Students From Across U.S., Japan Excel in Athletic Training Program
The University of Arkansas Graduate Athletic Training Program attracts students from all over the United States, and this year is no exception. The top students come from five U.S. states and another country, and their career plans span several sports and competitive levels.
Five students received this year’s Bill Ferrell athletic training scholarship, with one of the students, Katie Buria, receiving both the Bill Ferrell and Dean Weber scholarships. The sixth student, Yuka Ogata, received the Dr. Al Gordon athletic training scholarship.
An undergraduate student in the department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Randi Woodard, was awarded the Zachary Brian Hooper Endowed Award in Athletic Training.
Blake Hockaday is from Nashville, Arkansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the U of A in 2018. Hockaday is splitting his time in clinical rotation between Razorback women’s basketball and women’s golf. He wants to be an athletic trainer to help people return to doing what they love and to chase their dreams. He aspires to someday be an athletic trainer at a Power 5 university.
Abigail Flynn, from Louisville, Kentucky, earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Western Kentucky University in 2017. She’s completing her clinical rotation with the Razorback football team this semester. Her interest in athletic training started with an appreciation for how the human body operates. She has a desire to help others reach their goals not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Flynn plans to be an athletic trainer at the collegiate level.
Emily Appold, from Holmen, Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2018 with a kinesiology degree. Appold is completing clinical rotations with both the Razorback men’s track and field team and the cross country team. She wants to be an athletic trainer so she can have a lasting impact on athletes and see them all the way through, from injury through the return to play process. Her professional goal is to work in Division I athletics.
Katie Buria is from Buhl, Minnesota. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science from University of Wisconsin – River Falls in 2017. Buria is splitting her time in clinical rotation between the Razorback spirit and tennis teams. She has a passion for sports and serving others, so a career in athletic training feels like the perfect fit. She aspires to work in professional basketball. Buria won both the Bill Ferrell and Dean Weber scholarships.
Kenzie May, from Spring, Texas, graduated from Baylor University in 2014 with a degree in English education. May returned to Colorado State University and finished course work in Health and Exercise Science in 2017. She’s doing a clinical rotation at John Brown University this semester. May has a passion for helping others reach their full potential through sport, and athletic trainers get to care for athletes in all aspects of their health completely through the injury process. She aspires to work in collegiate athletics.
Yuka Ogata is from Osaka, Japan. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sport sciences from Waseda University in 2018. She’s doing a clinical rotation at Bentonville West High School this semester. “I believe that what we do will enhance interactions between all the medical staff, coaches, athletes and their families for their safe and effective performance and return to activity, and I believe we are the ones to make changes in this field,” she said. Ogata’s professional goal is to work in major league baseball and to improve athletic training and sports safety in Japan. Ogata won the Dr. Al Gordon scholarship for this academic year.
Randi Woodard won the Zachary Brian Hooper Endowed Award in Athletic Training Scholarship. The scholarship was established in memory of Zachary, Gaye Manning’s son.
Several Razorback football players, from the 1979 team that won the Southwestern Conference Championship that year, attended the event. Dean Weber was their athletic trainer.