Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia exercise science professor Michael Ferrara is just one of five people in the nation being inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame for 2009.
Ferrara, a professor in the College of Education’s department of kinesiology, founded and directs UGA’s athletic training education program and the St. Mary’s Hospital Athletic Training Research and Education Laboratory at UGA.
“The NATA Hall of Fame is the highest honor in the athletic training profession, and Mike is well-deserving of this recognition,” said Ron Courson, UGA’s head athletic trainer. “Mike is widely respected nationally and internationally for his work in the field of athletic training. His research in sports concussion and exertional heat illness has significantly influenced the body of knowledge in these important areas. His work in international athletic training has truly had a global impact on our profession.”
Ferrara came to UGA in 1998 and established a world-class athletic training education curriculum and a graduate sports medicine program. Now, UGA’s undergraduate athletic training program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.
In addition, Ferrara has established a Study Abroad program with National Taiwan Sport University in which the universities have exchanged athletic training students. This continues a tradition as UGA hosts athletic training faculty and students from both Asia and Europe.
“I have been lucky to have been mentored by so many great people throughout my career,” Ferrara said. “At UGA, I work with the best athletic training and clinical staff in the country. It is a joy to come to work each and every day when it is something you love to do.”
Ferrara has been recognized for his leadership and scholarship throughout his three-decade career. In 2006, he received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Southeastern Athletic Trainers Association. In 2008, he was named a Fellow in the National Athletic Trainers Association and in the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education in 2003. NATA recognized Ferrara with the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2003, and he has the Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award from NATA in 2001.
He has served as a director on NATA’s Board of Certification since 2006. He was founding president of the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy, serving from 2000-05. He was director of medical operations for the Atlanta Paralympic Games (1995-96) and director of medical services for the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games and United States Disabled Sports Team at the World Athletics Championships (1994).
Before coming to UGA, Ferrara was coordinator of the athletic training education program at Ball State University from 1985-98. He received his doctorate in health education from Penn State University in 1990.
Recently, Ferrara was named a Fulbright Scholar to Ireland. He will travel to Dublin City University, Ireland in the spring of 2010 to teach in the athletic training program and to research sport-related concussion.
Ferrara will be officially inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame at an award ceremony June 19 in San Antonio, Texas at NATA’s annual clinical symposium.