posted December 16, 2008

Senior Molly Smith Chosen for National Program

 The Michigan Athletic Trainers' Society (MATS) has named Hope College senior Molly Smith of Urbana, Ill., one of only two students who are attending Michigan colleges or universities to participate in the student leadership program of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA).

Smith and Kent Games of Grand Valley State University were selected to participate in the iLead ("I...  Lead, Engage, Activate, Develop") program, which will take place in Washington, D.C., on Saturday-Monday, Feb. 21-23.  The program is designed for a maximum of 150 students nationwide - up to three per state.

The program will present a series of interactive sessions designed to help the students develop leadership skills.  Presented in conjunction with the 2009 Hill Day Campaign and Athletic Training Educators' Conference, the program will also prepare students for future participation in NATA's StarTRACK program, which is designed to develop future leaders in the athletic training profession.

Smith is an athletic training major.  Her clinical experience has included working with the college's football, men's basketball, swimming, volleyball, women's soccer and women's tennis teams, as well as with a local high school and summer sports camps at the University of Illinois.

Her activities at Hope have also included the Relay for Life fundraiser on behalf of the American Cancer Society, Acting on AIDS and the Mortar Board honor society.  She is the daughter of James and Betsy Smith of Urbana, and a 2005 graduate of University High School.

Athletic trainers are allied health care professionals who prevent, manage and rehabilitate injuries in physically active populations. Hope offers a major in athletic training as one of three majors within the department of kinesiology. Hope was the first liberal arts college in Michigan, and is one of only a few institutions in the state, to have its athletic training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.