Meet Dr. Williams. Dr. Williams is an Assistant Professor of Athletic Training for Drake’s Master of Athletic Training program. As the newest member of the Drake AT faculty, Dr. Williams is looking forward to being part of this new program and seeing her students dive into their clinical experiences.
Richelle Williams joined the Athletic Training faculty at Drake University in 2019. Growing up in California, she comes to us with a background in athletic training and kinesiology, having a variety of experiences in practice and academia. In 2018, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical outcome studies at A.T. Still University. Prior to her fellowship, she completed her education at San Diego State University (B.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training), A.T. Still University (M.S. in Post-Professional Athletic Training) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D. in Kinesiology). Dr. Williams' area of expertise is in sport-related concussions and the implementation of sport safety initiatives, which she is very excited to incorporate into her teaching in the MAT program here at Drake. She currently teaches courses in management of injuries, health care systems, and patient-centered approaches to quality healthcare to A1 students.
Athletic trainers have an integral role in healthcare. Athletic trainers are healthcare providers who diagnose, treat and manage a variety of injuries in all populations. Athletic trainers are often the first to communicate with parents, coaches and other healthcare provides on injury and management plans. Athletic trainers provide life-saving healthcare and are important for all sports and schools to have access to.
Athletic trainers have the unique opportunity to see a patient from the initial on-field injury through the rehabilitation process. This allows athletic trainers to develop great rapport with their patients and have a strong impact on care. As an athlete, I was exposed to athletic training in college. The impact that the athletic trainer made on my care initiated my interest in pursuing athletic training. I started shadowing other athletic trainers and soon started to love the profession. I realized that there was much more to athletic training than I had originally thought and began to consider other aspects of athletic training as a career.
My research areas focus on pediatric sport-related concussions as well as the implementation and policies of sports safety initiatives. These areas of research are important for healthcare and specifically athletic training, to be able to improve patient care.
As the newest member of the Drake MAT faculty, I looked at the opportunities Drake provided related to building a new program and was encouraged by the current faculty and students.
Drake University provides students with an all-encompassing education and the opportunity to learn alongside other healthcare professions. The clinical experiences that the students have access to are amazing opportunities to see the full scope of care.
I am looking forward to seeing this first cohort dive into athletic training and have a “light bulb” moment on putting their education into clinical experiences.
Reach out to your advisors to talk about the profession and seek insight from all aspects of athletic training. There are a lot of career paths and opportunities for student’s post-graduation and being able to learn about them is great before starting a career in AT.