A University of Maine at Presque Isle faculty member has received a prestigious national award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). Barbara Blackstone, Coordinator of Athletic Training Education, Chair of the College of Professional Programs, and Chair of the College of Education, was selected to receive a 2016 Athletic Trainer Service Award during the 2016 NATA Convention, held in Baltimore, Maryland on June 24.
NATA is an association for certified athletic trainers and people who support the athletic training profession. The association has more than 43,000 members worldwide.
“We are extremely proud of Barb for receiving this national recognition,” UMPI Interim President Ray Rice said. “Barb works very hard to ensure we offer an Athletic Training program of the highest quality and serves as such an important proponent of the athletic training profession. And she does all of this while serving in one of the top academic roles on our campus. We commend Barb for all the work she does to better our campus and serve as a leader in her field.”
The Athletic Trainer Service Award recognizes NATA members for their contributions to the athletic training profession and to NATA. It also reflects decades of service and leadership at state and local levels. To be eligible for the award, recipients must have at least 20 years of service with NATA. Blackstone has been involved in NATA for 25 years. During the 2016 convention, there were 45 recipients of this award from all over the country. Since 2006, there have been 345 recipients of this award. Blackstone said that she was aware of only two people from Maine that have also received this award.
During its annual convention, NATA gives out awards for Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer, the Athletic Trainer Service Award, the Eve Becker-Doyle Leadership Award, Honorary Membership awards, the Jack Weakley Award of Distinction, NATA Fellows awards, the Gail Weldon Award of Excellence, the Tim Kerin Award, the AOSSM Award, and the AAPSM Excellence in Athletic Training Award. NATA officials also induct a select few athletic trainers into the association’s Hall of Fame.
“I was very honored to receive this award,” Blackstone said. “I appreciate the nomination from Chris Rizzo, Maine Athletic Trainer Association President. As a young professional, engagement in our professional organizations was important to my growth as an athletic trainer. As a certified athletic trainer and as an associate professor, I wanted to encourage those around me to be engaged in our profession as well. I have been fortune to have helped our profession grow in the state, to be state licensed and to have an impact on the health of physically active people throughout the state of Maine. I have enjoyed traveling around the nation meeting other athletic trainers, traveling with others from around our state, and especially taking students to national conferences, a great opportunity to share my passion for my profession.”
For more information about NATA, visit its website at www.nata.org.