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Oliphant to Be Inducted into WATA Hall of Fame

RELEASED: April 4, 2005

Jeff Oliphant
Jeff Oliphant

EAU CLAIRE — Jeff Oliphant, assistant professor of kinesiology and director of the athletic training education program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will be inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame this week.

Oliphant, the youngest person ever selected for the WATA's Hall of Fame, will be inducted April 8 during the WATA annual business meeting and symposium awards banquet. Induction into Hall of Fame is the highest honor a WATA member can receive from the organization.

"It is truly an honor for me to be recognized by my peers in this way," Oliphant said of the Hall of Fame induction. "I have never felt that it has been an obligation to be involved with the WATA, but more of an honor to give back to the profession that I love. Receiving this award is very, very special."

The honor reflects the strong support he's received from his colleagues in the department of kinesiology and athletics, the university and his students, Oliphant said.

"Everyone in the department is thrilled for Jeff and the well deserved recognition he is receiving from the WATA," said Marilyn Skrivseth, chair of the kinesiology department, noting that since coming to UW-Eau Claire Oliphant has distinguished himself as a leader and pioneer in athletic training education by working tirelessly to advance the quality of athletic training throughout the Midwest. "We've always felt that he is among the best of the very best in his field and this recognition certainly reinforces the great work he has done and continues to do day in and day out.

"UW-Eau Claire has been very fortunate to have a person of his caliber on staff and we're both proud and happy for Jeff that his outstanding work is gaining additional statewide recognition from his peers in athletic training."

Oliphant said he's particularly excited that two UW-Eau Claire students also will be recognized during the WATA awards banquet. Senior Toni Marousek will receive one of two $1,000 WATA student scholarships given annually to the top upperclassman in the state. And sophomore Stephanie Lopez will receive the WATA Founding Fathers Scholarship that's awarded each year to a first-year student who demonstrates significant leadership skills.

"I have always felt that being involved in the WATA is rewarding not only to me, but also to my students," Oliphant said. "Many of my current and past students have prospered from my professional involvement at the state and national level."

Oliphant came to UW-Eau Claire in 1989 as an instructor and head athletic trainer. Under his leadership, the athletic training program thrived, and in May 2002, the UW System Board of Regents granted approval for UW-Eau Claire to offer a bachelor of science degree in athletic training. In fall 2004, the athletic training program was granted accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

The WATA Hall of Fame, located on the UW-La Crosse campus, has 13 members.

Individuals can be nominated for the Hall Fame based on their contributions to WATA and the profession of athletic training. Nominees must have been a member of WATA for at least 15 years, be a nationally certified athletic trainer or a licensed physician, and have made outstanding contributions to the profession of athletic training at the local, state or national level.

For more information, contact Oliphant at (715) 836-2022 or oliphajg@uwec.edu.

-30-

JB

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