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Each June athletic trainers from all around the country gather for five days in a different city each year to further their education, learn about advancements in their field, and celebrate colleagues who go above and beyond to better the profession of athletic training. This year, during the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s 67th Annual Clinical Symposia and AT Expo in Baltimore, Maryland, two New Jersey individuals and one Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey Committee were recognized for their exceptional work.
Michael Goldenberg, Athletic Trainer at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey was welcomed into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Hall of Fame. This honor, bestowed upon few individuals each year, is the NATA’s highest honor.
(Learn More, courtesy of ATSNJ and YouTube)
Induction into the Hall of Fame honors athletic trainers who exemplify the mission of NATA through significant, lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. According to the NATA website, more than 250 athletic trainers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. In order to be eligible for induction, an athletic trainer must meet the following criteria:
- NATA member in good standing
- 30 years BOC certification or Retired Certified with initial certification at least 30 years prior to award year
- 30 years membership in NATA
- No other award, NATA or otherwise, is a prerequisite for eligibility for the Hall of Fame
Michael Goldenberg exemplifies these criteria. He attended Plymouth State College in New Hampshire and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education/Athletic Training in 1984 before attending the State University of New York at Buffalo, earning a Master of Science in Exercise Science (1989). After graduating from graduate school, Goldenberg gained employment at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey where he has been since and has held multiple roles within the Athletics Department.
Michael has been extremely active and influential on the State, District and National levels of athletic training. Michael served on the ATSNJ Executive Council from 2000-2004 and was elected to the ATSNJ Hall of Fame in 2005. While remaining active within the ATSNJ, Michael took on another role as an Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA) Executive Board Member from 2004-2015. During that time, Michael also served as the NATA District 2 Director and on the NATA Board of Directors from 2011-2015.
During his career, Michael has presented at the Annual NATA Conference 12 times, been an author on 10 publications, and has contributed to many interviews and projects throughout the country. “I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this recognition.” says Goldenberg. “However, this honor also belongs to all the hard working individuals I collaborated with on committees, executive boards and work groups, as well as the membership for embracing and supporting my ideas and programs.”
David Csillan, athletic trainer at Ewing High School in Ewing, New Jersey received two major awards at this year’s NATA Convention: The NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award and the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.
The Athletic Trainer Service award recognizes NATA members for their contributions to the athletic training profession as a volunteer at the local and state levels. Athletic Trainer Service Award recipients have been involved in professional associations, community organizations, grassroots public relations efforts and service as a volunteer athletic trainer.
No other award, NATA or otherwise, is a prerequisite for eligibility for the Athletic Trainer Service Award. The Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award recognizes NATA members who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to leadership, volunteer service, advocacy and distinguished professional activities as an athletic trainer.
Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award exclusively recognizes NATA members who have been involved in service and leadership activities at the national and district level. No other award, NATA or otherwise, is a prerequisite for eligibility for Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. To be eligible for either award, the following criteria must be met:
- NATA member in good standing
- 20 years BOC certification
- 20 years membership in NATA
Both of these awards encompass what David Csillan has meant to athletic training, not just in New Jersey, but across the country. Serving as the athletic trainer at Ewing High School since 1991, David has made time to volunteer within all levels of athletic training.
David currently serves as the Secretary and Executive Board Member of NATA District 2, as the Secretary Vice-Chair of the NATA District Secretaries/Treasurers Committee, as the NATA Liaison to USA Football, and on the Medical and Science Advisory Board for the Korey Stringer Institute.
On a state level, David volunteers his time as the ATSNJ Liaison to the New Jersey State Coaches’ Association/New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), on the NJSIAA Drug Testing Appeals Committee, on the NJSIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, and on the ATSNJ Golf Committee responsible for planning and executing the Annual ATSNJ Charity Golf Outing. David was elected to the ATSNJ Hall of Fame in 2008.
When asked about what it means to accept these national awards, Csillan stated, “I am humbly honored to be a 2016 recipient of the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award and NATA Service Award. More importantly, above any award, I value each and every friendship I’ve developed along the way. Although the excitement of receiving the awards are gone, all of you still remain. And for that, I am grateful.”
The final major award received was the NATA Public Relations “Best State Association Effort” for their work during National Athletic Training Month 2016. The ATSNJ Public Relations Committee is made up of a group of athletic trainers within New Jersey who work together to promote the profession of athletic training. This is the 7th major NATA Public Relations Award the ATSNJ has received in the past 8 years.
The ATSNJ Public Relations Committee had several initiatives they executed during the month of March to promote the profession of athletic training within the state of New Jersey. The PR Committee produced targeted advertisements with strategic placement on NJ.com, promoted the ATSNJ Annual Conference and Awards Dinner on social media, had athletic trainers visit NBC’s The Today Show with signs and graphics, promoted positive experiences with athletic trainers on social media through the hashtag #ThankAnAT, and even promoted that Governor Christie proclaimed March 6-12, 2016 “Athletic Trainer Recognition Week.”
Accepting the award for the ATSNJ PR Committee at the NATA Convention was Public Relations Chairman, Allan Parsells. “It is a distinct honor to receive this award from the NATA Public Relations Committee,” said Parsells. “New Jersey is fortunate to have a passionate group of volunteers who do so much to promote athletic training within New Jersey and I am thankful to be able to lead them. It is truly a blessing to be able to support a profession and a Society that has given so much to me – it only feels right to be able to give back.”
The ATSNJ would like to congratulate Michael Goldenberg, David Csillan, and the Public Relations Committee on their most deserved awards. It is an honor to have these individuals and group of volunteers working so hard for athletic training in New Jersey.