SHU Junior Selected as Student Delegate
Manchester High graduate Mindi McLaughlin becomes second-ever appointee to regional post
Mindi McLaughlin always loved sports, especially competing on the softball fields and volleyballs courts of her hometown of Manchester, Conn. But that was only half of her career equation.
In 2003, as a senior at Manchester High School, McLaughlin studied anatomy. “I just fell in love with the science,” McLaughlin said. “So I figured I’d put the two together, and I got into athletic training.”
Now a junior at SHU McLaughlin has taken her pursuit of athletic training to a height few others can boast: She was recently selected Connecticut’s sole student delegate to the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA).
The EATA, a regional district of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), was founded in 1949. The organization established its Student Delegation in 2006.
“The program was born to promote student leadership and to provide students with a voice in the organization,” said Tim Speicher, an EATA member and clinical assistant professor and interim program director of SHU’s Human Movement and Sports Science Program. Speicher added that student delegates are receiving national exposure, as other NATA districts are adopting the program model.
One of the chief responsibilities of student delegates, according to the EATA, is to allow students “to develop and take advantage of leadership opportunities … in planning, hosting and management of the EATA Athletic Training Student Education Program during the EATA Annual Meeting and Symposium [January 11-14, 2008, in Valley Forge, Pa.].”
“We had a recap of last year’s national conference, of the good and the bad things and what we can do to change them,” McLaughlin said. “I’ll be going throughout the schools that have athletic training programs and trying to get people to sign up early for the conference this year. I’m in charge of spreading the news and trying to better our profession.”
Until now, McLaughlin has already enjoyed a successful college career, doing clinical rotations with the athletic trainers of the SHU women’s lacrosse and soccer teams, and also working with the Fairfield University women’s basketball team and with all the sports programs at Staples High School in Westport, Conn. That work, combined with her personal skills, is what earned McLaughlin the nomination to the EATA Student Delegation.
“Mindi is a dedicated, attentive, caring and hard-working individual and student,” Speicher said. “She has an ability to both professionally and personally address matters of concern in an effective and efficient manner—she demonstrates leadership skills of students I see at the master's level. We’re very proud to have had Mindi chosen for this post.”
McLaughlin sees the opportunity as an important step in her education and as a chance to be an ambassador to others who hope to study athletic training. She also recognizes that it’s a great stride toward achieving her career goals.
“It’s a big responsibility for me to take on, but I’m excited and ready for it,” McLaughlin said. “And I think it will definitely give me a good foot in the door for my profession. I’ve talked to people all over New England and even down to New Jersey and Delaware, so it’s already given me connections up and down the east coast.”