Athletic training faculty, student attend leadership-focused national conference
Radford University Health and Human Performance Instructor Andrea Bender and junior Valerie Poole represented the university at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) iLEAD 2019 National Conference in Irving, Texas in late January.
Bender’s and Poole’s participation in the iLEAD conference underscores Radford University’s commitment to faculty-student collaboration and scholarly participation in research, scholarship and leadership activities within and beyond the classroom.
The conference featured presentations and workshops focused on leadership skills. It provided firsthand experiences and networking opportunities for students to engage with the NATA executive board and committee chairs.
“I had a great time at the conference,” said Poole, an athletic training major from Stafford, Virginia. “I met a lot of athletic trainers near my hometown and it gave me an opportunity for a potential internship with them in the summer of my senior year.”
Bender selected Poole to attend the conference because of her leadership role as an officer in Radford University’s Athletic Training Student Association (ATSA). Poole serves as council representative for the campus ATSA and has been nominated to serve as club president next academic year.
“This conference was a chance to develop students to be the future leaders of our profession and to serve in advocacy roles through chairing committees and holding political office,” Bender said. “Valerie is a mature and dedicated student. I knew she would represent our program well on a national scale.”
Many of the conference presentations were interesting and informative, Poole said. She particularly enjoyed a resume-builder session. “It taught me secrets to writing a good resume and what hiring professionals are looking for when they evaluate an applicant.”
Bender was invited to give a presentation at the conference. Her talk, “Using the Value Orientation Inventory to Understand Your Interprofessional Team,” addressed definitions and initiatives for interprofessional education and practice and the evolving role for athletic trainers.
Bender is in her first year teaching at Radford University, and is working on a doctoral degree in kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has been teaching in programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) for 14 years.
NATA is a professional membership organization for certified athletic trainers and others who support the profession. It has more than 45,000 members worldwide. One hundred and five college students, including Poole, attended the iLEAD conference.
It is held every two years in conjunction with the NATA Joint Committee members planning meeting where industry leaders gather to plan programming and initiatives for the annual NATA convention in June.
Radford University’s athletic training program is CAATE accredited and prepares students for a career in athletic training, an allied health care profession.