Emily Walker, a proud Fall 2020 graduate holding a master’s in athletic training and a bachelor’s in kinesiology from UL Lafayette, shares her inspiring journey.
Born and raised in Alexandria, LA, Emily attended a small private school, which lacked an on-site athletic trainer. Undeterred, she took it upon herself to learn injury prevention, recognition, and evaluation. Her passion for athletic training ignited when she tore her ACL while playing soccer in her senior year.
Emily credits her path to becoming a certified Athletic Trainer to the guidance of Dr. Aimee Gros. As luck would have it, Emily witnessed the birth of the master's program in her undergraduate sophomore year at UL. During her senior year, she interned with Vermilion Catholic High School's sports department, under the mentorship of Christian Robertson, who remains an enduring role model. Emily's dedication extended beyond her internship as she continued to volunteer her time.
Her journey at UL saw her working with athletes in various sports, from track to softball, baseball, and football. However, it was working with track and cross-country athletes that truly ignited her passion. Concerned about the sweltering South Louisiana heat, and how it affects athletes, Emily dedicated her capstone project to the study of heat-related illnesses.
When asked about her most cherished experiences at UL Lafayette, Emily was quick to respond with, “The unwavering support of the faculty and staff. Dr. Gros and Dr. Sato shaped me into the person I am today.” They challenged her to think creatively and see the body as a holistic entity, not just a collection of parts or injuries.
Today, Emily proudly serves as the Athletic Trainer for the track and cross-country team at Northwestern State University, living her dream role. Her hard work and dedication have led her precisely where she aimed to be. Thanks to her education at UL Lafayette and the remarkable faculty who guided her, Emily is poised for a long and fulfilling career ahead. Her journey is an inspiring testament to perseverance, dedication, and the power of unwavering support.