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Spotlights

Ally Smith found a place to belong at Otterbein.


Ally Smith
MSAH student

“The one factor that stood out to me when I visited campus in the fall of 2009, was the feeling of closeness and family that the Department of Health and Sports Sciences has. If only I knew during that initial visit that this department and the faculty and staff who make it what it is, would play such a large part in my life both personally and professionally.”

My name is Ally Smith and I have had the pleasure of being a student at Otterbein University for the past six years. During my junior year as an athletic training student I was introduced into the research opportunities that Otterbein has to offer. I, along with a classmate, Sam Kelley, began work on our Senior Research Project, which is a requirement of the athletic training curriculum at Otterbein. We choose to look at stretching technique for baseball pitchers and determined the effect of the stretch on their range of motion. We submitted our work to the Ohio Athletic Trainer’s Association annual symposium and ended up winning the Undergraduate Research award at the end of our senior year. Soon after this accomplishment, I sat for and passed the Board of Certification test and became a Certified Athletic Trainer.

During my final clinical rotation I had the opportunity to work with an Otterbein alumni Justin Tatman and the Otterbein men’s lacrosse team. During this rotation, Justin fully immersed me into what it is to be a collegiate athletic trainer and helped me decide that’s where I wanted my career to end up.

Not long after my undergraduate graduation, I began searching for an applying to any athletic training jobs I could find. About a month into the process, I got a call that forever would change my life. Chuck Goodwin, head athletic trainer for Otterbein, offered me the graduate assistant position and I accepted and began in August of 2014.

As the GA for the Athletic Training Department, I get to add another exciting layer to the family that helped me grow so much over the four years of my undergraduate experience. I am able to work along-side the mentors that taught me, shaped me, molded me into the clinician I am today. I am the assistant AT for Otterbein football and am currently working with the baseball team. In my first year I was able to gain great experiences working with the indoor track and field team as well as the men’s lacrosse team.

One important aspect of my position is that I am able to work toward my Master’s degree which I will graduate with this spring. Throughout my master’s courses I have been able to continue the research process through my thesis. I choose to conduct my own original research in validating a smartphone application for measuring shoulder range of motion. I am finishing up my project and am hopeful to present once again at the Ohio Athletic Trainer’s Association annual symposium as well as get my study published in a scientific journal this spring.

My favorite aspect of my GA position is that I am able to mentor the undergraduate students and act as a bridge between them and the athletic training staff. I want to create that sense of family at Otterbein that has so much shaped the person I am today.