Jun 28, 2019
NATA inducts 7 athletic trainers into Hall of Fame

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) inducted seven athletic trainers into its prestigious Hall of Fame at the NATA 70th Clinical Symposia and AT Expo in Las Vegas on Wednesday evening. The NATA Hall of Fame is the highest honor an athletic trainer can receive. Honorees exemplify the mission of NATA through significant and lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. Since inducting its first class in 1962, more than 317 athletic trainers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. These men and women have shaped the profession through their noteworthy accomplishments and dedication to service, leadership and professionalism. 

The 2019 NATA Hall of Fame inductees are Pat Aronson, PhD, LAT, LPTA, ATC, David Csillan, MS, LAT, ATC, Christopher Ingersoll, PhD, ATC, Timothy L. Neal, MS, AT, ATC, CCISM, Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC, Gretchen Schlabach, PhD, ATC, and Charles “Skip” Vosler, AT Ret.

Pat Aronson, PhD, LAT, LPTA, ATC

NATA logoPat Aronson is currently a professor of athletic training at the University of Lynchburg. During her 31-year stint, she has served as head athletic trainer, clinical education coordinator and faculty athletic representative. She has dedicated her career to infusing knowledge and research into the profession of athletic training, publishing numerous studies in the Journal of Athletic Training. An avid volunteer, she spent extensive time working as the District Three Director and member of the NATA Board of Directors. Aronson also serves as an editor for the Journal of Athletic Training, where she reviews manuscripts and assists students with research projects.

In 2017, she became the founding chair of the NATA LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee. Celebrated for her extensive service to the profession, Aronson has amassed many awards and honors. She was inducted into the Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and, in 1996, she was awarded the K. Madison Smith award for Academic Excellence from CHRV College of Health Sciences for her work in the physical therapy assistant’s program. In 1998, NATA awarded her the Athletic Trainer Service award and in 2004, she received the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer. The Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association inducted her into their Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Mid-Athletic Trainers’ Association did the same in 2018. 

David Csillan, MS, LAT, ATC

Since 1991, David Csillan has served as an athletic trainer at Ewing High School in New Jersey. Csillian served for nine years as president of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey. During his term, New Jersey became the first and only state to award tenure to eligible secondary school athletic trainers. He was also instrumental in advancing the state’s Athletic Training Practice Act from registration to licensure. At the district level, he spearheaded the creation and implementation of the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association ’49 Club award, the highest honor an EATA member can receive.

Csillan co-chaired the NATA Inter-Association Task Force on Preseason Heat Acclimatization Guidelines for Secondary School Athletics. This milestone marked the first time the NATA had gone beyond providing information for injury prevention. Csillan was an NATA District Two Representative on the Secondary Schools Committee, NATA liaison to the National Federation of State High Schools Association and NATA liaison to USA Football. He was elected District Two Secretary for two terms and served as vice-chair and chair of the NATA District Secretaries’/Treasurers’ Committee. But, most unique of all, Csillan was previously inducted into three hall of fames: New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (2004), Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (2008) and Ewing High School Athletics (2011); NATA Hall of Fame makes the fourth.

Christopher Ingersoll, PhD, ATC

Christopher Ingersoll has a demonstrated dedication to advancing the profession. After earning his PhD in 1989 from The University of Toledo, he became an assistant professor at University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Around the same time, he became involved the Journal of Athletic Training where he would eventually go on to serve as the Editor-in-Chief while on the faculty at the University of Virginia. Ingersoll also served as the president for the NATA Research & Education Foundation.

While working at Indiana State University, he served as the chair of the Post-Professional Graduate Education committee. Because of his dedication to scholarship, he went on to receive the Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator award and the William G. Clancy, MD, Medal for Distinguished Athletic Training Research. He has also served as a dean at Central Michigan University and The University of Toledo. He is the current commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

Timothy L. Neal, MS, AT, ATC, CCISM

Timothy Neal has dedicated his 40-year career to making a difference in the profession of athletic training by enhancing patient and athlete safety and wellness.  In 2010, Neal served on the NCAA Concussion in Sport Medical Management panel. He also chaired two NATA Inter-Association Consensus Statements on developing plans to recognize and refer psychological concerns in athletes. In 2013, he chaired the statement affecting collegiate athletes and, in 2015, he chaired the statement regarding secondary school athletes.

In 2014, Neal was part of the writing group for the NATA Position Statement on pre-participation physical examinations and medically disqualifying conditions. From 2015 to 2019, he served as chair of the NATA Committee on Professional Ethics. During that time, he authored the revised NATA Code of Ethics in 2016. Aiming to give back to the people who give the most, he became the founding member of the ATs Care Committee. With the goal of generating order around the expectations of athletic trainers, he helped develop the Professional Responsibility in Athletic Training Committee.

Some of the most impactful moments of his career include his activity as the NATA liaison to the NCAA, the liaison to the NCAA Football Rules Committee, and the NCAA Student-Athlete Mental Health Task Force. He also authored and revised chapters in the NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook on catastrophic incident planning and student-athlete mental health, and contributed to the NCAA football rules book.

Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC

Scott Sailor, NATA’s thirteenth President, has dedicated his career to advancing the profession of athletic training through service. His more than 30-year career started in the NFL when he became the summer athletic training intern for the San Francisco 49ers. After a brief stint working with the 49ers and performing as an orthopedic technician at Tucson Medical, he spent the majority of his career working as college professor, leading athletic training programs and working with collegiate athletes as an AT.

One of his earliest major volunteer roles was on the NATA PR Committee, which was followed by his role as Far West Athletic Trainers’ Association district secretary. Because of the relationships he built, he was elected District Eight director, and served on the NATA Board of Directors.  After accepting the nomination for vice president of NATA and taking on major projects such as the Nomenclature Work Group Vision Quest, he was elected President of the Association. His term as president was filled with opportunities to meet young leaders and veterans, all aiming to make a difference in the future of athletic training in various ways.

Gretchen Schlabach, PhD, ATC

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College, and a master’s degree from Indiana University, Gretchen Schlabach’s accepted a position at Western Michigan University.  That was followed by eight years at the University of Mississippi, where she served as head women’s athletic trainer.  After completing her doctoral work, Gretchen entered the professoriate and accepted the program directorship at Northern Illinois University, where she retired in 2014. 

Schlabach’s professional scholarship and service has been in the areas of professional ethics, values and responsibility in athletic training.  She co-authored the first text dedicated solely to professional ethics, Professional Ethics in Athletic Training.  Schlabach served on the inaugural NATA Women in Athletic Training Committee, which advanced women’s concerns and life-balance issues in athletic training. Currently, she is the founding chair of the inaugural NATA Professional Responsibility in Athletic Training Committee, which is dedicated to promoting legal, ethical and regulatory awareness, analysis, action and adherence. Schlabach has been recognized with the professor emerita distinction from Northern Illinois University, NATA Athletic Training Service and Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Awards, as well as a Gail Weldon Award of Excellence.

Charles “Skip” Vosler, AT Ret.

From athletic injury to physical therapy business owner, Charles “Skip” Vosler has come a long way.  His career in athletic training began in 1958 when Erie Biggs, former head athletic trainer at Ohio State University hired him as a student. This sparked his passion for the profession, and he has been completely engrossed in athletic training ever since. While at Ohio State, he spent one pre-season as assistant athletic trainer for the New York Titans. 

In addition to working as assistant athletic trainer at Ohio State from 1961 to 1964, he served as Head Athletic Trainer at several universities from 1964 through 1997 – Defiance College, Ashland University and Ohio University where he developed an undergraduate and master’s degree program in athletic training.  In 1998, he opened Southeast Ohio Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy.  Today he is the Vice President of Grimm Scientific Industries.  Vosler has volunteered in various capacities – from founding the Athletic Equipment Manager’s Association (AEMA) to serving on the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association (OATA) Hall of Fame committee for 30 years.  His goal – to personify his parents’ lesson: get involved where your voice can make a difference.

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