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Campus Life

Montana Western athletic trainer gains national recognition

russ3The University of Montana Western's Russ Richardson received the Athletic Trainer Service Award from the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA).

In addition, Richardson earned the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer from NATA. His peers honored Richardson’s exceptional contributions to the profession of athletic training through personal sacrifice.

On top of the two awards from NATA, Richardson was inducted into the Washington State Athletic Trainers Association (WSATA) Hall of Fame. That recognition was for outstanding professionalism, dedication, and contributions to the WSATA over nearly 30 years of service. 

“I am incredibly honored and humbled by the recognitions that I received this year,” said Richardson. “In many ways, it is overwhelming to have your peers honor you in these very special ways.”

Richardson currently serves as the chair for the NATA’s Executive Committee for Education. 

The Executive Committee for Education informs and assists the profession in setting the direction for athletic training education. Emphasizing a commitment to improving patient care through an evidence-based approach, the committee proactively influences best educational practices that reflect athletic training’s inter-professional nature and commitment to learning.

Since Jan. 1, 2014, Richardson has traveled to Connecticut, Georgia, Texas, Utah, Oregon, California, Iowa, Florida, Indiana and Nevada to give professional presentations.

 At the end of June, the NATA announced Richardson as one of the two candidates for the Presidency of the NATA. Voting for the position will happen in September 2014.

Richardson has been a member of NATA since 1979, and has been an athletic trainer and associate professor for Montana Western for three years. Richardson is also a Montana Western alum. He majored in industrial arts, physical education and sports medicine with a K-12 teaching endorsement.

“I think what is most exciting to me is I am able to give back to the university that prepared me for the success I have had professionally,” said Richardson.  “I was given the opportunity to grow and develop my leadership skills while at Montana Western. Through those opportunities along with incredible professors, I developed the foundation for my career.  It has been a lot of fun to come full circle in my career, ending up where I began.”