Whitworth senior Jessica Matsuyama was first inspired to become
an athletic trainer while, as a child, she sat beside her father
watching Seattle Mariners' games.
"I spotted the athletic trainer out helping one of the injured
players and knew that was what I wanted to do," Matsuyama says.
Matsuyama's passion for sports and helping people propelled her
into the highest student-athletic training position in the Northwest.
Matsuyama, who is an athletic-training major and political-science
minor at Whitworth, was selected to be the athletic-training-student
president of the Northwest Athletic Trainers' Association. The NWATA
is known as District 10, a local region of the National Athletic
District 10 covers Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska
and three Canadian provinces, and serves as a local governing body
by electing officers and creating its own bylaws.
"I am the advocate for all students within the NWATA to the
district board," Matsuyama says.
All undergraduate and graduate students in the ten accredited
athletic training programs within the district are a part of the
association. The association also includes certified and non-certified
athletic trainers, students and other allied healthcare professionals.
The athletic-trainer-student president position is open to all
athletic training students in the district with junior standing
or higher. Those who qualify must submit a résumé,
letter of application with goals for the position, and two letters
of recommendation. The The College and University Athletic Training
Students' Committee then selects a candidate to become the student
As president, Matsuyama will help choose presenters for and host
the student forum at the annual district meeting, which will be
held in Spokane in March 2005. She also keeps students up to date
about the latest job, educational and research opportunities through
a regular e-mail newsletter.
Whitworth's Athletic Training Education Program helped prepare
Matsuyama for the presidential position, she says.
"Everyone at Whitworth supports students becoming more active
in the leadership and governing of our profession," Matsuyama
says. "Also, Whitworth's Athletic Training Education Program
and its faculty have provided me with the basic knowledge of our
profession needed to represent the students of NWATA."