WCU’s Manners wins national athletic training award

Jill Manners, associate professor and director of the athletic training education program at Western Carolina University, has been selected as one of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award recipients for 2014.

Manners, a resident of Cullowhee, received the award during NATA’s 65th clinical symposia and athletic training expo in Indianapolis on Friday, June 27.

The Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award is presented to NATA members who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to leadership, volunteer service, advocacy and distinguished professional activities as an athletic trainer.

The award exclusively recognizes NATA members who have been involved in service and leadership activities at the national and district level, and acknowledges outstanding dedication and service to the athletic training profession. Candidates for the award must have held the certified athletic trainer credential, conferred by the board of certification, and have been an NATA member, both for at least 20 years.

“We are always excited to recognize the dedication, excellence, inspirational outlook and commitment of our honorees, and this year is no exception,” said Chuck Kimmel, chair of the association’s honors and awards committee. “These recipients serve as role models to their peers and represent some of the best of the best of the athletic training profession. We know they will continue to contribute to their place of work and their community at large in ensuring quality of care and optimal health moving into the years ahead.”

Manners began teaching at WCU in 2004 and was named director of the academic program in athletic training in 2010. She has twice been chosen as a nominee for the University of North Carolina system’s primary teaching honor, the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, and she has been a four-time finalist for the university’s highest teaching honor, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She was recipient of the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Educator of the Year Award in 2009.

NATA honored Manners last year with the Gail Weldon Award of Excellence, which recognizes one athletic trainer each year who has shown “an exceptional commitment to mentoring, professional development and life balancing for women athletic trainers or significant contributions to improve the health care of females provided by athletic trainers.”

For more information about the athletic training education program at WCU, visit the website athletictraining.wcu.edu.

Jill Manners, associate professor, has no difficulty getting students to raise their hands in class. She simply asks them to.

Jill Manners, associate professor, has no difficulty getting students to raise their hands in class. She simply asks them to, as she demonstrates clinical techniques.