Dr. Kirk Brumels of the Hope College kinesiology faculty has received this year’s Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award from the graduating Class of 2023.
The H.O.P.E. award, first given in 1965, is presented by the graduating class to the professor who they feel epitomizes the best qualities of the Hope College educator. Brumels received the recognition during the college’s Commencement ceremony, held on Sunday, May 7, at Ray and Sue Smith Stadium.
Brumels is the John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson Professor of Kinesiology at Hope, where he has been a member of the faculty since 2001. He has been an athletic training professional for more than 30 years, serving at Hope and in the NFL; is active in professional associations at the state, regional and national level; and is an active scholar. He is a licensed Michigan athletic trainer as well as a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA).
Among other service to Hope through the years, he has also been head athletic trainer, program director for the college’s Athletic Training Education Program and chair of the Department of Kinesiology. He conducts research collaboratively with Hope students, who have been co-authors with him on several journal articles and have also presented with him at professional conferences.
He is a 1988 Hope graduate. He holds two graduate degrees from departments within Western Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Development, having completed his master’s in athletic training in 1990 and his doctorate in educational leadership in 2005.
Brumels worked with the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Massachusetts, from 1990 to 2001. His responsibilities included supervising, educating and coordinating student athletic trainers during summer training camp and various internship positions throughout the football season. He also worked with the team physician and head athletic trainer to coordinate all aspects of medical services for the team and its staff. As an athletic training student at Hope, he had held an internship with the Patriots during the summer before his senior year.
He has been extensively involved in professional associations throughout his career. He was president of the Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society (MATS) in 2011 and 2012, previously serving as president-elect in 2009-10 and as chair of the MATS Professional Education Committee during 2007 and 2008. He is also a past Michigan state representative to the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association (GLATA) and member of the NATA’s Professional Education Committee.
His areas of research and interests include human anatomy, athletic training, leadership and professional development. He has published many articles in refereed journals or edited academic volumes, with his scholarly work including co-authoring the fourth edition of the textbook “Developing Clinical Proficiency in Athletic Training: A Modular Approach,” authoring a chapter in the book “Workplace Concepts for Athletic Trainers” and co-authoring nine chapters in the textbook “Core Concepts in Athletic Training and Therapy.” Through the years, he has also made more than two dozen presentations at professional conferences.
Brumels is also a recreational/outdoor writer, with several articles published and under consideration for regional, state and national magazines. He is the editor of The Planing Form, an international newsletter for those who make and enjoy split bamboo fly rods.
He has received a variety of honors for professional achievement and service, including sharing the 1997 National Football League Professional Football Athletic Training Staff of the Year award in 1997; being inducted into the Michigan Athletic Trainer’s Society Hall of Fame in 2013; and an Athletic Trainer Service Award from NATA in June 2016. In addition, he received the Keystone Meritorious Achievement Award from the Alumni Society of Western Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Development in 2019, and was inducted into the Alumni Honor Academy of the Department of Human Performance and Health Education at Western Michigan University in 2017.