Dr. David HannaPOSTED:  July 27, 2012 – Dr. David Hanna has been selected to lead the new athletic training major at West Liberty University and will assume his duties on Aug. 1, 2012. Hanna formerly led the athletic training department at Wheeling Jesuit University for five years.

“I’m pleased to have an opportunity to develop and oversee the athletic training education program at WLU. As my alma mater, it is a special place and it feels great to be back home,” said Hanna, whose father, Bill Hanna, was an English professor at West Liberty for more than 30 years.

“I remember growing up on this campus as a child. Attending the athletic events and meeting the athletes are some of my fondest childhood memories. Then I attended WLU and worked as an athletic training student, which helped me decide my career path. Being able to return now as a professional and develop athletic training into an academic major is icing on the cake. I look forward to building a very successful and respected program.”

Hanna earned a bachelor of communications degree at West Liberty, a master’s in athletic training at West Virginia University and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Wheeling Jesuit University. He served as assistant athletic trainer for one year at West Liberty and then accepted the position of head athletic trainer at West Virginia University Institute of Technology for two years, before moving to South Dakota, where he worked as an athletic trainer for Sioux Valley Hospital, Elk Point Jefferson High School and the University of South Dakota. He then returned to the Ohio Valley to assume the dual position of head athletic trainer for the Wheeling Nailers (East Coast Hockey League) and the Ohio Valley Greyhounds (Indoor Football League).

“With program director David Hanna now on board, the department is excited to welcome our first class this fall. The new athletic training degree is a high quality program adding to the excellence of our department and West Liberty University,” said Dr. Rhonda Noble, chair of the department of health and human performance. Noble led the two-year effort for the major that was approved by the West Virginia Higher Learning Policy Commission this past February.

West Liberty University’s athletic training major will broaden the degree offerings of the department of health and human performance and offers students the option of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Education and/or Physical Education, a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology, or a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training.

“We are thrilled to have this new major,” said Dr. Keely Camden, dean of the college of education. “The approval of the proposal, and the excitement it has generated, speaks volumes for the quality of the faculty and staff in the college of education and the advantages this major holds for students.”

The goal of the program at is to reflect those of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) as well as the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), while providing students with a solid foundation in factual and conceptual mastery of the study of sports medicine.

The curriculum is designed to promote critical thinking skills, effective writing, clear articulation and presentation, and analytical skills that transcend the subject matter. Students are also encouraged to participate in, and learn to appreciate the application of scientific research to real world problems for the benefit of the community, with consideration of the moral and ethical issues involved.

Students will be equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in graduate school and professional fields of study, including the national certification exam. The curriculum consists of 120 credit hours and is designed for completion in approximately four academic years.

In cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel, the athletic trainer, as described by CAATE, is an integral member of the athletic health-care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, sports medicine clinics, professional sports programs and other health-care settings.

West Liberty University is a forward-looking, four-year public university steeped in a rich heritage as West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education.  Established as West Liberty Academy in 1837, it was created to respond to the need for higher educational opportunities west of the Appalachians. Led by President Robin C. Capehart, West Liberty is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, please visit www.westliberty.edu or call 1.866.WESTLIB.