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Three kinesiology students receive NATA Research and Education Foundation scholarships

Lauren Leathers

March 19, 2021

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Three students in the College’s department of kinesiology were awarded scholarships by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Research and Education Foundation to support their educational endeavors. Awardees include Rachel Johnson (Ph.D. ’23), Kaitlyn Jones (B.S.Ed. ’21) and Megan Pierce (B.S.Ed. ’21). A total of 65 NATA Foundation scholarships were awarded to students across the country.

Johnson received the Patty and Chuck Kimmel Scholarship. The endowment was established in 2013 to honor former NATA president Chuck Kimmel and his wife, Patty, for their unwavering dedication to the athletic training profession. The award provides an annual scholarship of $2,300 to a qualified athletic training student from District 9. Johnson is a doctoral candidate focusing on biomechanics. She is involved with UGA’s Concussion Research Laboratory and the UGA Biomechanics Research Laboratory.

“I am honored to receive this award recognizing my commitment and service to the profession of athletic training,” Johnson said. “The promotion of athletic training through scholarship, leadership and education is important to me and I look forward to continuing this support throughout my career.”

Jones was awarded the Jerry Rhea Scholarship, sponsored by Jerry Rhea/Atlanta Falcons Scholarship Fund. Named in honor of Jerry Rhea, a longtime head athletic trainer for the Atlanta Falcons and a former NATA president. The undergraduate scholarship of $2,300 is awarded to students pursuing a career in athletic training. Jones is currently in her last semester of a dual degree program consisting of athletic training and exercise and sport science. After graduating this spring, Jones will continue her education at the University of South Carolina’s post professional graduate program in athletic training.

“Receiving this scholarship means that others are able to look at my work, my achievements and my goals and believe that I will be successful in the athletic training career,” Jones said. “This award conveys that I am worth the investment so I may further represent athletic training in a way that honors and promotes the profession.”

Pierce, who studies both athletic training and exercise and sport science, received the Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society (PFATS) Jerry Rhea Scholarship. Established in 1983, the PFATS Foundation allocates funding, resources and voluntary efforts toward special programs and services of its members to a variety of NATA Foundation programs and services. PFATS Foundation currently awards nine $2,300 scholarships for athletic training students annually.

“I am humbled and blessed to be the recipient of this scholarship,” Pierce said. “Not only will this scholarship support my graduate studies next year, but it also affirms that the Lord has called me into pursuing this career. I could not have made it through this program without the support of the incredible faculty and staff in the athletic training program, as well as the encouragement of my family and friends. To me, this award honors all of them as well.”

Related links: Department of Kinesiology