, is a staff athletic trainer at Youngstown State University. She joined the staff in October 2021 working primarily with the women’s soccer and swim & dive programs. Prior to joining the Penguins, Mulkey was an Assistant Athletic Trainer at Virginia Commonwealth University with the track and field cross-country programs. She acquired a master of science in sports medicine from the University of Pittsburgh 2021, where she practiced her graduate assistantship within athletics. A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Mulkey earned her professional athletic training degree from Ohio State University in 2019.

Why Should ATs attend this event? 
“The collegiate setting of athletic training has always been one of the most alluring settings drawing many individuals to explore the profession.  “However, as colleges and universities have grown, so have their expectations of their teams and staffs, and athletic trainers have not been exempted from this. This Timely Topics event pairs with The Collegiate Athletic Trainer Labor Crisis: A Data Driven Guide Outlining the Current Collegiate Workplace Environment and Strategies to Improve Workplace Engagement white paper to examine these facts. The collaboration between the ICSM Compensation Task Force presents concrete information that can help to develop steps forward to create a more sustainable practice setting. This discussion, grounded between athletic directors, current collegiate clinicians and sports medicine administrations, will address how the setting can continue to grow and benefit patients as well as clinicians now and in the future.”

Ann Wallace, ATC
Associate Director of Athletic Training - Olympic Sports, University of Kansas
NATA AT Compensation Task Force Lead for the College and University Subgroup

Ann Wallace, ATC, is in her 17th year as an athletic trainer at the University of Kansas (KU) and is currently in her sixth season with Kansas Volleyball. Prior to working with KU Volleyball, Wallace spent 10 seasons with the women’s basketball program at Kansas. In 2021, Wallace was promoted to associate director of athletic training - Olympic Sports. In addition to her sport assignments at Kansas, Wallace oversees sports medicine staff members with women’s basketball, swim and dive, soccer, and track and field. She is a Red Cross cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructor and in charge of all CPR, automated external defibrillator and first-aid certifications for both the sports medicine and coaching staffs in the department. She has served in the undergraduate program as both a preceptor and instructor and is a current preceptor for the master of science in athletic training program. Wallace has spent much of her career mentoring new hires and early professionals in the sports medicine department.

Why Should ATs attend this event? 
“Employment at the college and university setting has seen a lot of changes over the last five years. The pandemic, changes to the academic program and changes from the NCAA that have changed the expectations for medical care and coverage have all had an effect on the college/university landscape. The NATA AT Compensation Task Force College and University Subgroup has paired with the ICSM over the last year to survey the concerns and hopes of the college athletic trainer and create a medium to share information as it relates to compensation at the college and university setting. My hope is that all listeners of this panel can take away at least one piece of information that will help them in their current situation.”