In January, one of our faculty was recognized with one of the most prestigious awards the university can bestow on it’s faculty as Dr. Meredith Petschauer was been recognized as one of this year’s winners of the Johnston Teaching Excellence Awards.
The award was created in 1991, to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching by the James M. Johnston Scholarship Program. This is one of the highest forms of recognition that the university can bestow upon a faculty member for their work in educating our students. This is truly a major accomplishment and Meredith is very deserving of this award.
The Department of Exercise and Sport Science is proud to have Dr. Petschauer as a valued member of our faculty. She is truly an example of the type of impact we hope to have on our students. Her efforts help us to meet our departmental goal and provide the best educational opportunities for our students.
Dr. Petschauer serves as the Director of the Undergraduate Athletic Training Education Program in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science. She also teaches in the areas of biomechanics and emergency medical care. In addition, she has served as an academic advisor for EXSS students. She is truly an impact player in our department. Below is a brief overview of her career and current interests.
What is your primary area of interest in terms of teaching or research?
My primary focus is on undergraduate education with an emphasis in athletic training. I am interested in having an undergraduate athletic training program that is educating future athletic trainers that will be outstanding clinicians and leaders in the profession.
How did you become interested in this specific area?
I went to the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH as an undergraduate and became interested in athletic training when I suffered a concussion at soccer practice. After graduation, I continued my education at UNC-CH in the advanced masters program in athletic training. This program allows students to be active as a teacher and researcher as well as in the clinical setting. It is through this interaction with undergraduate students that I became very interested in teaching. After volunteering as a teaching assistant in some undergraduate classes, I was asked to stay as a visiting lecturer as the EXSS department was starting an accredited undergraduate athletic training program. By the end of that first year teaching full time, I realized that I wanted to continue in education and eventually become the director of an athletic training program.
How does your area of interest impact the public?
It is my hope that one day there will be an athletic trainer in every high school in the United States. By educating athletic trainers, we can help bring knowledgeable professionals to athletes. As athletic trainers we have the ability to respond to emergency situations and care for athletes that become injured as well as manage those that are at risk for injury. Hopefully, by managing injury in these athletes we can have a positive effect their outcome. As athletic trainers we hope to save athletes lives in emergency situations and take the decision making process for return to play out of the hands of the coach. Athletic trainers can make a big impact on all of the athletes they encounter.