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Getting to know Emily Norcross

Athletic Training Instructor

Emily Norcross, ATC, is an instructor in the athletic training program at the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Before joining the college in the fall of 2011, she was a clinical athletic trainer at the University of Southern California, Duke University, Oregon State University and InSite Health. Emily has a Master of Arts degree in exercise and sport science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts degree in kinesiology from Sonoma State University.

What inspired you to get into this field?

“I had a wonderful experience during my undergraduate education to work and learn in both a traditional athletic training setting as well as in a physical therapy setting. This opportunity really helped me realize that my passion lies within athletic training and spurred me on to pursue a graduate degree to further my education.”

What do you love about your field?

“The best part about being an athletic trainer, and likely any health care provider, is the relationships you build with the patients you treat. There is no better feeling than working with a patient to help them achieve their goal of getting back to playing the sport that they love.”

Why did you choose to work at Oregon State/CPHHS?

“My family relocated to Oregon when my husband joined the Oregon State faculty in 2011. I had the opportunity to teach part-time in the kinesiology program and also worked as an athletic trainer with OSU’s Track and Field program. However, the more I taught, the more I recognized that I could build similar relationships with my students, as I did with my patients. I really embraced sharing my knowledge with the aspiring practitioners.”

What is your favorite part about being an instructor with the Athletic Training program?

“I love helping students that enter the athletic training program completely green, and with just a cursory idea of what being an athletic trainer means, develop into competent professionals that I am proud to call peers.

“Athletic training is a small, tight-knit profession. Knowing that I am helping develop students that will contribute to a growing profession and that will provide high-quality health care is the best part of my job.”

What has been the proudest moment in your work so far?

“All of the members of our first class of graduate athletic training students passed their certification exam on the first attempt and found employment post-graduation. I am really proud of this fact and think it speaks volumes about the quality of education and professional development that our program is delivering.”

How do you strive to affect people’s lives with your work?

“In my role as an instructor, I strive to help students realize that they as athletic trainers are part of a vast health care system and to take that role of being a health care provider seriously. Today, and in the future, ATs’ role as providers of high-quality care is so important due to the often daily role ATs play in the lives of their patients. This high-frequency touch point will affect the AT as well as the patient in many positive ways and is, in my opinion, one of the best parts about working as a clinical athletic trainer.”

What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?

“I have had some interesting opportunities to work as a certified athletic trainer (ATC). Besides working in collegiate, private practice and industrial sports medicine settings, I have also worked on a movie set, the track and field Olympic Trials, and at the Olympic Training Centers in Chula Vista and Colorado Springs.”

What are your favorite activities outside of work?

“My favorite activities outside of work involve my family and shared activities with our two daughters. We love traveling, both exploring Oregon and abroad, and being active and doing various projects around the house and in the garden.”