Archive for June, 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 Dan Libera Service Award Recipients

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Jan Clifton, 2013 Dan Libera Service Award Recipient

On June 26th, the BOC Board of Directors and staff hosted a reception to honor BOC volunteers and to present the BOC Dan Libera Service Awards. The BOC Dan Libera Service Award was established in 1995 to recognize individuals who have shown dedication to the mission of the BOC. Longstanding contributions to the BOC’s programs are the primary criteria for the award. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients!


Jan Clifton, ATC
Kevin Ennis, ATC
Mike Ferrara, ATC
Bob Moss, ATC
Carol Moss, ATC
Wayne Wagner (posthumously)


Jan Clifton has 19 years of continual service to the BOC, currently having completed more than 55 Home Study Reviews since fall 2001. For the exam between June 1994 to April 2007, Jan diligently served in 22 events asexaminer, exam captain and proctor in Chicago, IL, Indianapolis, IN, and Anderson, IN.  As a young professional, Jan was one of 200 ATs to participate in the 1994 Role Delineation Pilot Study. Today, Jan assists BOC candidates who are in Central Indiana with review of competencies while interning for St. Vincent Sports Performance.


Kevin Ennis, 2013 Dan Libera Service Award Recipient

Kevin Ennis is dedicated to the advancement of athletic training, locally, regionally and nationally. He began his career in athletic training in 1985 as Head Athletic Trainer and teacher at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, SC. He spent five years positively influencing numerous high school students and student athletes. In 1990, Kevin moved to Beaufort Memorial Hospital to become the Athletic Training Outreach Coordinator. Since 1990, Kevin has worked in the hospital setting and in physical therapy clinics. At each step, Kevin has continued to promote and support the educational endeavors of ATs.


Mike Ferrara served as a director on the BOC Board of Directors from 2006-2013. Ferrara has been recognized for his leadership and scholarship throughout his career spanning almost three decades. He was founding president of the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy and served as president from 2000 to 2005. In addition, he was director of medical operations for the Atlanta Paralympic Games from 1995 to 1996, director of medical services for the Barcelona Paralympic Games in 1992 and medical director for the United States Disabled Sports Team at the World Athletics Championships in 1994.


Bob Moss has served the BOC since 1987. His volunteer roles include serving on the exam development committee and as an exam development online reviewer for numerous years. He encouraged fellow Dan Libera Award recipient, Carol Moss, to apply to be on the exam development committee. Bob Moss is the chair and professor of Exercise Science in Athletic Training at Albion College. 


Carol Moss has served as a BOC examiner for 25 years, working at various locations including Dayton, OH, Pittsburg, PA, and Alma, MI. She has also has served on the BOC Exam Development Committee since 2005. She currently acts as the Alternative Item Type Co-Chair and works as a clinical coordinator and lecturer in athletic training at Albion College.


Wayne Wagner (posthumously) was a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) for more than 50 years and served the BOC and its mission for more than 20 years between 1984 and 2004. During that 20-year time period, he served as a Test Site Administrator for approximately 50 exams in various locations throughout District 5. Inducted into the MAATA Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Nebraska State Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 2000, the impact that Wayne had on the BOC and the profession of athletic training has been profound and lasting.  Wayne Wagner truly was a pioneer in the athletic training profession. His commitment to his family, the profession, the athletic training student and the student-athlete spanned decades and has impacted generations of ATs. One’s legacy is not simply what is in place while one is present, but what continues after the individual has moved on. Although this nomination is made posthumously, Wayne’s legacy within the profession and his influence on the BOC will continue for years to come.

College World Series: Meet the Athletic Trainer

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

During the College World Series, we are talking with the Athletic Trainers (ATs) who traveled the Road to Omaha to keep their baseball teams healthy during the Series. In this edition, we talked with Josh Geruso and Alisha Tobert, who are providing care for North Carolina State University’s team.

Alisha Tolbert and Josh Geruso

Describe the athletic training team that is at the College World Series.
Sports medicine personnel include ATs Josh Geruso and Alisha Tolbert, as well as Director of Sports Medicine Rob Murphy. 

Josh was certified as an AT in 2003 and joined the North Caroline State sports medicine department in 2008. He provides care for baseball and men’s and women’s tennis.

Alisha, until just recently, was a student intern with North Carolina State.  She passed the Board of Certification Exam in April and is now a graduate student at Louisiana State University.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the CWS?

North Carolina State won their game on the Sunday before CWS began.  Josh said he received an email right away from Curtis Self of Creighton University. The email contained important information for ATs, including emergency action plans.  On Monday, Josh took the day off to pack a truck loaded with supplies.

Meanwhile, Alisha was at LSU when she received a text that she could come to Omaha with her former team.  She jumped up and down, excited that both her new and old schools would be represented at the CWS.

“I was really ecstatic, honestly,” she said.

What will your days be like during the College World Series?

Alisha came to the CWS knowing that she wouldn’t be able to stay past the first weekend, but that was OK with her.

“I just wanted to be here and see everyone again. I’m happy,” she said.

Josh, on the other hand, planned on a full schedule of practice, media obligations and other responsibilities.

“The NCAA tells us where to be and when,” Josh said.

What are the challenges of an AT during this event?

“The unknown,” Josh said. “We don’t know what to expect. We’re preparing for two weeks but we may only be here for three to four days.”

Part of this preparation included packing all kinds of supplies that wouldn’t normally travel to games.  Beyond the meds, tape and first aid supplies, Josh packed sutures, IVs and other supplies specifically for the team physician.  He also included modalities, which are not usually in his kit when he travels with the team.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?

Both Josh and Alisha answered quickly.

“The relationships,” Josh said. “That’s easy.”

Alisha added: “I get so excited after working with an athlete and seeing them go back in and do well.”




College World Series: Meet the Athletic Trainer

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

(from left to right) Taryn Gilrein, Graduate Assistant AT, Alex Vitek, a new BOC Certified Athletic Trainer and Terri Jo Rucinski, Athletic Trainer and BOC volunteer.

During the College World Series, we are talking with the Athletic Trainers (ATs) who traveled the Road to Omaha to keep their baseball teams healthy during the Series. In this edition, we talked with Alex Vitek, recently graduated and certified Athletic Trainer (AT) with the University of North Carolina.

Describe the athletic training team that is at the CWS.

We are truly a team here at Carolina as an athletic training staff. Between Terri Jo (our staff AT), Taryn (graduate assistant AT) and myself (a recently graduated and certified AT), we have a wide range of perspectives and clinical strengths. Our hard-working spirits, combined with great clinical ability and the drive to always improve, makes me excited to come to work each and every day. It has been an amazing journey throughout the season, and I am so happy to share this experience at the College World Series with them.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the CWS?

Well, first we celebrated with happy tears and lots of hugs! Then, after a good night's sleep and some time to collect ourselves, we began packing our kit and other necessary supplies. We had a very short turnaround from the time we found out we were in (Tuesday afternoon) to our plane leaving for Omaha (Thursday morning), so packing was pretty much all we had time for!

What will your days be like during the College World Series?

I have never been to the CWS, but Terri Jo has been here before and speaks fondly of all the great things to see and do in Omaha. I'm not sure exactly what we'll be doing, but I know there will be lots of baseball! Hopefully there will be some sight-seeing and a chance to meet some of the people that make Omaha and the CWS so memorable.

What are the challenges of an AT during this event?

I think the biggest challenges would be those associated with being away from home and the athletic training facility and support staff you're used to. It was a challenge to anticipate all of the supplies we might need while out here but also know our limitations of what's reasonable in order to pack appropriately. The staff from Creighton has been incredible though, and they have greatly lessened any anxiety caused by being away from Chapel Hill.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?

The best thing for me about being an AT is the great sense of purpose and reward I get from helping others, especially through doing something that I enjoy and feel I am well-suited for. Even though I have spent the entire spring season working with just one team, no two days are the same. I learn new things every day, whether they are related to becoming a better clinician or simply a better person. There is a list I've made that's posted in our athletic training facility at the stadium titled "Things I've Learned from Baseball" that includes things like "Lefty on lefty means get down by the stools" (learned early on from an errant foul ball) and "If someone offers you help to carry something, accept their assistance" (after spilling a cooler all over myself on one of my first days). It's little things like this that show me how far I've come in my undergraduate career and how much fun we've had. These are things I'll never forget and also make me excited about my future as an AT.

Networking and Why It’s a Key to Success

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Networking is one of the biggest “freebies” we get in life. It can lead us to bigger and better things in our careers as Athletic Trainers (ATs), those that can help us be more successful. We don’t go to the NATA Annual Meeting just to grab our CEUs and go. I’d like to stress the importance of networking; I’m sure some of you reading this would probably brush off this blog and say, “Oh, I know how to network.” However, there’s more depth to a successful network bond between peers (and new peers you have networked with during the annual meetings), especially for the young professionals out there who are trying to build a foundation for their athletic training career.

I would say the biggest foundation of networking is expanding your knowledge base, rather than being in touch with people and having the “hook-ups.” The more people you retain within your network, the more you can expand your knowledge as an AT.  When you are able to reach out to these people you have connected with, they can help you understand the little things you might have questions about. There could be an AT out there excelling in a specific area of athletic training, which would allow you to seek out more information as well as connect with the AT. The more you reach out to these people, the more they will recognize you. They even might reach out to you for information, a referral or an opportunity you would never know is there for you to grab.

You can never limit yourself in networking. Don’t be selective.  It’s as easy as starting a conversation with the AT standing or sitting next to you. Take a look over your shoulder, introduce yourself, see where they’re from and what setting they are working in. Who knows? You could end up with the biggest network connection of your career – and have your questions answered.

Networking doesn’t only allow you to expand your knowledge base, it also allows you to find your path and to reach out to these people if you’re looking for a job. Having connections with peers allows doors to open for you, so you might be able to get that opportunity you are seeking.

When you network, you need to be assertive and demonstrate your confidence by reaching out and not being afraid to say something or ask something. The reality is, you have nothing to lose – “nothing gained, nothing lost.” What’s the worst that could happen if you said hello to someone you want to connect with? They could say hello back and walk away. You have to know that it’s going to be acceptable for that to happen and move onto the next person.

Here are some tips for networking. Always carry a firm handshake! When you connect with someone and would like to get into their field or job, you need to reach out to them often. The more you reach out to them, the more they will remember you. This might sound annoying and pestering if you are sending out too many emails or phone calls. No, it is not. Many times we are really busy and might have forgotten. However, if there’s that one person who has emailed me a few times as opposed to that other person who only emailed me ONCE, I’m definitely more likely to reach out to the enthusiast who is very eager, willing to be there and wants the opportunity.  Another way to get your foot in the door is to volunteer, to give peers the opportunity to see how much you really want this opportunity and for them to observe your skills. Always carry your business cards with you, as well as a resume if you’re looking for a job.

The possibilities are endless. Go chase the dream – it can come true if you want it badly enough. I know; I have been there.

Written By:
Lonnie Tanenberg, ATC, CGFI



College World Series: Meet the Athletic Trainer

Friday, June 21st, 2013

During the College World Series, we are talking with the Athletic Trainers (ATs) who traveled the Road to Omaha to keep their baseball teams healthy during the Series. In this edition, we talked with Terri Jo Rucinski, a staff AT with the University of North Carolina.

Describe the athletic training team that is at the College World Series.

The AT team that will be at the CWS includes: myself, staff AT; Taryn Gilrein, graduate assistant AT; and Alex Vitek, a senior undergraduate AT who just passed her exam and recently graduated.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the College World Series?

After we finished playing South Carolina in the super regional on Tuesday – due to weather related issues delaying the finish of our Super Regional – we knew we were in.  The planning started as we were scheduled to depart on Thursday morning.  We had to be sure that we had all prescriptions refilled prior to leaving and that we got everything packed for the trip – which would hopefully last for two weeks.  We also contacted the host ATs from Creighton to see if we could borrow a few items for rehab while in Omaha, so we did not have to take those items.

What will your days be like during the College World Series?

Our days while in Omaha will be filled with daily practices, visits possibly to Children’s Hospital, time spent with the Kiwanis Club (who are our hosts for our time while we are at the CWS) and possibly a zoo visit if time permits.

What are the challenges of an AT during this event?

The challenges while at the event are managing illnesses and injuries without our physician present with us. Instead, we will be utilizing the medical staff Creighton set up for assistance and coordinating care.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?

I love my job!  I enjoy being a mentor to the graduate students as well as the undergraduate students. I get real joy out of following an injury through rehab and seeing athletes return to play the sport that they love, as well as being able to be around such a great baseball program with respectful athletes and coaches who truly appreciate all that you do for them.

College World Series: Meet the Athletic Trainer

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

(from left to right) Taryn Gilrein, Alex Vitek, a new BOC Certified Athletic Trainer and Terri Jo Rucinski, Athletic Trainer and BOC volunteer.

During the College World Series, we are talking with the Athletic Trainers (ATs) who traveled the Road to Omaha to keep their baseball teams healthy during the Series. In this edition, we talked with Taryn Gilrein, a graduate assistant with the University of North Carolina.

Describe the athletic training team that is at the College World Series.

Our athletic training team consists of Alex, our graduated senior; myself, a graduate assistant; and our staff member Terri Jo. Together, we have been through countless innings, extra innings, wins, losses, laughter and tears. The positivity and passion that are exuded when the three of us are working together is contagious and it creates such a fun environment for work. We are so excited to be here as a team.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the College World Series?

Well, our team did not know for sure that they were in until Tuesday afternoon – when it should have been Saturday or Sunday! The rain delays and rescheduling were tough, but we were able to celebrate the win with everyone. An unexpected invitation was extended to the entire athletic training staff to join the team on the trip, which made for an even bigger and more joyous celebration! We had one day to pack for between 5-14 days and materials for between 2-8 games. We left the next morning with half the athletic training facility and the mentality that if we forgot something, we could always buy it in Omaha.

What will your days be like during the College World Series?

We have a pre-arranged itinerary from Coach that we will have to keep up with, including meals with the team, gatherings with our host club, practices and games. We will set treatment times for the specific guys we need to see before practice or a game, go to the field, eat and typically have some time to ourselves to explore Omaha.

What are the challenges of an AT during this event?

The fact that we have NO control over the outcome of the game! I can stretch and treat all the guys who need it, I can cheer until my voice is gone (which typically happens), I can do all the little superstitious handshakes and change my seat or chewing gum . . . but ultimately I am not playing and I cannot win the game – which is entirely too stressful.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?

I love the staff and the athletes I am currently working with, which helps me love the job and not consider it "work”! To get that "thank you" from an athlete who you worked with every day to return to play – that appreciation means so much to me. I genuinely enjoy taking care of people and helping them get better. To watch as they then return to play and excel again . . . there is not a much better feeling than that.

College World Series: Meet the Athletic Trainer

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

During the College World Series, we are talking with the Athletic Trainers (ATs) who traveled the Road to Omaha to keep their baseball teams healthy during the Series. In this edition, we talked with Joel Langemaat, an assistant AT at Indiana University. 

Describe the athletic training team that is at the College World Series.

Traveling with our team will be:

  • Myself, Joel Langemaat, MS, LAT, ATC, Assistant Athletic Trainer at Indiana University. This is my second year as staff AT. My primary sport is baseball, and I also oversee cheerleading.
  • Andy Hipskind, MD, the Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine. He is the primary team physician for all Indiana University athletics. This is his 11th year at Indiana University.

Creighton University’s Sports Medicine team is hosting the CWS.  They provide all kinds of medical coverage needed during practices and games for the teams competing.  Creighton also provides medical supplies and set-up of fluids, emergency equipment, biohazard supplies and injury ice for practices and games.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the College World Series?

The last three weekends have been a whirlwind of hosting regionals, traveling to super regionals and now traveling to CWS.  Many emails and phone calls were initially sent coordinating schedules and also going through the CWS Manual for Medical Services provided.  This was helpful to know what was needed for packing of supplies, equipment and schedule information.  At this point in the season every baseball AT is in a “Groundhog Day” of preparing for the following weekend, along with covering weekday practices.

What will your days be like during the College World Series?

I think there will be many more team-related appearances, media, dinners etc. in the first few days, which will bring some more excitement to the games.  With days between games, there will be more availability to enjoy the sights and sounds of the CWS.  We will usually do a team breakfast in the mornings and then have practices to attend the first few days.  At breakfast I will follow up with athletes, making sure they have taken any medications or received them.  Thirty minutes before we depart, guys will come to my room for tape preparation for practices and games.

During practice, many of the pitchers will be doing their arm care programs that the pitching coach and I have given them, to help maintain their scapular, rotator cuff and core strength and endurance.  For the injured athletes not able to participate in practice, they will be doing their rehabilitation exercises.  Every athlete is able to do something to get better while their teammates are practicing.

Post-practice we will be doing mostly cryotherapy for any soreness or lingering injuries at the field.  We will then head back to the hotel to relax or grab lunch.  After dinner we usually have treatments for anyone with ongoing injuries.  This includes cryotherapy, electrical stimulation or manual techniques at the hotel.

What are the challenges of an AT during this event?

I think the biggest challenge is the unknown of the length of time you will be here.  You have to pack supplies for anywhere from 5-14 days, and remind your athletes to make sure they are bringing enough of their medications, contacts, braces, etc.  Once you are here, you have a routine of how practice and games days are coordinated.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?

I think the best part of my job is the relationships you develop with the athletes, coaches, administrators, parents and fellow ATs.  These are the things that really matter in life, and what brings you the most satisfaction.  You have to love it, to do the many facets and roles we play of our job day in and day out.

Dr. Denis "Izzy" Isrow, Father of Athletic Training in North Dakota

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

In honor of Father’s Day, we are sharing a bit about the late Dr. Denis “Izzy” Isrow, the “Father of Athletic Training” in North Dakota.

The BOC wishes a happy Father’s Day to all Athletic Trainer fathers and father figures.

Dr. Denis Isrow was tough.  As a professor at North Dakota State University, he instructed his athletic training students to get it right the first time – or, barring that, start over and do it again.

As an Athletic Trainer (AT), he demanded professionalism from staff and students.  A violation of his standards for the athletic training facility earned a twist of his head and a point of his finger. It was not unlike getting called to the principal’s office.

Yet, for all his toughness, Isrow was a “softy,” said Scott Woken, ATC, Director of Sports Medicine at NDSU.

“Athletes come back, still to this day, and the first thing they do is talk about Izzy,” Woken said.

Known as “Izzy,” Isrow was the first person in North Dakota to be certified as an AT.  But the combination of his toughness and kindness earned him the distinction of being called the “Father of Athletic Training” in that state.

Isrow died December 16, 2012, at age 78.  He had spent nearly 50 years at NDSU.  After coming to the university in 1963, he started its athletic training program five years later.  Isrow then retired in 2002 but continued to serve NDSU as a professor emeritus and HIPAA coordinator.

His legacy lives on.

There are hard skills he taught, like certain taping techniques.  And he put together a whole program of pre-practice partner stretching that is still used.

Still, the biggest thing he impressed upon those around him was “Bison pride,” Woken said.  According to Woken, Isrow demanded the best from others.

“If you’re going to do something, you’re going to do it right, and take pride in what you’re doing,” Woken said, of Isrow’s philosophy.

Isrow was the “Number one guy” for injured athletes, said Woken.  He motivated them when they were hurt.  He helped bring them up when they were down.

His involvement with athletics stretched into the larger community as well.  Particularly while his own kids were growing up, he coached Little League baseball and other youth sports.

Woken described Isrow as a “very, very kind individual,” even through all of his toughness.

“He got everything he could out of every student,” Woken said.

Written By:

Melissa Breazile

Athletic Trainers Making a Difference

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Bill Kleber, ATC

Before each school year starts, Bill Kleber, ATC, talks with parents who attend the annual sports meeting. He lets them know who he is and what he does.

If all goes well, Kleber may not talk to some of the parents again. But as Athletic Trainer (AT) at Creighton Prep in Omaha, Nebraska, he’s sometimes the bearer of bad news. He is the guy who calls parents if their athlete gets injured.

In the fall of 2011, he made a lot of calls.

“It was a rough season,” Kleber said.

A string of injuries that football season began when Jared Goracke, a 15-year-old sophomore at the time, hurt his knee during a drill. Kleber’s sidelines evaluation revealed a positive Valgus test, suggesting an MCL tear. Kleber called Jared’s parents right away and referred them to a physician.

Sure enough, it was a complete tear. Like that, Jared’s football season ended. His was one of four serious injuries on the team – and the first of two of his own.

Jared Goracke

Bad luck struck again the following spring when Jared, rehabbed and recovered, went out for track. He lost his footing while gearing up to throw disc.

Jared called Cathy to let her know he was injured and couldn’t walk. Kleber made another phone call that night to follow up. He recommended that Jared see a physician right away.

“It was kind of a tough phone call to make to his parents after he’d been working so hard,” Kleber said.

Another physician’s exam showed that Jared had torn his MCL again, as well as his patella femoral ligament. He had also subluxed his kneecap.

This time, Jared needed surgery. It fell on the first day of his spring break - a blessing, Cathy said, because he was able to stay home without missing school.

An extensive rehabilitation followed. Jared worked with Kleber at Creighton Prep’s athletic training facility and with an outside physical therapist. Kleber helped with pain control, in reducing inflammation and with monitoring Jared when it came time to start lifting again.

“I like seeing a patient get better, the day-to-day process,” he said.

Kleber’s key role during the process was acting as communicator. Cathy said Kleber was always very calm when talking with her about Jared’s injury and rehab. He gave the technical information about the injury but explained it in a way that was easy to understand, she said.

Remaining calm is one of the most important parts of communicating with youth and their parents, Kleber said. When he makes a call to parents or talks with an athlete, he does his best to keep anyone from getting more scared.

Kleber is also honest about what’s going on. His approach is to tell what happened, describe the injury and provide guidance on the next steps. Kleber knows that even a minor injury can be a big deal to a young athlete who’s never been hurt before, so it’s important to offer reassurance.

As a parent who has spoken with Kleber plenty of times after the annual sports meeting, Cathy can vouch for the importance of having an AT available to work with her son. She said there should be an AT “at every high school.”

Of Kleber, Cathy said: “I think he’s been invaluable.”

Written By:

Melissa Breazile


Welcome New Athletic Trainer Colleagues

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Every year around graduation, I think about all of our new colleagues entering the profession and wonder where they will be in five years. I also remember the importance of a supportive mentor as I transitioned from student to clinician. My mentor, who was also my boss, told me the rules, watched me treat patients, offered feedback and learned about me as a person. He expected mistakes (and I made plenty of them) but also made it clear that each mistake should occur only once. He modeled being an evidence-based practitioner, even though we didn’t even know those words. At least once a week, I would come to work and find an article with his liberal notes in the margins and a command to “read this” at the top. We would read it, talk about it and decide if and how to change our practice. Finally, he made it clear that advocacy and service for our profession are essential to being a professional. Thank you, Don.

Though research isn’t available specifically for the athletic training profession, a study on the nursing field suggests that supportive transition-to-work plans for new graduates improve job satisfaction, reduce turnover and result in fewer errors [1].  That a supportive, formative work environment is preferable to an on-your-own environment is also simple common sense. How can we provide this environment for our young professionals?

So welcome to our 545 newly-certified Athletic Trainers who have entered the workforce in 2013. May you find a mentor who pushes you to provide excellent patient care while developing you as a professional. May the rest of us remember our obligation to be that mentor.


[1] National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Written By:

Sara Brown, MS, ATC