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Rocks inducted into OATA Hall of Fame

Rocks inducted into OATA Hall of Fame

Otterbein Athletic Training Program Director Joan Rocks has received many awards in her career, but possibly none as personal as her latest accolade.

“It’s just so surreal,” says Rocks, who was inducted into the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association (OATA) Hall of Fame on May 13. “It’s really something special to be thought of alongside so many pioneers in the industry and enshrined with them.”

Each year, the OATA honors athletic trainers, allied health professionals and educators across the state of Ohio who have made significant contributions to the profession. A select number of members are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year. This year, three individuals were inducted, including Rocks.

Rocks was introduced at the ceremony by a close friend who detailed Rocks’ contributions to Otterbein and the athletic training community with quotes from former students and coworkers. Rocks was well represented at the induction, being supported by many former and current students as well as many members of her family. She says this award has given her time to reflect back on her career.

“It still hasn’t really hit me yet. I thought back and realized four of the first five people I started work with at Otterbein in the athletic training program are also in the Hall of Fame. I only wanted to keep those high expectations and standards established by my predecessors alive and even push past them. This award is a nice way of reminding me we’ve done some amazing work,” said Rocks.

Rocks began her athletic training career at Heidelberg University, rising to program director before coming to Otterbein in 1992. She and her fellow faculty and staff members began transforming the then athletic training internship program into a nationally accredited major. The program reached full accreditation status in 1999. Since then, Athletic Training has seen many significant advancements including the opening of new facilities in the Center for Health and Sport Sciences in Fall 2015.

“Our success, and even my personal accomplishments, are really a team effort,” said Rocks. “The Hall of Fame induction, the beautiful new training facilities, all the hard work by my peers around campus — it all motivates me to work even harder everyday so we can make Otterbein Athletic Training a true premier, national program.”

Despite the tremendous honor bestowed on her by the OATA and the success she’s had throughout her career, Rocks doesn’t see anything really changing in the near future.

“The best part about all of this was being able to celebrate with all those closest to me at the awards ceremony. I’m a ‘go in to the office every day and work hard, no awards needed’ kind of a person. And that’s exactly what I’ll continue to do in order to make Otterbein Athletic Training the best it can possibly be.”


Learn more about Otterbein’s Athletic Training program and go inside the Center for Health and Sport Sciences with our Flickr photo gallery.