Mackenzie Strother, LAT, ATC

BSAT Dec 2019
Athletic Trainer, Capital Region

At CMU, I learned to go with my first instinct and trust myself. I learned as a student to take every opportunity given. I developed a good sense of "quick care". I am used to second guessing myself in many situations. Right now, I work with Parkinson's patients during the day and cover high school sports at night. I wouldn't have had the confidence without CMU. The football rotation was where I learned the most. We got a lot of autonomy and learned how to make snap decisions.

I am glad I choose CMU because I feel like more than a number. To this day, my teachers still reach out to me and send opportunities for CEUs. I am so grateful to have a "second family" at CMU who only adds to my professional relationships.

Cassidy Evans Windsor, MS, ATC

BSAT May 2018
Athletic Trainer and Instructor, University of West Alabama

"CMU's athletic training program gave me the tools and foundation professionally that have helped me build the career I have today. The emphasis on true patient centered care and evidence-based practice prepared me for my first position as a certified. If I didn't know an answer, I knew how to find it, even as a young and inexperienced clinician. Even now, these are two of my strongest traits, as a professor, clinician, and student.

My clinical experiences taught me how to be a confident certified on my own. CMU taught me that it's okay to fail as a clinician as long as I learned from it and grew from it. My first position out of undergrad was as a head athletic trainer at a high school. I was on my own really early in my career, and CMU gave me the tools to confidently do that. The importance of networking was also stressed, and I firmly believe that I would not be where I am today professionally without knowing how to network and without the network CMU started me with. I also had access to excellent professors and preceptors that I have been able to model after now that I serve in both of those roles. The mindset of "never stop learning and growing" that CMU exemplified is something that I bring to my job and personal development every day.

CMU also brought people into my life that very quickly became family and will always be considered as such in my life. Central is not the right choice for everyone, but it provided the structure I needed to succeed academically at that time in my life, and I do not regret a second of my time spent there."

Nikki FleischmannNikki Fleischmann, LAT, ATC

BSAT Dec. 2016
Head Athletic Trainer, Waynesville High School; Waynesville, MO

I love the small school setting and how hands-on they were and ensuring we got the best immersive experience throughout the 4 years in the program, from the moment we came in as pre-AT students freshman year to when we graduated. My most memorable experience is our senior year secondary school setting clinical. I kept saying I would never be in a high school, but that clinical experience changed my mindset and was the stepping stone to decide my future goals. I also loved the connections we had with the orthopedic setting to be able to observe surgeries throughout the program, which was cool for me to be able to see a specific surgery and see the athlete’s full rehab process.

My clinical experience gave me the hands-on skills that we talked about in class. For me, I’m a hands-on and visual learner, so the labs and clinicals were essential for me to gain experience and confidence with specific skills. Honestly, I believe my clinical experience shaped my future career goals because of it wasn’t for my full immersive semester at a high school, getting to learn a ton of skills under different athletic trainers was different and cool. It helped me realize the secondary school setting is where I belong to be that mentor figure to students.

CMU Athletic Training was the perfect program for me, and I definitely made the right decision due to the close family aspect and small class sizes. I felt like a student and was given the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experiences and clinical learning opportunities versus just being a number. I made lifelong friends and classmates that I still communicate with now, whether about life or utilizing them as a brain to pick with work situations. My professors were very caring and were the perfect mentors, helping me realize I wanted to stay in the field of Athletic Training and become a teacher at the high school level to be the role model and inspiration to young students. I am grateful for CMU for these opportunities.

Brian WelchBrian Welch, ATC, PTA

BSAT 2010
Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist Assistant, Hendrick Medical Center; Abilene, Texas

I had a great experience with all my classes. Wade, Teresa, Rick and Jill really cared for us! They wanted us to succeed. I was very Impressed how every professor I had really knew their students! It gave you big experience in a small atmosphere. My favorite clinical was with Columbia Rockbridge! Greg was awesome! He really gave us time to learn and was very patient!

I was a non-traditional student and already had a professional license as a physical therapist assistant. Jill was my advisor and always flexible. They didn’t take it easy on me and I really had to show I was committed to the profession. I learned so much about how much commitment and dedication it really took to be an athletic trainer.