Luzita Vela has joined the athletic training faculty at Hope College as an instructor of kinesiology and assistant athletic trainer.

Vela, who began her work at Hope earlier this month, completed her master of science in athletic training at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., in May. A native of Pharr, Texas, she graduated magna cum laude from Texas Women's University in 1998.

"Luzita is outstanding in every dimension," said Dr. R. Richard Ray Jr., who is head athletic trainer and an associate professor of kinesiology at Hope. "Her professors describe her as enthusiastic, mature and competent. One of them told me that Luzita's work with the undergraduates at Barry made them feel like they had another full-time professor on the faculty."

While at Barry, Vela supervised the university's undergraduate athletic training students. She served as a student athletic trainer for several sports while at Texas Women's University, in addition to holding internships in cardiac rehabilitation and corporate wellness.

The college's program in athletic training is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), and has two full-time and three part-time faculty. Entrance into the program is competitive, with enrollment limited to approximately 20 students.