Sports and Exercise Science has a strong heart

Hunter Fithen

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Lorna Strong. Photo courtesy of WT Communications and Marketing.

Lorna Strong. Photo courtesy of WT Communications and Marketing.

WTAMU Sports and Exercise Science Department Head, Lorna Strong has recently been named the National Athletic Trainers Association 2012 Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer.

This award adds to Strongs long list of distinguished awards including, Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association 2012 Most Distinguished Athletic Trainers, Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association 2010 Bobby Gunn Unsung Hero Award, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association 2007 Athletic Trainer Service Award, 2002 Top of Texas Athletic Trainer of the Year, 2002 and 2007 Faculty Development Grant and selected the 2003 Outstanding Professor Award for the Department of Sports and Exercise Sciences, to name a few.

“I don’t go after awards,” Strong said. “I believe that it’s important to be myself, and be true to me. And I would tell any student that you have to be true to yourself. Find your passions. Find the things you enjoy. Be willing to start small, and work your way up. I would encourage students to get involved in a campus organization because the leadership learned there carries on to professional organizations.”

Strong is involved in all aspects of the athletic training education program, especially in classroom instruction and academic advising. She has taught almost every didactic course in the ATEP, and represents the Department of Sports and Exercise Sciences on many college and university committees. Strong has also been published in Spine, Journal of Sport Physical Therapy, Journal of Sport Sciences, and Leukemia Research, and has also presented at many local, district and national athletic training meetings.

“My career now spans over 20 years, which is kind of hard to believe because it’s been fun the whole way through, and time has flown by,” Strong said. “I feel very fortunate with the opportunities that I’ve had, but I don’t stop with what I’ve done. I think it’s important to keep involved and keep doing. Athletic training has allowed sports and medicine, two of my favorite things, to merge together, and because of my experience, I have been granted an opportunity in my profession that is different from the day-in day-out world.”

Students across campus that have had the experience of taking one or more of Strong’s classes share a similar opinion of their professor.

“Lorna Strong as a person is one of the most caring people I have ever met,” Kaylie Ralston, senior Athletic Training major, said. “I have had her as one of my teachers for the past three years, and every class I learn so much from her.”

Strong is known among some of her students as a professor who not only teaches, but inspires her students through challenges in and out of the classroom.

“I am currently going through a new challenge this semester, and part of it is because of what she has set up for her students,” Humberto Bedoy, Athletic Training student, said. “Dr. Strong gives challenges that inspire, educate and mature each student willing to work with her, and capable of accepting those challenges.”

Aside from her accomplishments, Strong is also professionally active in the Texas Panhandle Sports Medicine Society, the Texas State Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the Board of Certification. Strong also has leadership and committee experiences within the Panhandle Sports Medicine Society, the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association and the Board of Certification.

“I take into consideration the experience she has, but there is also something special about her that captures a student’s attention,” Bedoy said. “She’s not the typical teacher students believe they will have when entering college the first time, but a wise teacher who knows how to help those students who struggle at the start of the line.”

For Ralston and Bedoy, Strong is more than a professor of exercise science. She is role model to look up to and professor for life.

“She is made to be a teacher, and anyone who does not know her definitely needs to take a class with her to know what an amazing teacher and person she truly is,” Ralston said. “She is someone I will always look up to as what I want myself to be seen as to others in my profession.”

“The education she has ready for students is the type that students tend to retain for the rest of their lives,” Bedoy said.

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Sports and Exercise Science has a strong heart