Picked up from The Daily Republic serving SOUTH DAKOTA
Freeman native Lori Dewald has not forgotten her roots.
On Tuesday, at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposia in New Orleans, Dewald will be awarded this year’s NATA’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.
Even though Dewald lives in Delmar, Md., she said the award goes back to her days in South Dakota.
“As I reflected on it, it’s really an award for the people in South Dakota who believed in me,” said Dewald in a phone interview with The Daily Republic. “I may be receiving an award in 2011, but it goes back to South Dakota.”
Dewald, 51, was born and raised in Freeman and is the daughter of Arden and Marilyn Dewald.
Dewald said she always had a love for sports.
“Ruth Rehn started sports for girls in the 1970s when it wasn’t socially acceptable, and I thankthose that supported me as a kid growing up and supporting my love of sports and learning,” she said. “Having been a high school athlete, I went to college and discovered athletic training.”
Dewald attended South Dakota State University. She said everyone at SDSU helped her further her education as an athletic trainer.
“It was my professors at SDSU that believed in me,” she said. “I want to thank the athletes at SDSU, who let us tape their ankles and evaluate their injuries when they we were just students there.
“It also goes back to my friends in the dorms who let me practice on them, whether it was bandaging, taping or practicing an evaluation. That’s where it started.”
Dewald received her undergraduate degree in athletic training and physical education from SDSU, and later received an undergraduate degree in teacher education from Minnesota State University-Mankato.
She later earned her masters and doctorate in health education at the University of Tennessee.
Dewald was the first person in the country to achieve credentials for both the Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Health Education Specialist, which she achieved in 1994.
“That’s what made me unique,” she said.
Dewald taught both athletic training and health education at the undergraduate level from 1990 to 2006 before focusing on teaching just health education at the graduate level in 2006.
Today, Dewald teaches online in the doctoral program in heath education for A.T. Still University in Mesa, Ariz.
Dewald has been an athletic trainer in all three NCAA divisions and has done volunteer work for the Senior Olympics, the Junior Olympics and the Special Olympics.
Dewald said her most rewarding work is the volunteer work she has done.
“I enjoy the (volunteer) work because it allows me to give back for everything the world has given to me,” she said. “I enjoyed working with the Senior Olympics and the Special Olympics because I had just wonderful experience at the national games for both of those groups.”