Department of Kinesiology

School of Health and Human Sciences

Incoming EdD student Sara Clawson awarded Hayes Graduate Fellowship

sara clawsonNewly admitted EdD student Sara Clawson received some exciting news in April. She has been awarded a Hayes Graduate Fellowship to help with her cost of attendance. We caught up with Sara recently to learn a little bit more about her.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I am originally from Germany but have lived in North Carolina for nearly 25 years. In high school, I started riding bicycles and discovered quickly that I was good enough to keep up with the fast local riders — but didn’t have the potential to make a career out of it. That passion for sport led me to cycle competitively for the club team at Guilford College and continue to dabble in road racing and triathlon through massage school at the Body Therapy Institute. I started working as a sports massage therapist and became more interested to the behind-the-scenes aspect of sports and competition, which led me to a MS in Sports Medicine from UNCG. I continue to ride road and mountain bikes recreationally, as well as a lot of other outdoors activities — running, hiking, swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, fly fishing, and rock climbing are just a few! I also love gardening, cooking, and spending time with my fiance, Nick, and our dog Cadence.

Where do you work and what does your job entail?

When it comes to work, I wear a lot of hats. I started my sports massage therapy private practice in 2009 and treat clients of all ages and athletic abilities at Greensboro Sports Performance, a group practice of complementary alternative medical practitioners and exercise science experts. I also teach sports and performance massage continuing education courses for massage and physical therapists at the Body Therapy Institute, and musculoskeletal anatomy at Kneaded Energy School of Massage. When I’m not in the office, I’m out on the road traveling with TWENTY16 RideBiker Pro Cycling, a women’s UCI World Tour professional road cycling team based out of California. I serve as the team’s head soigneur, which is a position specific to cycling teams — it is essentially a combination of massage therapist, trainer, medic, nutritionist, chef, psychotherapist, chauffeur, and generally benevolent caretaker. Race horses have grooms; cyclists have soigneurs. In addition to my work in the sports massage world, I’m also a kinesiology educator — I’m an adjunct instructor of biomechanics at Greensboro College. This may be misguided naive optimism, but I am actually really excited to have a little more free time as I work on my EdD!

Why did you choose the EdD Program at UNCG? What are you looking forward to the most?

My experience working on my MS at UNCG was nothing short of stellar, so when I first started to explore doctoral programs, that was naturally the first place I looked. Finding a program geared toward working professionals, emphasizing advocacy and leadership, and featuring a multidisciplinary approach to kinesiology, all in my home town, with the flexibility to travel, was a perfect fit. Meeting the faculty and seeing what current students and graduates of the EdD program are doing now assured me I had made the right choice.

What does being awarded this fellowship mean to you?

Receiving the Kinesiology Fellowship was an unexpected and greatly appreciated honor. I know that nominations are based upon strong academic performance and glowing letters of recommendation, so to know that I was nominated for my scholarship and for making a good impression upon people whom I consider valued mentors feels like a great accomplishment. From a practical standpoint, this award makes a huge dent in the burden of tuition; with my fiance currently attending nursing school at GTCC and my concurrent enrollment at UNCG, the financial award will make a difference even in our daily lives. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I fully intend to exceed the expectations set before me over the next 4 years at UNCG.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?

The US Pro National Championships for road cycling will be in Winston Salem on May 27-30, so if anybody is interested in what a soigneur actually does, this is the perfect opportunity to come see for themselves!

Congrats Sara!! We look forward to having you join us this fall.