Missouri State University
Athletic Training Education Program
Department of Sports Medicine and Athletic Training

Welcome Caryn Cook

We are so excited to welcome Caryn Cook as the new Academic Administrative Assistant for the Sports Medicine and Athletic Training Department.  Caryn currently lives in Republic, but is a Springfield, Missouri native.  She is married and has two daughters, currently studying at MSU.  In her free time she enjoys canoeing, spending time at the lake, and traveling with her husband on their Harley Davidson.

When asked what she is most excited about in her new position in the SMAT department, she states, “I’m really excited to meet all the students and help them to succeed in the program”.

Caryn can be reached at caryncook@missouristate.edu or 417-836-8553.  Next time you are in the Professional Building, stop by and say hello to our newest staff member.Caryn Cook Photo 2

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SMAT Spotlight: Courtney Dorrell Volunteer Work in Haiti

CD2Courtney Dorrell is a 2014 graduate of the Missouri State University Athletic Training Program.  She will be attending Missouri State University in the fall to pursue a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Kristin Tivener (KT) – You recently shared that you were able to travel to Haiti over spring break to assist with some mission work, could you tell us more about that trip?

Courtney Dorrell (CD) – I was able to assist with some mission work through an organization called Quest which is a Religious of Jesus and Mary collaborative mission.  My boyfriend has been living and volunteering there for the last year so I wanted to help out over my spring break.  I stayed in Gros Morne, Haiti most of the time.

KT – What work did you do during your time in Haiti?

CD – My boyfriend who majored in exercise physiology was working on two projects in this field so I was able to spend some time doing both of the projects his is involved in.  First, there is a tree native to Haiti that the leaves contain all 20 amino acids.  We would teach children how to harvest leaves, dry them, and then also how to maintain the trees.  Once the leaves are harvested and dried, it creates a powder that can be given to children in schools as supplements.    As part of this, we also were able to take girth measurements and do nutritional assessments in schools.  While I was there, I was also able to create a recreational soccer league which was really fun!  This involved 8 schools and we set up 4 teams for boys and 4 for girls.  It was a really big deal in Haiti to have an organized sports for the girls because it is less common for girls to be in organized sports and education.  We had 2 soccer tournaments, one on each weekend I was there.


KT – What was the background of other volunteers that you worked with?

CD – There was a wide variety of volunteers.  One was someone going to medical school who worked in the hospital to transfer surgeries to the United States for those unavailable in Haiti.   There also were several volunteers in psychology and social work who were offering English classes.

KT – Can you describe the atmosphere of the areas you were working in?

CD – Overall, children and adults all had very positive attitudes and were really open.  Everyone wants to hold your hand, give you a hug, or touch your face.  It was more common for them to be kind to a stranger than someone they knew.  I felt safe and very welcome.  It made a big impact on me to see how little families have and they are still so grateful.  I remember one family with 8 people who lived in a 1 bedroom home with no furniture.  This was not uncommon.  Enjoyment comes out of the company people kept rather than materialistic things.  It was hard seeing a lot of the children who did not have clothes or shoes, and were playing with trash for their toys.  The people of Haiti described that they didn’t need money the most, they needed work.  There are little opportunities to develop financially.  There are current issues with the government, and many cuts have recently been made, especially in public schools.  Teachers have not gotten paid for a year.  Some are continuing to each without money but in tern, overall access to education is decreasing.

KT – What was your impression of the country?

CD – Haiti is such a beautiful country.  There are so many beaches and it is on the Caribbean Sea.  The land is also really mountainous.  Roads are poor; it took about an hour to drive 16 miles.  If there is rain, roads are washed out.  the primary form of transportation is the back of a moto/dirt bike.  Typically 3-4 people ride on 1 bike.


KT – Would you recommend this type of volunteer work to others?

CD – ABSOLUTELY!  This was such an amazing experience for me.  It is not hard to get involved, there are several connections to mission work in Haiti if you are willing to give the time.  I am really thankful for the time that I was able to spend there.  It made a huge impact on me.  I remember returning home and thinking how many opportunities I have here in the US and being grateful for my education and all of the things I have here.   My advice for anyone would be to go visit; and volunteer for whatever amount of time you can give!


The SMAT Spotlight is a series to highlight individuals, groups, clinical sites, and affiliations involved with the Sports Medicine and Athletic Training Department at Missouri State University.


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ATSA Volunteers at Ronald McDonald House

The MSU Athletic Training Student Organization (ATSA) volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House at Mercy Children’s Hospital the past two Saturday mornings.  This Ronald McDonald House is Springfield’s second Ronald McDonald House and serves families of children who are hospitalized.  The purpose of these facilities is to bring comforts of home to families of hospitalized patients.  This includes overnight accommodations in addition to a place to relax, catch up on email, have a bite to eat, do laundry, or take a nap.

The past two Saturdays, ATSA has cooked and served  breakfast to the residents of the Ronald McDonald House at Mercy Children’s Hospital.  Those students that participated in this volunteer event described the experience as humbling and a great opportunity.  Great work, ATSA, for supporting those in need!




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‘The Forgotten Benefits of the Turkish Get-Up’ Article by Brandon Hetzler

Brandon Hetzler recently wrote The Forgotten Benefits of the Turkish Get-Up which appears on the StrongFirst website.  Brandon is a Certified Athletic Trainer that oversees the Sports Performance Program for Mercy Sports Medicine in Springfield MO, and is an instructor in the Masters of Athletic Training Program at Missouri State University.  He is a StrongFirst Level 2 Instructor and holds the following additional credentials – CK-FMS, CICS, and PM.

The Department of Sports Medicine and Athletic Training is proud to maintain an educational partnership with StrongFirst, Inc..  If you are not familiar with StrongFirst, here is a brief overview;

Led by its Chairman Pavel Tsatsouline who reintroduced kettlebell training to the West over thirteen years ago, StrongFirst’s mission is to offer the best service, education, and instructors to exercise professionals, tactical operators, and the strong men and women that they serve. Since 1997, Pavel, a best-selling author and recognized expert in strength, has reverse engineered the practices of top performers backed by evidence-based research. That methodology is made available to StrongFirst instructors for use in their personal practice and businesses. StrongFirst has certified instructors worldwide, including world-ranked powerlifters, competitive athletes, military and law enforcement professionals, as well as athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches. StrongFirst offers both instructor certifications and in-depth user courses through the US and internationally. (Content from the StrongFirst website www.strongfirst.com )


Brandon’s article, The Forgotten Benefits of the Turkish Get-Up, may be read in it’s entirety at http://www.strongfirst.com/the-forgotten-benefits-of-the-turkish-get-up/

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First Year Athletic Training Students Learn Splinting, Transportation, and Ambulatory Techniques

First year athletic training students have started Unit 2 in ATC 221 Clinical Skills in Athletic Training.  As part of Unit 2, students learn proper lifting and carrying techniques to transport an injured athlete off the field or away from harm.  In addition, students gain experience in applying splints of various materials and stabilizing patients with spinal injuries on a spineboard.

Splinting1 splinting2 splinting4 splinting11 splinting8 splinting5 splinting9

The hands-on emergency management skills learned in ATC 221 are very important in order to be able to properly care for patients, but at the same time, they are a lot of fun to learn and practice on each other!  Check out the students showing off their skills!


Next week…Spineboarding begins!!

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Registration Now Open for the Bears Athletic Training Summer Camp!

Registration is now open for the 2014 Bears Athletic Training Summer Camp.  The Bears Athletic Training camp is designed for high school students who are interested in gaining basic athletic training knowledge and skills.  Camp participants will have the opportunity to work alongside nationally certified and Missouri licensed athletic trainers, and to meet current MSU athletic training students and athletes.   The camp will include one-on-one instruction in taping and wrapping techniques and behind the scenes tours of athletic facilities on and off campus.  Additional topics to be covered include wound care, injury prevention, common injuries, concussions, heat illnesses, environmental concerns, nutrition, performance enhancement and much more.  At the conclusion of the camp, students will test their skills in a head to head competition during the Athletic Training Olympics.

photo5 DSC01962DSC01953Camp will be from June 4th-7th, 2014. 

There are both residential and commuter registration options for interested students.

For more information on the 2014 Bears Athletic Training Summer Camp, visit this website or forward it to someone you think may be interested!  http://sportsmed.missouristate.edu/130044.htm

We hope to see you there!

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Dr. David Carr Receives 2 Grants

(Written by Kristin Tivener and David Carr)

CarrWilliamDavid_2761At most Universities, faculty have roles in teaching students, service to the university and profession, as well as scholarship.  Scholarship includes the development of research which often includes obtaining grants to fund research.  Following research, as a part of the scholarship role, faculty members present their findings in a peer-reviewed publication or presentation.  Achieving the right balance among teaching, scholarship, and service is often difficult as there are demands in each category.

Each faculty member in the Sports Medicine and Athletic Training (SMAT) Department at MSU has their own goals for growth in teaching, scholarship, and service.  Previous blogs have described recent publications and presentations from SMAT faculty; all of which are scholarship achievements for those faculty members.

Recently, Dr. David Carr of the SMAT department was awarded two research grants that will fund collaborative original research initiatives he has designed.  Below, Dr. Carr gives details of those grants;

Greene, Timson, Carr, Volberding. “Athletic Training Student Communication” $500 from the Mid America Athletic Trainers Association
What are new Athletic Training (AT) graduates lacking upon entering the workforce? Research suggests that communication skills are the most often cited issue lacking in new graduates.  Similar research has answered the question of when/where do students have the opportunity to communicate.  What still remains to be determined is what issues should students be tasked with addressing while in school so that they are proficient upon graduation?  This project will explore the issues that are commonly discussed between certified ATs and the various constituents involved in the health care of patients.  Focus group interviews will be conducted with certified ATs in several practice settings to get their opinions of what issues are discussed in the line of work.  A future project will then explore what students are actually discussing during their clinical assignments.

Volberding, Carr, Timson. “Alumni/Employer Opinions of Preparation for the Work Force” $500 from the Mid America Athletic Trainers Association
Anecdotal information has been shared for several years that employers do not feel that new Athletic Training (AT) graduates are ready for the workforce.  This readiness for the work force issue is compounded by the equally anecdotal concept that moving education programs to an Entry-Level Master’s (ELM) degree will somehow address the readiness for the workforce issue.  Our recent work has allowed us to determine employer and alumni opinions of what are the most important characteristics/thematic deficiency abilities (interpersonal communication, decision making, initiative, confidence, and humility) that a new graduate should possess.   The next step is to gather opinions from a representative sample of alumni, and employers from the two degree paths.  This will give the AT profession one data point of a multi-faceted issue with which to determine the best entry-level degree route to certification.  The results will also allow education programs to modify their programs accordingly and will allow employers to modify their orientation and on-the-job training experiences accordingly.

Congratulations to Dr. David Carr on his recent grants! 


Interested in doing some research of your own and obtaining a grant to fund it?  The Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association (MAATA) funds grants annually for original research proposals in the field of athletic training.  Information is as follows;

The MAATA Research and Education Grant Committee conducts an annual call for applications for Research and Education Grants.  The entire application and review process is electronic. Electronic copies of the application form can be obtained on the MAATA web site or by request from Dr. W. David Carr at wdavidcarr@missouirstate.edu.  Completed applications must be received electronically by January 15th.  Applications will be reviewed by the committee and winners will be notified on or around February 25th.  All certified members are eligible to apply for research and education grant funding. 

Previous SMAT faculty that have been awarded a grant from MAATA include; Dr. Tona Hetzler, Dr. Michael Hudson, Kristin Tivener, and Dr. David Carr.  All of these faculty members would be happy to discuss their experiences with you if you are interested in pursuing a grant!

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Ivan Milton Recieves Award of Appreciation

(Written in-part by Gary Ward)

alumni_awards-header_img-imiltonIvan Milton retired from Missouri State University in 2009 after 33 years of service, with the distinction of being the longest-tenured athletic trainer MSU has ever had.  He was recently recognized for his service in an Award of Appreciation.  Details of this Award can be viewed in the Missouri State magazine here


Gary Ward, of the SMAT department reflects on his time with Ivan in developing the athletic training program;

Ivan and I served as co-directors of the AT education program from the beginning (1979).  He and I were classmates in the graduate program in AT at University of Arizona 1974-75.  He served one year at South Dakota State University before coming here in 1976 (I came in 1978).   He handled the clinical side of things for the program (assigning students to sports, etc) and I did the curricular aspect, attended meetings, etc.  We both taught the Athletic Injuries classes which were taken by all PE majors.  At that time all of our coursework was in the PE department.  He also worked with all men’s sports as the athletic trainer and I was AT for women’s sports.  Both of us had dual appointments in PE and athletics.  That arrangement continued along, even after we had established the on-campus sports medicine clinic in 1982 and I served as clinic director and moved out of athletics.  He was instrumental in helping to establish that clinic and allowing it to function out of the training room (mostly in the afternoons).  He continued to teach classes to the athletic training students, primarily the Athletic Injuries and the Organization and Administration courses.  He and I continued to be co-directors of the program until Karen Toburen was hired as the program director in 1992.  I’m not sure when he stopped teaching classes but I do know he was the contact person for clinical assignments for SMSU/MSU athletic teams until being succeeded by Shannon.  He received the Program Appreciation Award from SMAT in 2009 in recognition if his efforts helping to establish the academic program. 

Thank you to both Ivan Milton and Gary Ward; the SMAT program would not be what it is today without your efforts!

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MSU Lady Bears Halftime Report with Certified Athletic Trainer, Amy Cruise

This Missouri State Lady Bears halftime report features an interview with Certified Athletic Trainer, Amy Cruise.  Find out here how the MSU athletic training program has personally impacted Amy and her perspective on the strengths of the program for current students.

amy cruiseAmy Cruise, MS, ATC is completing her seventh year as an assistant athletic trainer at Missouri State working with the women’s basketball team and supervising women’s soccer and women’s track. She joined the MSU Athletic Training staff on a full-time basis in May 2008 after earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees from MSU. Luke served as graduate athletic trainer for the women’s soccer team while completing her education.

A native of Malden, Mo., Cruise has resided in the Springfield area since 2000 when she moved here for college. She now lives in Marshfield, Mo., where she and her fiancé, Scott Cruise, have purchased their first home and were married in the fall of 2013.

Amy’s current student assigned to the MSU Lady Bears team for her clinical site is 3rd year athletic training student, Kinsey Cook.

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Ozarks Football League Equipment Fitting

(written by Dr. Allan Liggett)


OFL1Missouri State University SMAT faculty and students along with Mercy Sports Medicine staff provided football equipment fitting for the Ozarks Football League. Approximately 700 middle school aged athletes attended the session for fitting of helmets and shoulder pads for the upcoming spring football league. In addition to the fitting of equipment, the SMAT Department provided literature to the parents and athletes regarding the profession of athletic training as a part of National Athletic Training Month.

Thank you to Dr. Tona Hetzler, Dr. Michael Hudson, Dr. David Carr, Dr. Allan Liggett, Jim Raynor, Brandon Hetzler, and AT students Amanda Cooper, Meghan Mulloy, Megan Jeffers, Amy Smith, Carson Powell, Kelly Perkins, Candice Klosky, Mikel Cox, Whitney Bixler, and Brittany Keifer for their time and assistance with the fitting of equipment.



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