Athletic trainer Erika Ralston is in her first season with the Duke field hockey program after coming to Durham from Michigan State. GoDuke.com recently caught up with Ralston to talk about settling in at Duke and her role with the Blue Devils on and off the field.
GoDuke.com: To start things off, can you tell us about the path you took to Duke?
Erika Ralston: I completed my undergraduate degree at Ohio State – a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. And then I went to Michigan State for grad school, got my master’s in kinesiology and worked with the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams and the field hockey team.
GoDuke.com: How has your experience been in acclimating to Duke and Durham?
ER: It’s been awesome. Everyone is super nice and they’ve been totally accepting, especially with helping me move and showing me around. Over the summer, there were some of the freshmen and upperclassmen on campus, so I interacted with them for conditioning and stuff like that. I helped out with field hockey camp, so that was fun to get to know more people and see how everybody works together.
GoDuke.com: How has your time working with the field hockey program at Michigan State been helpful as you join the team here?
ER: Having the experience at Michigan State, I also had the opportunity to go to Germany with the U.S. U19 team. I really like the sport. Everyone I’ve met through the sport has been very nice, very sociable. I’m excited to get to do it again now as a full-time job.
GoDuke.com: What are you looking forward to about working with the team and staff?
ER: Just to really get to know everybody and to be a part of it. I know this team in the past has been very successful.
GoDuke.com: Away from the training room, what kinds of things do you enjoy?
ER: I have a black lab named Beau. He may make appearances around the area if he’s allowed. I really love food and trying new restaurants. So if anyone has any favorites, let me know because I will definitely try them out!
Favorite athlete: Jesse Owens
Hobbies: Outdoor activities, reading, foodie activities
Favorite book: All the Light We Cannot See
Favorite movie: Hot Rod
Favorite TV show: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Favorite musician: Beyoncé
Hidden talent: Baking
Best advice you’ve received: Life is much easier when you learn to work with someone as opposed to working against them
Best thing you’ve done since you’ve moved to Durham: Find a place to live!
Best place field hockey has taken you: Germany
Follow the Blue Devils’ Athletic Medicine staff on Twitter at @Duke_ATHMED.