Dr. Joan Rocks – HSS Faculty Spotlight

Posted Oct 28, 2020

Dr. Joan Rocks is the chair of The Department of Health & Sport Sciences. She is also a Certified Athletic Trainer and the Athletic Training Program Director. She has been at Otterbein since 1992. Joan has been very purposeful since day one in steering the HSS department to align with the mission of the University and to develop her area to possess the customer service philosophy of students first.  During her tenure as chairperson of HSS, the department has seen enrollment grow from approximately 200 to nearly 400 students. In this growth Joan has managed the department in such a way that all our students receive professional development opportunities (The Five Cards). She has also ensured that both the department mission and selection of accredited program offerings have evolved over the years to be the best possible professional preparation for students in order to make them competitive in the job market. In 2015 the department moved from the Rike Center to its current location: The Center for Health and Sport Sciences in order to provide a dedicated state of the art facility to our HSS majors.

Joan has forged many lifelong mentoring relationships with alumni, and students who have gone on to become alumni, through her active role as professor and chair of the Department of Health & Sport Sciences and formerly as the athletic trainer for various athletic teams including Men’s Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, Track, Tennis, Women’s Basketball, Softball and most recently Women’s Soccer (2010). She has also been the past advisor of the Athletic Training Quiz Bowl team, the University Student Athletic Trainers Club (OCATS) and for Epsilon Kappa Tau sorority.  She is actively involved in mentoring all of the upper-class athletic training students and conducts special study sessions throughout the spring term each year to prepare seniors for the Board of Certification exam.

As Department Chair Joan is an enthusiastic and dedicated role model for our academic staff. She has mentored many young faculty during her Otterbein career. She devotes many hours of her own time to learning about effective leadership styles and works hard to promote a positive working environment in which the student experience is considered in all decisions that are made. Her door is always open for anyone, no matter how busy she may be. She has high standards for the classroom and is sensitive to different styles of student learning. She is very unselfish with her time and over the years she has served on many campus committees so that she can help formulate policy that is in the best interest of students and keep current on developments that could impact the department.

Joan’s professional contributions have not gone unnoticed by her peers and her past awards include Faculty Advisor of the Year (Epsilon Kappa Tau) (1998), Ohio Athletic Trainer of the Year (2004), the Linda Weber Daniel Outstanding Mentor Award  from the Ohio Athletic Training Association (2006), the Otterbein University Master Teacher Award (2009), the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association Service Award (2010); a recent induction into the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame (2016) and the Otterbein Women’s Forum Bread & Roses award (for a significant mentoring impact on women) (2018).

Joan has consistently contributed to Otterbein’s success outside the classroom as well, through two decades of philanthropy supporting The Otterbein Fund, The Turf & Track Campaign, the Clements Recreation Center, the HSS Department, the Athletic Training Annual Scholarship, the Integrative Studies Department, the Towers Renovation Fund, the Marilyn E. Day Memorial Fund, the Sports Medicine Equipment Fund and the Carl and Helen DeVore Memorial Humanitarian Fund.  Most recently, as part of the STAND campaign, she contributed two endowed scholarships-one in her name and one in the name of her twin sister who tragically passed away in 2010.

Joan’s imprint on campus is felt daily, and will continue to shape Otterbein in years to come. Most recently the Otterbein Board of Trustees approved a resolution to appoint Dr. Joan Rocks as faculty trustee effective July 1, 2019.

In her spare time Joan enjoys spending time with family, gardening and rooting for the Steelers.

Health & Sports Science