ATEP receives inaugural award
Posted Sept. 18, 2008
Rafael Anguiano
Under the leadership of Marilyn Oliver, ULV’s Athletic Training Education Program, formed in 1989, is the first in the nation to receive the Bill Cramer Professional Development Award for excellence and professionalism. The award is given in honor of Bill Cramer, whose company, Cramer Products, has worked closely with athletic trainers and founded the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA), which supports more than 30,000 members worldwide.

From Staff Reports


The University of La Verne’s athletic education training program received an extra boost over the summer when it was honored with the inaugural Bill Cramer Professional Develop­ment Award.

The award, given by Cramer Products, Inc., included a grant for $2,000 and was the first award given in Bill Cramer’s name.

In the official letter sent to Marilyn Oliver, director of the athletic training education program, Cramer Products Vice President Ed Christman, said, “You and your program are to be commended on the professionalism that you demonstrate, the number of successful graduates that are currently serving as sports medicine health care specialists, and the commitment of the entire program as volunteers to many worthwhile and community serving projects. The University of La Verne has set an extremely high standard for all other ATEP schools to follow.”

“This is a tremendous honor for the ULV athletic training education program and the University,” Oliver said in a press release.

Cramer Products, founded in 1918, created the award in honor of their former chairman Charles William Cramer, who died in 2007.

The company has been an industry leader in sports medicine and athletic training supplies for more than 85 years.

ATEP faculty member Paul Alvarez explained how the student’s involvement at ULV and the program alumni success were some of the positive things the company saw.

“It’s kind of nice to receive support that students don’t have out of pocket,” Alvarez said.

Senior athletic training major Ashly Gillis is one of the program students who is excited about the award.

Gillis explained that the award was a way to keep the program going toward the future. Gillis hopes the program can help her as she seeks to go to graduate school for physical therapy.

“It’s really good for our program,” Gillis said. “It opens a lot of opportunities for us. It keeps us pushing.”

Along with Gillis, senior athletic training major Chris Duarte-McDermott believes the award shows the work the program has been doing

“I think it’s good because we really work hard,” Duarte-McDermott said.

The $2,000 grant will be used to help students travel to more nationally recognized conferences such as the Far West Athletic Trainers’ Association and the National Athletic Training Association.

Gillis explained how the grant will give more students an opportunity to see athletic training on a national basis.

“Going to places like these— you have a chance to meet students like you, and it’s great for networking,” Gillis said.

“They gave us a lot of leeway with the grant,” Alvarez said. “Whatever we decide to do with it would be appropriate.”

The ULV athletic training program is visible not only on campus but also in the community.

The organization has adopted a stretch of freeway on the 210 for their Adopt-A-Freeway project. Also, the program stages an annual Homecoming Fun Run, which starts early Homecoming Saturday. Last year, Duarte-McDermott was the coordinator for the run.

“We just want to give back; do something more than for ourselves,” Duarte-McDermott said.

“Even though we’re a small program, the quality of what we’re doing is amazing,” Alvarez said.

The La Verne athletic program, which competed against other top ranked schools in the nation, is happy to be the first program to receive this award.

“The fact that they chose our program as the first recipient of this award is an incredible honor,” ULV spokesman Charles Bentley said.

“It really says something about the standards that have been set and the kind of people we’ve had come out of here. For us, it’s all about recognition. We have a tremendous program and this is a great achievement,” Bentley said.

The ULV program, which was formed in 1989, has helped students receive a more personal education of athletic training. The program is a separate major within the movement and sports science department.

Students in the program receive several hands-on experinces.

Duarte-McDermott explained how he has enjoyed the relationships he has gained with his professors over the years.

“It was a good experience,” Duarte-McDermott said. “I like the one on one with the professors, not just as teachers, but more on a personal level.”

The program alumni base has increased over the years as graduates have been active across the country in athletic training.

Noteworthy ULV alumni includes Jervae Odom, who previously completed an internship with the Los Angeles Clippers and is currently serving an internship with the Minnesota Vikings, and Todd Hutchinson, who is the head athletic trainer with the San Diego Padres. His assistant trainer, Paul Navarro, is also a graduate of La Verne.

Also, there are several graduates who work in the local sector.

The list of alumni who work at the high school level as head athletic trainers includes Kira Au (Bishop Amat), Heather Pedevillano (Claremont), Michelle Geiger (Bonita) and Adrianna Ramirez (West Covina).

The athletic training program looks to continue their success way after the grant from this award is spent.

“Our students, staff and faculty continue to represent this program with excellence and professionalism,” Oliver said in a press release.

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