In today’s alumni update, we highlight Dr. Michelle Boling. Michelle is a two-time graduate from UNC as she earned both her bachelors degree in Exercise and Sport Science and PhD in Human Movement Science from our great institution . She has enjoyed a highly successful career as an Associate Professor at the University of North Florida, where she has secured NIH grants, mentored many students, and now directs the Athletic Training Education Program. Thank you Michelle for contributing to our Alumni Update!
What led you to choose Athletic Training as a major when you were an undergraduate student in Exercise and Sport Science?
My interest in athletic training began as a high school student. During my sophomore year, I started helping out/observing the athletic trainer at my high school and continued this until I graduated. I knew from that point forward that I wanted to pursue athletic training as a career, so I researched the schools in North Carolina that offered an undergraduate athletic training program. UNC was my top choice for college and I was fortunate enough to be admitted and later accepted into the undergraduate athletic training program.
What were your career goals upon graduating from Exercise and Sport Science with a specialization in Athletic Training?
Upon graduation, I thought I might want to become an educator and researcher in athletic training but I was not 100% certain. Consequently, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree to improve upon my clinical skills and also to gain more experience with research and teaching. I realized after my first year of graduate school that I truly wanted to teach in an undergraduate athletic training program and also to continue research in the area of chronic knee pain. After receiving my Master’s degree, I returned to UNC to complete a doctoral degree in Human Movement Science.
Where are your currently working and what are your primary responsibilities?
I am currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Athletic Training Program at the University of North Florida.
How did your experience at UNC prepare you for your current position?
Everything about my experience at UNC prepared me for my current position. I truly would not be who I am or where I am today without the wonderful faculty and athletic training staff at UNC. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about my time as an undergraduate or doctoral student at UNC and am grateful for the time I spent and the wonderful opportunities I was able to get while I was there.
Were there any specific courses, projects, or people at UNC that sparked your interest in pursuing your current career path?
Meredith Petschauer, Kevin Guskiewicz, and Darin Padua were definitely very influential mentors for me, as I wanted to be just like them “when I grew up”! Also, the staff athletic trainers are the best in the world and definitely kept me very engaged and passionate about the field of athletic training. Both Rob Schneider and Christ Hirth challenged me on a daily basis as an athletic training student and I cannot thank them enough for the clinical experience I gained under their supervision.
What makes UNC and EXSS special to you?
I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend at UNC learning from the best faculty and clinical staff! Every professional opportunity that I have been provided can all be linked back to UNC. As I stated previously, I would not be who I am or where I am today without the wonderful faculty and staff athletic trainers at UNC.