Athletic training grad student wins national research scholarship
Craig Oates, who has served as an athletic trainer with the UD field hockey and baseball teams, has been selected to receive a 2010 Master’s Scholarship from the National Association of Athletic Trainers (NATA) Foundation.


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11:33 a.m., May 10, 2010----Craig Oates, a graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Delaware, has been selected to receive a 2010 Master's Scholarship from the National Association of Athletic Trainers (NATA) Foundation.

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Oates will be recognized at the foundation's Scholarship and Leadership Breakfast, to be held at the 60th Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia in Philadelphia from June 22-25.

Advised by Buz Swanik, associate professor in the department, Oates is doing research on reactive knee stiffness regulation strategies. His work examines how a person's muscles promote joint stiffness to maximize both stability and performance through either activation or relaxation. He will also determine what types of physical conditioning programs are optimal in rehabilitation settings to promote different stiffness regulation strategies.

Oates is currently the athletic trainer for the Blue Hens baseball team, and he served as the athletic trainer for the field hockey team during the fall 2009 season, when the Hens won the Colonial Athletic Association title and a trip to the NCAA championship tournament.

“It was a great experience working with Coach Carol Miller and all the women on the team,” Oates says. “We had a phenomenal season with some great memories, including the great run to win the title.”

Oates earned his undergraduate degree in exercise science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. After completing his master's degree, he plans to go on for a doctorate in the area of biomechanics and pursue a career in academia, doing research and teaching undergraduate athletic training courses.

“I was attracted to the University of Delaware primarily for the academic and research opportunities,” Oates says. “The chance to work with Dr. Swanik and learn about muscle stiffness and the neurological aspects of knee injury is a new and exciting aspect of my research that I am excited to be able to pursue. I also like being in an environment where I can work independently with my own sports teams while at the same time know that I will be supported in whatever way I need by the clinical AT staff here.”

Article by Diane Kukich