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Whitworth Student Selected for Prestigious Athletic Trainers' Leadership Position

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 Trainers' Association.

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 president.

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."

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