Millikin major: Athletic training
- Other degrees:
- Master of Science in kinesiology (sports medicine concentration) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
- Doctor of Health Science in health science (leadership and organizational behavior concentration) at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, 2016
Current employment: I currently work at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, where I serve as:
- Associate Dean of Health Sciences
- Athletic Training Program Director
- Chair of the Athletic Training Department
- Associate Professor of Athletic Training and Health Science
Why did you choose MU?
I chose Millikin because of its location, graduation placement rate, size, beauty of the campus, and Lin Stoner, former admissions director (see below).
What activities did you participate in as a student at MU?
- I was a part of the wrestling program briefly.
- I participated in intramurals.
- I was an active member of the Athletic Training Club (vice president 2001 and president 2002).
What are some of your accomplishments since graduating from Millikin?
- Of 350 athletic training programs, I serve as the only African-American male athletic training program director in the nation.
- I was elected and served as vice president of the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association from 2010-15.
- I convinced Kassandra Wilson to become Kassandra Bates in 2014.
- I was named Faculty Member of the Year at Heidelberg University in 2015.
- I was named Faculty Member of the Year at Heidelberg University in 2016.
- I received a President Service Award from the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association in 2016.
- I current serve as the senior member of the Minds at Work Student Research Conference at Heidelberg University.
- I was elected and currently serve as a mentor to the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers Association Student Senate.
When not supporting the Big Blue, what is your favorite thing to do?
I enjoy spending time with my family – wife, Kassandra Bates, and sons, Ethan and Liam. I enjoy reading and learning about problem solving, teamwork and other personal/professional development topics. I also enjoy grilling year round!
Who is your most memorable MU professor or staff member and why?
Lin Stoner, dean emeritus of admission: My older brother and Dad were with me on my college visit and Lin was the first person during my college searches who did not assume that my older brother was "the student." Lin asked, "Who are we talking to today?" and that closed the deal for me to decide Millikin was the place for me. Details matter.
Professor Brian Czajka, former athletic training program director and head athletic trainer: Brian brought an intensity, work ethic and passion to the classroom and the Athletic Training Clinic. His leadership helped shape me into a competent clinician. Professor Czajka currently serves as the athletic training program director at the University of Michigan and we talk weekly!
What is your most memorable MU experience?
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers and Pentagon occurred on Sept. 11 during my anatomy and physiology lab. I recall walking across campus wondering where everyone was and soon found my three roommates huddled around the TV when I arrived in my Woods apartment. I recall everyone being in shock for weeks as we witness firsthand how unpredictably short life could be. The community drew closer together and my resolve to make a positive impact on the world was strengthened.
What is one concept you learned at Millikin that you use regularly?
I learned how to solve problems and think critically. I was challenged by the curriculum within and outside of my major, including Dr. Bennett's organic chemistry course, Dr. Slayton's medical terminology course and my capstone course that brought it all together via my professional development plan. I have to mention Professor David Dominguese's exercise physiology course where the answer was always yes and no!
What advice do you give to current Millikin students about preparing for life after graduation?
Don't be afraid to take courses that have nothing to do with your intended major. My first job opportunity was the result of a conversation about art, not athletic training. I am so thankful for my introduction to visual culture course that exposed me to a world I never knew existed.
Anything else you would like to share with the Millikin community?
Thank you for connecting me with some of my best friends, for exposing me to the liberal arts, and for the confidence to chase my dreams. Thank you.