Department of Kinesiology

School of Health and Human Sciences

EdD Student David Wilkenfeld – Making Headlines: Athletic Trainer of the Year and NATA presentation

EdD in Kinesiology student David Wilkenfeld was peer-nominated and selected by the scholarship and awards committee for the 2016 Athletic Trainer of the Year – Clinical and Emerging Practices by the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association.  The introduction given by a former student of David’s, captures David’s passion and professionalism that culminated in his receiving this award:

David arrived at the School of the Arts in the fall of 2010 with very little experience evaluating and treating performing artists, but with his strong knowledge base, excellent clinical skills, and open personality, he excelled in the new setting.  He immersed himself in the terminology, biomechanics, and culture of performing artists and quickly became a trusted resource for the students and faculty of UNCSA.

In 2012, David assumed the title Coordinator of Clinical Education for UNCSA Athletic Training and has developed a top-notch clinical experience for students of athletic training education programs both in and out of North Carolina.  His love and talent for guiding young learners is evident David W Headshotin all he does, and I can speak firsthand to his ability to tailor clinical learning experiences to both support and challenge future clinicians.

In addition to his individual work with students, Mr. Wilkenfeld has presented at the Athletic Training Educators Conference, and will speak on clinical education practices at the upcoming NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in Baltimore.  An alumnus of the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Leadership Institute, he currently serves as the Emerging Practices representative to NCATA Board of Directors, continuing to demonstrate strong commitments to both the emerging setting of performing arts medicine and to the profession of athletic training at the local, state, and national levels.

As a colleague and mentor, David is warm, dependable, creative, and thoughtful.  He demonstrates integrity and a drive to be the best in all he does.”

David is not slowing down after receiving the award and will be one of three (3) speakers presenting Best Practices in Delivering Full-time Clinical Education at this year’s 67th Annual National Athletic Trainers’ Association Clinical Symposia & AT Expo. The group was selected by the Professional Development Committee/Athletic Training Educators’ Conference Subcommittee to present on this topic. The abstract for the presentation is as follows:


Clinical education has been identified as the most impactful experience during professional athletic training education. The impending move of professional education to the master’s level will afford professional programs greater freedom in the delivery of clinical education. Full-time clinical education may provide an opportunity to better socialize professional students. This session will present faculty and preceptor perspectives for delivering full-time clinical education and will offer direct feedback regarding this model from a current or former student who has experienced it. Following, a group discussion panel will provide the audience with strategies to implement this model in their own program.

Learning Objectives:

              At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to…

  1.   Compare and contrast a model of full-time clinical education to their own current model within their professional program
  2.   Design clinical education strategies to enhance professional socialization of athletic training students
  3.   Modify their current practices of clinical education to maximize opportunities afforded to graduate level professional education.

While my portion of the presentation is not finalized, I will incorporate direct feedback from former students who have had clinical immersion experiences with me, highlight some of the information that I previously presented at the Athletic Training Educators’ Conference last year, and illustrate how the full-time clinical education experience might aid a student’s “transition to practice” as an entry-level athletic trainer.

Congratulations David on all you have accomplished! We are proud to have you in our ranks.