The Exercise Science and Sport Studies Reunion and Symposium was held this week- end at Springfield College, and it was a very successful event. The occasion, which typically happens every five years, is a reunion of Springfield College alumni who are experts in the fields of athletic training, ex- ercise science and strength and conditioning These alumni and current students in their re- spective fields work together to present a highly educational convention.
One of the crucial mem- bers of putting this whole weekend together was the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Shannon O’Neill.
“We did have a couple of P.E. teachers come,” O’Neill said. “We had athletic trainers and we had sports medicine professionals. So they came back and we focused each session on addressing one of those three areas or disciplines.”
O’Neill was the coordinator for the alumni, faculty and staff, current students and also the prospective students during the weekend. In total, there were around 13 prospective Athletic Training or Exercise Science students who attended portions of the weekend.
“[The prospective students] were able to come, have an in-depth look as to what their departments would be doing and what alumni are doing,” O’Neill said. “They at- tended the sessions [and] in the afternoons they were given campus tours. They were able to check out their facilities specifically and then meet with current students and faculty about Springfield.”
One of the alumni who came back to Alden St. for the weekend was Julie Rochester (’88). Rochester, who is currently a professor and the di- rector of athletic training at Northern Michigan University, was awarded the Charles J. Redmond Distinguished Alum- ni Award. This award is given to an alumnus annually by the Athletic Training department.
“She was the recipient of [the award], but was also a speaker at the event this weekend,” O’Neill explained. “She hadn’t been back to campus since she graduated in 1988. She was absolutely floored at the changes that had happened.”
This weekend would not have been nearly as successful without the help of the Chair of the Exercise Science and Sport Studies department, Dr. Tracey Matthews. As the department chair, Matthews was the one who initiated the symposium and got the ball rolling for the events.
“I was involved with other faculty of developing and inviting the individuals to come and speak,” Matthews said. “So we identified who might be good individuals to present in the areas of strength and conditioning, athletic training and exercise science. Then we invited those individuals in and planned that piece.”
During most of the day throughout Sunday, senior Athletic Training students had the privilege to present their research projects they’ve been working so hard on. For many months, the senior ATs have been doing extensive research
and interviews that pertain to their topics. Finally, during this past Sunday, they got to pres- ent all of their hard work and findings.
All in all, Matthews thought that the weekend could not have gone better, and she was thrilled with the attendance, whether it be from the alumni, current students and faculty, or prospective students.
“I thought the weekend went great,” Matthews said. “I was very excited with the turn- out. The students here seemed to really appreciate the alums coming back and giving back their time and learning about different areas in exercise science, strength and conditioning and athletic training.”