University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

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AJ Epperson
AJ (Aaron) Epperson ATC

AJ joined us from Boise State University and will be starting his 2nd year in the program Fall ’05. His first clinical assignment included a busy year with Intercollegiate Football followed by Track & Field, and he looks forward to working with the Wrestling team Fall ’05. AJ is currently pursuing a thesis surrounding the use of massage therapy as a modality in the athletic training room.

What would you tell an applicant to ensure their expectations about our program were as accurate as possible?

First of all, I would hope each individual would contact current grad students in the program, more than one, and ask specific questions that might help them develop appropriate and accurate expectations. Another important realization will be that much of what undergraduate programs teach is the tip of the iceberg. The foundation is laid and construction begins yet again once setting foot in Eugene!

What is an accredited post-certification athletic training masters program, and why would anyone want to pursue a graduate athletic training program instead of a graduate degree in another discipline?

An accredited post-certification athletic training masters program is an intense continuation of an undergraduate athletic training program. Academically, it builds on fundamental knowledge and concentrates on more specifics found through current research. Some classes in this type of program will also add tools to the tool box in areas such as rehabilitation, modalities, and research. Why go to a program like this? The knowledge you gain gives a person better marketability within the athletic training field and presents more options.

Do you believe that as a member of our graduate AT program you have developed important relationships that will provide you with professional or personal support in the future?

Absolutely! The athletic training staff in intercollegiate sports, not to mention the academic staff of the program, are extremely respected and well known in the field. Developing the relationship with these people needed for good networking is up to the graduate student!

Do you believe that you are (or will be) a better athletic trainer because of the academic and/or clinical experiences you are obtaining as a member of this program?

I already am! The academic knowledge learned in class applies itself almost everyday within the clinical experience. Itís almost eerie how what you learned in class that day can apply to practice later in the afternoon.