2017 National Athletic Trainers' Association iLead Student Leadership Conference
By: Amelia Meigs (SLU MAT Class of 2017)
In February 2017, I had the privilege to attend the NATA iLead Student Leadership Conference for student leadership in athletic training with two other students from Saint Louis University: Stephanie Ross and Collin Peterson. If the 10 pages of notes doesn’t demonstrate the value of the NATA iLead conference, then surely the many connections made during the weekend does. The value of meeting students from different athletic training programs cannot be understated—learning how other schools educate and promote the growth of students can teach us about the variety of experiences an athletic training education can provide. I met two students from my home state of Washington—something I didn’t expect when heading down to Dallas, TX. I was also privileged enough to meet students from Missouri (my current home) but studying elsewhere.
The presentations at iLead were carefully crafted and chosen, and each held value to my leadership development. The presentation by Dr. Scott Bruce on ethics allowed me to build my skills discerning the appropriate response to difficult situations I may face in my career. I learned how my upholding of the NATA ethical standards will demonstrate to my colleagues, superiors, and community the high level of ethics athletic trainers are held to and advance the profession. The standardized patient experience, while already a part of my athletic training education program, reinforced the integration of classroom skills into practical situations, and left me knowledgeable about the skills required to be an outstanding athletic trainer.
Dr. Malissa Martin presented on post-professional programs, and allowed me to begin crafting not only a vision for my future, but a method to get there. The presentation by EDAC representatives Murphy Grant, Dr. Marnie Vanden Noven, Dr. Dani Moffit, and Dr. Kysha Harriell allowed me to build practical knowledge and skills about cultural competence and its effect on athletic training. The networking presentation by President Scott Sailor left me with practical skills to build my network and the confidence to begin. Throughout the conference, education I already had was reinforced and improved by practical applications directly to my career.
I was extremely privileged to be sponsored by the Missouri Athletic Trainer’s Association to attend iLead. The weekend taught me the importance of athletic trainers and how to articulate my value. I came back with practical skills and knowledge that I will apply to my career before and upon graduating this May. I am so appreciative of the lessons taught and path paved for me by the current leaders of the NATA and state associations. This experience was one we as students will never forget.