OGDEN, Utah – Associate athletic training professor Valerie Herzog has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the John A. Lindquist Award at Weber State University.
The Lindquist Award, which was established in 2007, is given to a faculty or staff member annually who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to mentoring Weber State University students in learning through community involvement.
Herzog, who directs the graduate athletic training program, has established community involvement as an integral part of both undergraduate and graduate studies. Sophomores in the program must document at least 15 hours of community-engaged learning per year. That number goes up incrementally; seniors and graduate students volunteer 35 hours per year. Athletic training is one of only two WSU programs designated as a “community engaged program” – meaning students cannot graduate without having a community-based learning experience.
“In graduation surveys, students indicate that the volunteer experiences helped them feel more connected to their community, and they would continue professional service after graduation,” Herzog said. “This development of a desire to give back fills me with pride for our students. I believe that our graduates’ commitment to serve their community throughout their careers is the most significant outcome of our service-learning program.”
Herzog has established many community partners, so her students have volunteered with organizations and events including the Special Olympics, Ogden Rescue Mission, Ogden Marathon, XTERRA triathlon, high school wrestling and basketball tournaments, youth sports camps, junior high and high school physical exams and the Central Pacific Regional Figure Skating Championships. According to Herzog, for many of the young athletes, an athletic trainer and the WSU student volunteers are the only medical providers they have access to throughout the year
Athletic training alumnus Nicole Groves selected Special Olympics, and under Herzog’s tutelage created an Emergency Action Plan for the organization.
“Many students start to develop a love and passion for a specific organization, and then they begin to expand that organization by taking their athletic training education and applying it to benefit that group,” Groves wrote in her Lindquist nomination letter.
Herzog was selected for the award by a committee of faculty, staff, trustees, community partners and students. She will be formally honored at a special awards luncheon, where student volunteers also will be honored.
The award is named for John A. Lindquist, a strong advocate for education and the community, who has spent a lifetime supporting Ogden, Weber County and Weber State. Lindquist’s ties to WSU date back to the late 1930s, when he attended Weber College and was a student body officer. Through the years, he has generously supported cultural, academic, athletic and student activities and programs.