Department of Kinesiology

School of Health and Human Sciences

Taking The Distance Out Of A Distance Program: NBA Head Athletic Trainer, Casey Smith

Casey Pam and Hannah at a basketball game in Charlotte.

One of the newest members of the EdD in Kinesiology (EdD in KIN) online degree program is helping to take the distance out of UNCG’s distance education program. Casey Smith began the EdD in KIN program in the fall of 2017. His job as the head athletic trainer for the Dallas Mavericks requires him to travel from state to state as part of his job. Luckily for Casey as long as he has internet he can “attend” class, work with classmates on projects, and stay connected to UNCG. Casey’s diverse background and training makes him a great candidate for the EdD in KIN program, which focuses on¬†exploring and potentially solving issues related to professional practice in the field of kinesiology.

When asked why he decided to enroll in the program, Casey said … “I had been considering various doctoral programs over the past few years. I was searching for a program that I could complete with my rigorous travel and work schedule, yet have a curriculum that would be beneficial to me in my current role while opening doors to future endeavors. The Ed. D. in Kinesiology Online has checked all these boxes for me. The two biggest surprises for me are (1) how my cohort members have bonded quickly. I honestly expected a distance education program to feel rather non-personal but I have experienced just the opposite. We regularly communicate, support each other and answer each other’s questions. We are getting to know each other much more than I anticipated and this has added tremendous value to the program for me. And surprise (2) is that I have found the coursework extremely relevant to my current role. With the added time commitment and responsibility the program has brought to me, I find it rewarding to be able to apply it to my existing day to day.”

Casey with Jeanne at a basketball game

A benefit of Casey’s travel schedule is that he finds himself relatively close to Greensboro on occasion, and in many other cities close to where his classmates live. Recently the Mavericks played a preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets. It was a great opportunity for Pam Brown, the director of the EdD in KIN program, and Hannah Wofford, another student in the 2017 cohort, to meet up with Casey at the game. According to Pam, “It’s great to get a chance to see the students whenever possible. We really enjoy catching up with students in person whenever we can. This was great because I got to catch up with Casey and Hannah in one night.”

As you can imagine at this time of the year, Casey’s travel never slows down. He was recently in Houston for a game, where he caught up with Jeanne Mullican and her family (another EdD in KIN student). Casey has plans to visit with a few other classmates as he heads into the NBA season.

We will have to see how many other students in the 2017 cohort Casey will see during the year. Let’s challenge him to see if he can get a picture with all 23 members of the 2017 cohort as he travels back-and-forth throughout the country this year.