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b2ap3_thumbnail_Mary-Pust_20150728-170155_1.jpgA love of athletics, a desire for being a part of a career based around community and an interest in wellness and the medical field have blended to create an ideal vocation for Mary (Sallach) Pust, a 2013 Waynesburg University athletic training alumna.

Pust currently serves as a licensed athletic trainer for a North Carolina hospital where she does outreach work at a local 1A high school/middle school. Her daily responsibilities include working at the school, being part of committees at the hospital, as well as being a part of educational seminars in the hospital and around the community. Far from the stereotype of an individual responsible for taping ankles and keeping athletes hydrated, Pust is always on her toes, daily utilizing some aspect of her Waynesburg University education.

Prepared both in the classroom and through a “vast array of clinical settings,” Pust’s multitude of hands-on experiences has not only led to the development of the critical skills necessary for a fast-paced field, but is also to credit for her confidence in her abilities.

“In this profession, the more experience you have, the better off you will be,” she said. “I am working in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains with no one around me. I learned not only how to be a great athletic trainer, but how to be self-sufficient, have confidence and know when to ask for outside help.”

Pust acknowledges that her own experiences with injury as an athlete have also played a part in her journey. Requiring her to spend more time in the training room, Pust’s injuries also became blessings in disguise as she developed lasting relationships with her high school athletic trainer and sports medicine physician.

Ironically, those relationships inspired Pust to want to become the same type of mentor she was fortunate enough to have. Working with kids in grades 7-12, Pust has the opportunity to make a difference in countless ways.

“My biggest goal every day when I go in to work is to be a positive role model for the kids I work with,” she said.

Pust also puts a special emphasis on education and prioritizes teaching parents, coaches and the community about topics including emergency action plans, concussions, nutrition, health insurance, strength and conditioning, among many others.

“My profession has the rare opportunity to work with individuals every day. I see their highs, their lows, get to know families, and become part of a community,” she said.

Pust said many Waynesburg professors influenced her path, challenging her to relate her textbooks to real life and pushing her to “know more than [she] thought [she] needed at the time.”

Pust said she not only left Waynesburg feeling professionally prepared, but also had the opportunity to experience spiritual growth.

“Waynesburg helped me find myself as a Christian in this modern world. I explored different denominations and was introduced to many ideas, concepts and beliefs. It was being able to share one main goal of serving and praising God with others that really gave me a connection to the school,” she said.

As a result, Pust said she found her light and “will continue to let [it] shine."

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Posted by on in Alumni

b2ap3_thumbnail_Clarice-Tice.jpgClarice Tice, 2014

Athletic Trainer at Waverly High School in Waverly, N.Y., and a tech at ProCare Physical Therapy in Athens, Pa.

When Clarice Tice entered the workforce, she felt confident in her abilities to succeed as a result of the strong athletic training background she gained as an undergraduate at Waynesburg University.

“Having the many different opportunities Waynesburg afforded me, such as clinicals, really equipped me for my job,” said Tice. “Being able to complete athletic training hours at the local high school for a semester was extremely helpful.”

Employed by ProCare Physical Therapy, Tice instructs a variety of patients on proper exercise. In the afternoon, she travels to Waverly High School where she works every practice and game for the middle and high school students.

As a former student who was heavily involved in extracurricular activities on campus, Tice believes that participating in these opportunities was very beneficial for her career.

“Make the most of the time you have at Waynesburg and take all the opportunities and learning experiences you can,” said Tice. “They will help shape and mold you as a professional.”

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Giuliani.jpgHayden Giuliani, senior athletic training major  

Intern, Pro Performance RX in Morgantown, W.Va. 

Hayden Giuliani’s summer internship with Pro Performance RX, a regional leader for fitness training, sport training, rehabilitation and overall health training, was a natural fit. After observing there as part of her Waynesburg University athletic training clinical rotation, she proved to the training staff that she could succeed in a summer setting as well. 

“Being able to put a client through a workout on my own and see her progress from week to week was the best part,” Giuliani said. “It felt like I had proven myself, and all the work was worth it.”

Giuliani, who serves as the vice president of Waynesburg’s Athletic Training Student Association and who plays varsity basketball and participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said that she entered the internship with a “very good foundation of knowledge” on strength and conditioning.

“Being an athletic training major gives me a step above exercise science majors at other colleges in some ways, because I must learn more about how the total body works and what can affect it,” she said. “I ended up making a name for myself with all the trainers and stood the test of being independent as a trainer, which was extremely encouraging and beneficial to my future.” 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Wockley-2.jpgAs the city’s premier arena football league, the Pittsburgh Power, took the field, Ryan Wockley, a senior athletic training major at Waynesburg University, smiled with satisfaction and wished the players luck. More than a fan, the Pittsburgh Power athletic training intern watched as his hard work bandaging injuries, treating conditions and wrapping ankles resulted in points on the board. 

“My favorite part was game days,” Wockley said. “There’s nothing better than seeing all the work you’ve done with the players pay off.  When they can perform at their best because of the work you did with them, that makes it worth it.”  

According to Michele Kabay, assistant professor of athletic training and clinical coordinator for Waynesburg University’s athletic training program, Wockley began inquiring about possible athletic training internships in his sophomore year. 

“Ryan is a very hands-on learner, and although the athletic training curriculum includes clinical education requirements, Ryan took the initiative to begin networking with athletic training professionals, which helped lead to the unique experience of an internship with the Pittsburgh Power,” Kabay said.

Wockley, who serves as president of the Waynesburg Athletic Training Student Association (WUATSA), couldn’t imagine spending an entire summer not practicing his athletic training skills, so he applied for an internship with the well-known athletic team. 

“I enjoy the clinical work, and I didn’t want to go a whole summer without doing something related to athletic training, so when I heard about the Power internship I jumped at the opportunity,” Wockley said. “I saw myself become more confident in my abilities and my knowledge. This internship showed me that I have the confidence and the tools needed to succeed as an athletic trainer.”

He worked with the Power’s professional athletic training staff to tape, brace and treat the players before and after practices and games. Wockley and his fellow trainers were responsible for conducting rehabilitation programs for athletes both on the active roster and also on injured reserve to help them progress, maintain or return to play.

Without exceptional teaching from Waynesburg University and the structure of its programs, Wockley said he would not have made such an impact or had such a great experience.

“One thing that sets Waynesburg apart is that students are accepted into the advanced program and begin core classes and clinical rotations sophomore year, as opposed to other schools where that doesn’t happen until the start of junior year,” Wockley said. “Having that extra year of clinical experience really helped because I was able to call on past experiences other interns may not have had.”

Though he initially struggled with the autonomy granted to him in the internship, Wockley said he quickly learned to trust his knowledge. 

“The Power trusted us to work with the athletes and allowed us to treat their injuries as we saw fit,” Wockley said. “It was a challenge at first to trust in what I had learned and what I knew. Once I got into the first few weeks, I became very confident in what I was doing because I realized just how much I had learned at Waynesburg.”

 

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