WVWC MAT students connect with Orange Line of athletic trainers

BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – Students in West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Master’s in Athletic Training Program recently heard from a range of alumni speakers working in the field.
Dr. Meleesa Wohleber ‘00, DHSc, LAT, ATC, and MAT Program director at WVWC, said last year’s AT speaker series received great feedback from students.

“This year I wanted to include more alumni to really give a sense of life after Wesleyan as an athletic training professional,” she said. “The alumni shared how Wesleyan prepared them, a unique patient case challenging the students to work through, and advice to the current MAT students. As an alum, it was wonderful to see the connections of our students with our Orange Line of athletic trainers in the profession.”

Dr. Michael Fraley ’18, PT, DPT, LAT, ATC, is a clinical director for Active Fitness and Physical Therapy in southern West Virginia and works with Woodrow Wilson High School Athletics – mostly football, volleyball and basketball.

“Wesleyan prepared me for my career by setting me up with hands-on learning experience in the medical field,” he said. “We spent four years of daily work in the athletic training room, courts, fields, etc. focusing on hands-on learning and real-life medical scenarios. I feel like Wesleyan greatly prepared me for Physical Therapy school and what I do on a daily basis.”

Kirsten Kiser ’19, LAT, ATC, is a secondary school athletic trainer at Musselman High School in Berkeley County.

“I am a proud 2019 alumna,” Kiser said. “WVWC helped me immensely to prepare for a career in athletic training. I felt that the curriculum was rigorous and problem-solving based. The athletic training preceptors were amazing and always helpful with discussing real-world scenarios. The small class sizes helped create closeness and trust among classmates, which helped foster intentional learning during lectures and labs.”

Dr. Jeremy Sibold ’96, ATC, NBC-HWC, is currently Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Nursing & Health Sciences at the University of Vermont. Sibold holds a tenured faculty appointment in the Department of Rehab & Movement Science, and teaches to students in Exercise Science, PT, OT, Nurse Practitioner, and other programs.

“WVWC was my base, and foundation for my career, but also for my adult life,” he said. “WVWC was the first place I really ever felt safe, engaged, and valued. I had tremendous teachers and mentors that cared for us so far beyond the classroom. I also developed confidence there that made me feel like I actually had something to offer the world, which I had never felt previously.

“WVWC showed me that I could do it. The quality of the instruction was incredible, and the connection with my professors is literally what propelled me toward wanting to spend my career in higher ed myself. I wanted students to feel about me, how I had felt about my professors. In every facet of my time at WVWC as a student, I had faculty and staff…from Deans to mail room, to housekeepers who cared about me and looked out for me. It was the most special four years of my life for sure. I love it dearly.

Travis McCormack ’03, MA, ATC, is a certified athletic trainer based at Quince Orchard High School. As part of a county-wide staff of 25, including placing one at each high school, he is taking part in a new program offered in the county this year.

“WVWC’s athletic training program prepared me in several ways for the real world of athletic training,” he said. “It all started with a sound and firm knowledge base in the classroom, many hours of hands on experiences and some bumps and bruises along the way (literally),” he said. “This program fostered what is now a greater understanding of emergency action planning which has lead directly to the success I have had on the field during emergency situations. It also gave me some life long friends from former educators to classmates and more. Lastly, it taught me how to persevere through tough events and hard times. Using staff around me as resources, understanding my limitations and working to improve the overall care given to all under my watch.”

Wohleber and Bobby Helmick ’97, MS, LAT, ATC, PTA, LMT, also shared insights with the students during the speaker series.

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