The building will be named the Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Fieldhouse

LOUISVILLE — The Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Family graciously donated $500,000 to Spalding University to build the university’s first on-campus field house. The structure will reside on the northeast section of Spalding’s new Athletic Complex (910 South Eighth Street), which will host the men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse and women’s softball teams during home games.

Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn’s gift is one in a series of large donations to athletics in Louisville. For the Lynn family, the city directly benefits from sports programs. It’s an opportunity they are eager to support.

“If you can help the athletic department, you help more than just the student athletes — you help the whole campus,” Mark Lynn said. “As you build your athletic department, so do you build your enrollment. It’s just part of the circle of being an all around student, having things to be proud of with your school.”

Not only will the gift create a shared space and source of pride for Spalding student-athletes, it will also further enhance the university’s presence and engagement in the city’s landscape. The Spalding Athletic Complex, located on a formerly abandoned industrial site and transformed into the first on-campus home for outdoor sports, was unveiled in October 2019. Along with the addition of the field house the complex is a cultural landmark connecting students and the local community.

Education is fundamental to the Lynn family. All four of their kids graduated college.The family’s philanthropy shows their kids the importance of leaving behind a good legacy.

“Education is the one thing nobody can ever take away from you,” Mark Lynn said. “If you have an education, you’ll figure out how to survive. You’ll figure out how to thrive. You will always be better off if you can have something behind you to say, ‘Look. Here’s what I did. Here’s what I accomplished. Here’s who I am.’ ”

The Lynn family believes donating to universities in the city will create a stronger workforce and creative solutions.

As the only Division III school in Louisville, and with 18 men’s and women’s sports teams, Spalding provides many paths for student-athletes who will be the next generation of educators, care providers, communicators and leaders. The Lynns recognize the importance of developing the student athlete into a productive member of the community.

“A very important aspect of this is making the city the best that it can be,” Cindy Lynn said. “I always think to myself how much money could be donated if everybody just gave a dollar.”

The construction timeline of the Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Fieldhouse is to be determined. Once open, the field house will be available for use by all Spalding student athletes and the visiting teams who travel to play at the athletic complex.

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. In recognition of Athletic Training Month having just concluded in March and Occupational Therapy Month having just started in April, this week’s featured faculty member is Dr. Lisa Potts, Assistant Professor, who teaches anatomy and neuroscience courses in both the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program and the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) programs.

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

​I like that Spalding values compassion and understanding. As far as teaching, I like that class sizes are relatively small, which gives me the opportunity to get to know my students.

What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?

My background is in neuroscience. My doctoral and postdoctoral work focused on Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.

Why are the programs you teach in a good option for students to consider?

​I am in a unique position in that I teach for both the MSAT and OTD programs. Since starting at Spalding, I have learned a lot about both of these professions and have grown to better understand and appreciate the value that each has in terms of client-centered care. Both of these are great programs with faculty who are invested in students’ success.

Though athletic training doesn’t have to be limited to sports, if you enjoy being around sports and want a career that will be challenging and rewarding at the same time, this would be a great option for you. The small cohorts, supportive faculty and variety of hands-on classes are specific things that make this program special.

Much of the same can be said about the OTD program. I have enjoyed seeing students’ passions to help others really be fostered in this program. Faculty are dedicated to providing meaningful experiences for students both in and out of the classroom. I love that OT includes a client-centered, empathetic approach. Again, if you want a career that will be both challenging and rewarding and enjoy helping people do what they love, this would be a great program for you.

ATHLETIC TRAINING | Overview of Spalding’s MSAT
MSAT FACULTY | Bios on all our professors
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY | Overview of Spalding’s OTD program and tracks
OTD FACULTY | Bios on all our professors

What is an example of a discussion topic, lecture, assignment, project, etc. in your class that you enjoy presenting or working with students on and that they have found engaging?

​I like to incorporate different ways of delivering and reviewing content. One thing I use often in my classes is Kahoot. Students always have fun playing this game, and I sometimes use challenging questions to spark further discussion. In the neurosciences classes I teach, I typically incorporate some kind of journal club type of assignment when myself or students will present a relevant journal article and lead discussion on it and how it relates to the current lecture topics. I find these are usually the most engaging and rich conversations because it really gets us thinking and talking about practical applications for what they are learning about.

What is an interesting thing you have in your office?

​Right now the most interesting things I have in my office are probably the oversized model of the human eye and brain. I also have a Lego minifigure my son made to look like me, coffee cup and all. 🙂

Spalding’s mission is to meet the needs of the times, to emphasize service and to promote peace and justice. What is an example of how your teaching style, your research, your class or your curriculum is supporting the mission of Spalding?

​I think I incorporate this mission the most through my teaching style. Currently, I have found various ways to utilize collaborative tools and apps to keep students engaged while learning in an online environment, which is necessary right now during COVID. I also try to incorporate these values in our class discussions. I like to take time at the beginning of each term to hear a little bit about each student and why they chose the AT or OT path. I remind students to be mindful that we all come from different backgrounds and may therefore have different perspectives and opinions. I encourage them to be open to working with people that have different opinions and perspectives as this is how new and innovative ideas are developed. I believe these considerations are also important for both of the professions these students are working to join.

FACULTY FOCUS FRIDAY ARCHIVE | Read all our professor Q&As

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. In recognition of March as National Athletic Training Month, this week’s featured faculty member is Daniel “Danny” Cobble, Assistant Professor and Clinical Education Coordinator in Spalding’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program. Professor Cobble, who joined the Spalding faculty in August 2020, is a Louisville native who has been a certified athletic trainer (ATC) since 2003 and who has broad clinical experience at the highest levels of athletics, including serving as the head athletic trainer for the Western Kentucky University football team and an assistant athletic trainer for the University of South Carolina football team. He also interned for the Philadelphia Eagles. He most recently served as an athletic trainer at Providence High School in Indiana. Professor Cobble holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a master’s from South Carolina, and he is currently pursuing a doctorate in Health Professions Education from Bellarmine University. Professor Cobble can be contacted at dcobble01@spalding.edu 

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

Being that I have been an athletic trainer for 20-plus years, I’ve always had students or interns who I’ve worked with in some fashion to help develop. When (MSAT Program Director Dr. John Nyland) called me about the position, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get some practical teaching experience while I completed my PhD. Then you look at the program, it was the first entry-level athletic training program in the state. The program and the students are already established, and people in the community know about Spalding, so I felt it would be a good opportunity to help mold and build the next generation of athletic trainers who are going to be coming up.

I liked the fact that it’s small class sizes, and it’s in downtown Louisville, and the program and university already has connections with a lot of high schools in the city that I was familiar with. That appealed to me. I felt the staff were quality people and thought it would be a good fit.

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ATHLETIC TRAINING
Overview | Learn about Spalding’s master’s program
Entry points | Info on how to begin work in the program as an undergrad
Faculty | Bios of our MSAT faculty

What is your academic specialty or areas of expertise or research?

My responsibility here at Spalding is teaching the foundational classes – the intro to athletic training classes – and I also teach emergency care and management. Being that I was a clinician for 25 years, emergency care and management is something that we reviewed and practiced yearly, so I guess I have a special qualification for that. I am teach the clinical education courses. After the student completes their first, the clinical education courses are designed to teach the book knowledge they’ve learned and transfer it into clinical practice. Again, being that I was a clinician for so long, I think that qualifies me to help make (students) make transition. … I help the students find clinical rotations around the city or around the country. I also advise the students on scholarships.

As far as my academic research area, my doctoral dissertation is centered around low minority representation in athletic training. Only about 5 percent of certified athletic trainers in the country are minorities, so that is a big disproportion in the profession, like a lot of health professions.

Do you think that for students to see you as an African-American athletic trainer and professor could have an impact on helping people gain interest in the profession?

I think it does. I don’t know that I saw my first Black athletic trainer until I was almost 30 years old. With anything representation is important because it allows you to aspire to something. Kind of like, “If he did it, I can do it.” Also, it just gives someone somebody you can relate to. … So I think it’s very important especially for, say, Black males to see that there is a Black male professor in their profession.

RELATED | Faculty Focus Q&A with MSAT Professor Sabrina Pletz

Why is athletic training a good option for students to consider as a graduate program and as a career?

There are a lot of kids who play sports and are athletes all their lives until they get to a point where when high school sports ends, they’re not sure what they want to do. For those who still want to stay around sports and have interest in some type of medical field, I think athletic training is a great career option. I was a high school athlete, but I was 5-10 and too short to play college basketball. So I discovered athletic training, and it was a way to keep me close to the sport. Some people choose to go the physical therapy route, and that is fine, but PT and occupational therapy tend to work with the general population. I knew that I wanted to stay with sports and with athletes and with people who competed on a high level. For those people, I think athletic training for those students is a good profession to consider. With it, you get the opportunity to branch out with your experiences. I’ve got several classmates who are working in the NFL. A couple of my former students are working in Major League Baseball. I have a friend who works with the US Tennis Association, and she gets contracted to travel to Wimbledon and the US Open and work on rehab with the athletes. She’s worked with Serena Williams and some big stars. I know people who have been athletic trainers who have gone on later to work in hospital settings or as ER assistants. Some work in industrial settings like Ford or Toyota. It’s an opportunity that allows you to be as creative as you want as far as the field and the specialty that you want to pursue.

What is an example of a discussion topic, lecture, assignment, project, etc. in your class that you enjoy presenting or working with students on and that they have found engaging?

The class that I think is one of the most engaging for students is when we do emergency care and we start doing the spine-boarding process or the assessment of a spine-injured athlete. When I get into the details of everything we have to consider from c-spine and mobilization, to checking nerves and pulse and breath rates, to cutting off football helmet facemasks and shoulder pads and showing how to do it and where to cut, and how to log-roll and how to life and strap them to the spineboard, the students find that really engaging. It’s a high-stress situation that they know they could encounter one day in practice, so while we’re teaching and practicing it, we make it kind of high-stress. We often sit when we finish and debrief, and I make sure to take that time to make sure (the students’) nerves are back down, heart rates back down.

What is an interesting thing you have in your office?

I started Aug. 15, and the first day of class was Aug. 20, so I really had to hit the ground running. I haven’t put stuff up in my office yet. I have box in the trunk of my car with trinkets from the Eagles and South Carolina and Western Kentucky, and I just haven’t put it up yet. But the the most interesting thing that I have that I want to put in my office is when I was at the Eagles, (Pro Football Hall of Fame player) Brian Dawkins signed a jersey for me, and I have that in a frame. That will go up at some point.

Spalding’s mission is to meet the needs of the times, to emphasize service and to promote peace and justice. What is an example of how your teaching style, your research, your class or your curriculum is supporting the mission of Spalding?

The diversity within our program is big, and that is apparent in the racial diversity of the students in our cohorts.

Also, as I am doing my clinical assignments, I make sure our students get a rotation at the area high schools that are underserved and that have different resources and budgets than more affluent schools.

Obviously, we also encourage our students to provide help to those who need help, those who are less fortunate, and we make sure we give them rotations working with non-athletic populations as well so that they can see this is how your skills can help anyone in the community who needs help. As health professionals, we’re really big on helping those who need help.

FACULTY FOCUS ARCHIVE | Read all our professor Q&As

During this unprecedented time of social distancing and self-quarantining due to the coronavirus, staying healthy and physically active remain extremely important.

Here are five ways to stay physically active and maintain a healthy immune system during this time.

1. Keep eating right.

Make sure you are eating an adequate amount of fruits, vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates to keep your body properly fueled. Adding a daily multi-vitamin is also a good idea for most of us because it can be difficult to get the exact amount of the daily vitamin and mineral requirements we need solely from food. While it might be tempting to munch on that bag of potato chips all day, use this time of being at home more to explore recipes and trying a new variety of healthy foods.

RELATED | Expert advice for dealing with anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis
MORE | Spalding’s COVID-19 info and resource page

2. Sleep more.

That’s right, I give you permission to take a nap. Adequate sleep is imperative to help our bodies operate at their optimal level and decrease our risk for getting sick. When we sleep, our bodies go into regeneration mode and repair blood vessels, reduce inflammation, balance hormone levels, increase white blood cell production and do many other fascinating things. This is a healing process for our body that is a necessity each night, or day depending on what schedule you work.

RELATED | Faculty Focus Friday Q&A with Sabrina Pletz

3. Stay active at home.

Daily exercise of at least 30 minutes a day is recommended. I know gyms and fitness centers have been temporary closed, but try to stay active at home while still practicing social distancing. Get outside, take a walk around your neighborhood or ride a bike. If you do not have access to a safe walking path or area for outdoor activities, use your living room as an area to do a little exercise. The Internet has countless exercise routines or plans that can be streamed to your computer screen or TV, and some routines are as short as 10 minutes. Simple weight-lifting exercises – using your body weight or even a couple soup cans from your pantry – can help maintain your muscle tone and keep your blood pumping.

4. Stay active by visiting local parks or trails.

Take a day trip to places like Bernheim Forrest, Broad Run Park, Jefferson Memorial Forrest, Iroquois Park, Seneca Park or anywhere else that has walking, hiking or biking trails. Soak up some Vitamin D while enjoying the beautiful scenery that nature provides us.

5. Stay active by tackling a household task or project.

Think of something you have been putting off such as cleaning out the closet or painting the spare bedroom. This is the opportune time to do the things around the house that you have not had the time to do before. If spring cleaning or home projects aren’t your jam, then pick back up those hobbies that you have put off. Maybe you have 200 pictures that still need to be placed in the photo album, or maybe take this time learn something new such as knitting or how to play a keyboard. Spring is also the perfect time to prepare to plant a garden. You can start seedlings indoors and then transplant them to the ground at a later time.

Remember, your Spalding community is always here to assist you in any way we can. Reach out with any questions, and we will be happy to talk with you.

Sabrina Pletz is an assistant professor in Spalding’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program, as well as an assistant athletic trainer for the Spalding Golden Eagles’ NCAA Division III athletic department. She can be be contacted at spletz@spalding.edu

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. Today’s featured faculty member is Sabrina Pletz, Assistant Professor in Spalding’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program as well as the assistant athletic trainer for Spalding’s NCAA Division III athletic department. Professor Pletz earned a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in athletic training from Cumberland College and master’s in exercise science from Fort Hays State University. She previously served as an instructor and assistant athletic trainer at the University of Charleston (W.Va.) and the clinical education coordinator for the athletic training program at St. Catharine College. (Read full bios of Spalding’s MSAT faculty.

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?
I like the fact that I get to do what I teach. While I teach in the MSAT program, I am able to provide athletic training services for Spalding Athletics. Spalding is a diverse campus. I love seeing students from all walks of life and different ethnic and geographical backgrounds. I’ve seen a trend of first-generation college students at Spalding as well. This is a place they can call home and be welcomed with open and helpful arms.

What is your academic specialty or areas of expertise or research?
My academic specialty is in athletic training. It is such a rewarding privilege to be able to educate and influence future professional athletic trainers. I am currently a first-year doctoral student at Spalding in the Doctor of Education: Leadership program.

LEARN MORE | Athletic Training master’s program and undergraduate tracks to enter it
REGISTER | Student athletic training/sports medicine workshop on July 22
SUPPORT THE EAGLES | Spalding Athletics’ official site 

Why is athletic training a good option for students to consider for their academic studies and future profession?
Athletic training is one of the most exciting and rewarding professions. A good number of our students are former athletes or other highly active individuals who like to be around athletics and sporting events.  The National Athletic Trainers’ Association website nata.org describes the profession well: “Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multiskilled health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, in accordance with their education, training and the state’s statutes, rules and regulations.  As a part of the healthcare team, services provided by athletic trainers include primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.”

What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?
I have a skeleton of an arm. I teach Evaluation of the Upper Extremity, and I use it in class. People usually give it a double take when they walk into my office.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing our students finally have that light-bulb moment and connect what they learned in the classroom to their practical fieldwork.

At Spalding, we like to say, “Today is a great day to change the world.” How do you think your role at Spalding is helping you change the world or the world of your students?
There’s the phrase, “Practice what you preach.” The version of it for me is, “Practice what you teach.” I stand in front of my class and teach technical, ethical and leadership skills. Staying true to myself and my students, I strive to be a positive role model for practicing our profession the way it was designed to be practiced. Another way I feel I have made and hope to continue to make an impact is seeing a need and jumping in with both feet to address it. One example is the creation of our student health clinic, Eagle Care. (Retired graduate nursing faculty leader) Dr. (Pam) King, (MSAT Program Director) Dr. (John) Nyland and I saw a need for health care access for our students, and we worked tirelessly to bring this necessity to fruition. This clinic has really come a long way over the past three years. We now have a part-time Nurse Practitioner and MSAT and nursing students who rotate through the clinic.

CHECK OUT PAST FACULTY FOCUS FRIDAY ENTRIES

As the Spalding University women’s basketball team has surged to a school-record 12 straight wins and a trip to the conference tournament, the Golden Eagles have relied on senior Alex Martin to carry a major all-around load.

The 5-foot-6 Martin, was already a three-time all-conference player heading into 2018-19, but she has saved her best season for last.

She leads Spalding (19-6, 14-2 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) in scoring (17.2 ppg) and is tied for the team lead in rebounding (6.6), both career bests. She’s also first on the team in steals (48) and second in assists (63).

She’ll lead the second-seeded Golden Eagles against No. 3 Westminster at 7 p.m. EST Thursday in the SLIAC Tournament semifinals at Greenville. The winner will face the No. 1 Greenville-No. 4 Webster in Saturday’s title game with an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament on the line. Spalding is participating in its first SLIAC Tournament in three years and will be vying for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2015.

“If I could have written a book about how my senior year would go, this would be it,” Martin said. “This has been amazing.”

Learn more about the Spalding women’s basketball program

Martin said helping Spalding get back to the conference tournament was her No. 1 goal this season and that it’s exciting to get there with so much momentum.

The Golden Eagles were only 7-6 after losing back-to-back games by a total of six points at Westminster and at Greenville on Jan. 3 and Jan 5. But they’ve hit their stride since and avenged both league losses when Westminster and Greenville visited Louisville. Spalding’s 75-65 win over Greenville on Feb. 6 was the Panthers’ only conference loss.

Martin missed the first five games of the season with a toe injury – one of multiple injuries the Golden Eagles have battled this season. At one point, Spalding had only eight players available and was forced to have people playing out of position to fill out the lineup. But Martin said those setbacks helped Spalding in the long run because the players matured and learned new roles and skills.

Martin, for instance, played power forward some out of necessity, and she said that helped improve her rebounding in the post.

“Our coaches say every day that we’re not quitters,” Martin said “We could be down 15, and wont quit. We just don’t give up. If somebody goes down, we say, ‘OK, let’s pick up the slack somewhere else.'”

Martin certainly hasn’t been slacking in the scoring department. She reached double figures in all but two regular-season games. She topped 20 points five times, including a career-high 35 points in the loss at Westminster. She was twice named the SLIAC Player of the Week.

Though she’s Spalding’s top scorer, Martin said passing is her favorite part of the game.

The Ballard High School alumna said she has always been a fan of NBA point guard and Louisville native Rajon Rondo and enjoyed watching him facilitate the offense and set teammates up for baskets.

“Seeing other people’s success and seeing other people score (is satisfying),” Martin said. “You can always hit a three, but having that pretty pass, you might only get to do it a couple times a game, so that’s the best part.”

Martin looks back on her Spalding career fondly. She said she was drawn to stay home and play for the Golden Eagles because of the reputation of coach Charlie Just and the opportunity for her family to attend all her games.

Martin is in Spalding’s natural science and pre-athletic training program. She’ll graduate in June, then be back next school year to complete her master’s of science in athletic training. Eventually, she hopes to become a trainer for a college basketball team.

Here’s a summer invitation from Spalding University: Get some training on athletic training.

If you’re a teenage student who contributes to the athletic training staff of your high school’s sports teams, or if you’re just interested in learning about athletic training, an upcoming Spalding skills camp figures to be right up your alley.

Spalding’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program, partnering with the Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team (KORT), will host its second annual High School Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Workshop on Wednesday, June 20 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eighth-graders are also invited to participate. The cost is $30, and the deadline to register is June 15. Here is the link to sign up.

Spalding athletic training faculty member Sabrina Pletz said most of the students who attended camp last year were athletic training aides or team managers at their schools, or high school athletes, themselves, who have been hurt, gone through rehab and worked with an athletic trainer.

“People who attend the camp can definitely increase their skills,” Pletz said. “Taping is always something that students can do on the sideline at their high school. Basic first aid, assisting with spine boarding, splinting, these are all things they can learn and enhance their skills and take back with them if they’re helping out at their high school, or even middle school.”

The camp will include an overview of athletic training and demonstrations of taping, bracing, making splints, using a backboard and performing emergency procedures. Campers will also be introduced to some modalities and therapy devices such as an ultrasound machine, and they’ll learn some rehab techniques.

The Spalding athletic department’s strength and conditioning coach, Sarah Clinton, will meet with campers and explain the kind of work she does with athletes.

And the camp will conclude with the Athletic Trainer Olympics – a fun competition of relay races to test the campers’ skills.

The camp will start and finish at Spalding’s Columbia Gym, 824 S. Fourth St., which houses the university’s varsity basketball and volleyball gym upstairs and the athletic training room, fitness center and athletic department offices in the lower level.

There will also be a stop by Spalding’s athletic training lab in the Kosair Charities College of Health and Natural Sciences building., 901 S. Third St.

This is the first year Spalding and KORT, which employs many of the athletic trainers who work at area high schools, have partnered on the camp, and Pletz said she’s excited to have the KORT athletic trainers on hand to share their expertise.

The Spalding and KORT athletic trainers, such as Kevin Brown, who works with the Louisville Ballet, will explain the many kinds of job settings in which athletic trainers can work.

“There are military settings, industrial settings,” Pletz said, noting that Spalding has a couple graduates who are now ATs at GE. “It’s not always just taping ankles on the sideline. There is so much you can do. The settings are expanding by leaps and bounds.”

To the students who attend the camp and might want to make athletic training their profession, keep Spalding in mind for college. Spalding’s master’s in athletic training program was the first accredited athletic training graduate program in the state. And if you attend Spalding as an undergrad, you can begin taking courses toward your master’s during your senior year before you graduate. If you do it successfully, once you get your bachelor’s degree in natural science, you’ll need only one more year to get your master’s in athletic training.

“You can finish with a bachelor’s and a master’s in five years,” Pletz said. “That’s a big plus.”

RELATED: Commencement Q&A with Spalding track and field champ and future athletic trainer Katie Suiters 

If you gave Katie Suiters something – anything – to throw during a Spalding track and field competition the past four years, the results tended to turn out well.

The senior standout from Indianapolis became one of the Golden Eagles’ most successful and versatile athletes by participating in all four field throwing disciplines: discus, shot put, hammer and javelin.

That versatility has helped Suiters, who is receiving her bachelor of science in natural science (BSNS) degree while working toward a master’s in athletic training (MSAT), earn as many on-field accomplishments as any student-athlete who’ll participate in Spalding’s commencement on June 2. This spring she was named the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Field Athlete of the Year after winning the league championship in discus and finishing second in shot put, fifth in hammer and sixth in javelin. She also won the SLIAC discus and shot put titles in 2016 and holds multiple school records.

“(Participating in four events for four years in college) was a big opportunity that not many people have,” Suiters said. “I definitely took advantage of it, and I think it’ll definitely be something cool to talk about.”

She laughed and imitated an old lady’s voice, “Back in my day …”

Suiters said discus is probably her best and favorite event. Hammer throw is a “love-hate, but I learned to love it more this year,” she said. Javelin she started throwing just for fun  in high school because she could throw a football 60 yards and figured it would be a similar skill.

“I took it and threw it and slapped myself in the back of the head with it,” she said with a laugh. “I said, ‘OK, this is not a football.’ So I watched a lot of YouTube videos and taught myself over the past couple years a lot of basics. I pretty much winged it, but, hey, I did all right at it.”

Suiters credited head coach Bradley Sowder and throws assistant Kyle Jenkins, a former Spalding All-American, for helping her thrive.

“It started off as a challenge (to participate in so many events),” said Suiters, who was Spalding’s only female thrower her freshman year. “But coming here with track, it was a big family. The track team has pretty much built everything (up during my college years). You’ve got people to go to if you need someone. Coach is always a big help for everyone. It was kind of like an area for me to grow, and it’s a big confidence booster to have achieved what I have.”

Suiters’ athletic experience has motivated her to want to become an athletic trainer. She wants to help other athletes feel supported the same way she’s felt with Spalding’s trainers.

“They’ve definitely helped me, and I want to people able to give that back to somebody else,” Suiters said. “I’ve had my share of injuries. I know what you’re going through. I know when you’re faking it. I know when you want to stop and you’re having a bad day but you need to get back out there.”

Suiters will continue at Spalding next year to finish her’s master’s in athletic training. She said she’s confident she’ll be well-trained when she enters the professional world.

“I had the opportunity to go to a lot of places, and I visited many places,” Suiters said. “I have not had a single day that I regretted picking here. I got to experience the city and the downtown atmosphere. You get open to a lot of things because of that. I’ve met so many people, and I have the best friends I’ll ever have in my life. The professors are hands on. You’re not a number, and I love that aspect of it. It’s home.”

More about Katie …

What is your favorite Spalding memory?

My conference meet my sophomore year, I went up for my last throw, and I was the last person to go. I knew I had already won because I was the last person to go, but there was a storm coming in. I went to go throw, and you can see the storm moving toward us and the wind taking everything. The whole team had to stay and Kyle stopped all of them, and they announced my throw, and it was a huge personal record. We all started screaming. As soon as I threw, we all had to leave because it started downpouring. I had to grab all my stuff because I was the only person. I had a javelin, shot put, discus, hammer, all this stuff, and I’m just trying to run down this street to the bus. We all went, ‘Woohoo!’ Then they all took off. Everyone left me. (laughing)

What are the accomplishments you’re most proud of during your time at Spalding?

It would probably be SLIAC Field Athlete of the Year. I never expected that. That’s probably my biggest accomplishment.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

The University Center (now called Columbia Gym). You’ve got to go down to the weight room. That’s where all the fun happens. There’s a lot of hard work that goes on there, but there’s also a lot of good conversations that happen between everybody. I love (strength and conditioning coach) Sarah (Clinton) to death.

 

 

The Spalding Master of Science in Athletic Training program will celebrate National Athletic Training Month with a speech from Purdue University associate athletic director Doug Boersma at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 22 in the Columbia Gym auditorium. It’ll be preceded by a health fair from the Eagle Care Clinic at 11 in the gym lobby.

Pizza and soft drinks will be served.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has declared the theme of this year’s Athletic Training Month to be, “Compassionate care for all,” and Boersma will share his experiences in delivering compassionate care to student-athletes.

Boersma, a certified athletic trainer for more than 20 years, oversees the medical treatment and rehabilitation of for all 18 Purdue sports programs. He’s also had stints at Bowling Green State, the University of Kentucky and Notre Dame. Read Boersma’s full bio.

Spalding’s MSAT is the first master’s-level professional athletic training program in Kentucky. The program will hold an info session on April 12.  Register for the April info session.

For more information online, visit Spalding.edu/athletic-training.