Gardner receives national recognition for athletic training accreditation

Greg Gardner, Ed.D., LAT, ATC, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitative Sciences and clinical professor of athletic training at The University of Tulsa Oxley College of Health Sciences has been named this year’s winner of the Bob and Lynn Caruthers Service Award by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

The award honors those who demonstrate the character and performance traits of the individuals for whom the award is named including a commitment to professional education and service in athletic training accreditation. “I can tell you that Greg Gardner is exceptionally dedicated to our profession from all perspectives including clinical practice, education, professional service and scholarship,” said Patrick Sexton, Ed.D., ATR, ATC and director of athletic training education at Minnesota State University.

Gardner was nominated by several of his contemporaries including TU Oxley College of Health Sciences Associate Dean Ron Walker, Ed.D. AT, CSCS. “Throughout his career, Greg has demonstrated significant and distinguished service to athletic training professional education and accreditation, including the CAATE. He doesn’t just serve, he approaches service leadership opportunities with the same dedication to integrity, professionalism and excellence that he applies to each of his personal, professional and academic efforts. I can’t think of a more deserving person for this award,” Walker said.

One of Gardner’s students, Rachel Hildebrand Ph.D., LAT, ATC, who is now the Director of the  Athletic Training program and a clinical assistant professor of athletic training at the TU Oxley College of Health Sciences said, “Dr. Gardner had a major impact on my educational experience while I was at TU and has shaped me as a young professional. He is an inspirational teacher and has a passion for education and for athletic training. He always found a way to connect the classroom material to real-life experiences and situations. He created innovative and unique learning opportunities, such as study abroad, laboratory activities and invigorating lectures. I am honored to have come full circle with Doc G., first as his student and now as his colleague. He has a passion for advancing the profession through outstanding graduates and has an expectation that those graduates continue to lead the profession in a positive direction. I am grateful that he has invested in me and mentored me into a leadership position, and I look forward to learning from him for the rest of my career and cheering on all his future successes.”

Dean Robin Ploeger, Ed.D., LAT, ATC said, “I want to add my congratulations to Greg. He is very deserving of this award for all of the time and effort he has devoted to athletic training education and accreditation over the years.”

Gardner, who became a certified athletic trainer in 1985, has been active in the field of athletic training since then and is very involved in athletic training education. As a CAATE site visitor, he has completed approximately 30 site visits. Gardner served as a member of the Joint Review Committee on Athletic Training whose charge was to make accreditation recommendations to CAAHEP, the previous accrediting agency for athletic training. He was also a founding member of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.