Site Search

Image of a large sculpture hanging on a brick wallImage of a large sculpture hanging on a brick wall

Athletic Training All Star Student Tom Bowman Awarded Scholarship

CALIFORNIA, Pa. (May 7, 2003)

Graduating senior Tom Bowman's collection of academic and athletic achievements during his study in the College of Education and Human Services has earned an elite scholarship from the NATA (National Athletic Trainers' Association). After graduating with a bachelor of science in athletic training from California University of Pennsylvania, Bowman, a native of Mechanicsburg ad graduate of Trinity High School, begins his graduate study at the University of Virginia June 2.

"The UVA masters program takes 12 to 13 months to complete,"says Bowman. "After that I will decide if I will continue in the doctoral program." While at UVA, Bowman will work as a paid graduate assistant with UVA athletics. He'll learn more about his exact assignment upon arrival at the university. Wherever Bowman is assigned, he is certain to continue his high level of academic achievement.

Also high among Bowman's long list of achievements is membership in the United States Achievement Academy Collegiate All-American Scholar Program. He was named Cal U's Most Outstanding Student Athletic Trainer and is a member of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Balancing athletic achievement with high academic performance, Bowman earned the Most Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis Award for the best-defended Honors Thesis. There are as few as two to three students in the athletic training program and the honors program at any given time. In fact, most of Bowman's awards are given to very few recipients each year.

When he researched programs in athletic training, Bowman said it came down to a choice between Cal U and Lock Haven. "Both schools have great programs. Both schools would allow me to be both an athlete and an athletic trainer." He explains. "But I really liked the professors at California, and the facilities here are unbelievable."

"In the long term, I want to be a trainer, exclusively," adds Bowman. "So, it was important that I get into a strong program that would prepare me for my career."

As for a dream job, Bowman admits he would love to work as an athletic trainer for any NBA or NFL franchise. "I'd prefer to work along the east coast, maybe in the Baltimore area, but I will go where the opportunities lead me."

He did just that last summer when he accepted a paying internship with the Baltimore Orioles Class A affiliate, the Delmarva Shorebirds. "I lived at the beach in Ocean City and commuted to work every day," he says. As a strength and conditioning coach, Bowman was responsible for the team's weightlifting and running programs. "I also traveled up and down the coast with the team, visiting cities from Macon, Georgia, to Lakewood, New Jersey."

According to Bowman, the 18-hour bus rides and not-so-luxurious hotels are only part of the less attractive side of working for a sports team. "During August in the south, the heat is bad. It can be ninety-five degrees with over eighty percent humidity. You just walk outside and break into a sweat." That might not be a good thing when the hotels sometimes forget to place fresh towels in the bathrooms. "I got out of the shower in one hotel, dripping wet, and had no towel to dry with!"

The heat plays a major factor in athletic training. Bowman recalled recent incidents of heat stroke at athletic practices, pointing out that the effects can be fatal. "Hydration is an important issue for athletes," Bowman explains. "They are very talented individuals who work very hard to be their best. I believe they should be better educated about their health, and how to maintain it."

Other accomplishments on Bowman's impressive resume include leadership roles in several activities ranging from the Athletic Training Club to a Special Olympics and Big Brother/Big Sister Volunteer.

While at Cal U, Bowman was on the track and field team, qualifying for the PSAC championships in the long jump and the 100 meters. Bowman earned first place at the 2002 Cal U Student Research Recognition Day, and has presented posters at the EATA and NATA conventions in Boston and St. Louis respectively. He also is a PSAC scholar athlete, carrying a 3.74 GPA.