Tyler Bader '13: Life Lessons in Alaska

“I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t talk with people who I can learn from,” explained Tyler Bader ’13. For Bader, who majored in athletic training, it is all about taking in the experience, learning, and listening to those around you.

Bader, hailing from Southgate, Kentucky, first stepped on campus as a baseball recruit taking classes in the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP). “I tried to do any and everything my first year. As that year went on, I realized that I had learned so much.” It was during his freshman year at UU that Bader first met Dr. Cary Keller, an orthopedic surgeon and team physician at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Bader continued his education at Urbana working with what he described as “some of the best athletic trainers.”

During his rotations and years of undergraduate studies, Dr. Keller came to campus to visit the ATEP classes several times. But during Bader’s time at UU and participating in classes  with Keller, Alaska was probably the last place that he thought his final year of studies would take him. However, Alaska is exactly where he ended up. Bader was the first student awarded the Cary S. Keller ATEP Internship in Fairbanks, Alaska at UAF.
When he normally would have been preparing for his final semesters in Ohio, Bader began his trek to UAF to begin his internship. While at UAF, he worked with their Division I hockey team. “The athletes are what made it such a great experience,” said Bader. The time with the hockey team helped him decide that he wants to work in the collegiate or professional sports environment. “They put me in some mock situations and let me get my feet wet. These situations allowed me to get a hands-on experience in different types of environments.”

Upon his return, Bader set his sights on graduate schools and applied for a very competitive graduate assistant position through the NCATA. “I was just one out of a hundred plus resumes in the nationwide search.” Bader was accepted to LIFE University, a university specializing in Health Sciences, where he will begin studying Sports Injury Management in the upcoming academic school year. “I will work with the athletic trainers for men’s hockey and wrestling.”

With all that he has experienced, he looks back on his journey with appreciation. Bader recognized several key players in his career at Urbana University. “During my four rotations, I worked with Jassen Dobyns, Amy Dilts, and Jennifer Frey from the Athletic Training department.” Also, Brian Edwards, Athletic Training Program Chair, played a key role with helping him personalize his major.

While working on his degree, he had several clinical experiences with local professionals who are currently practicing in the field of athletic training. The clinical sites included Urbana High School where he worked with Ed Wisner, Springfield High School with Mike Wilits, and Shawnee High School with Wes Stevens. For all that they have done Bader said, “I want to give a big thanks to all of those who helped me with my college career and as an athletic trainer.”

As Tyler Bader continues his education and progresses in his career, we wish him future success.

This spotlight was written by Sarah St.Clair ’12. Sarah is working on her Post Baccalaureate Teaching License in AYA English/Language Arts. She has her Bachelors in English and Communications. She enjoys swimming, running, and spending time with her family.


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