Dr. Thomas Franek started at Alvernia University during the 2015-2016 year, but has nearly 20 years of experience as an educator and 30 years of practical experience.
Once an active high school athlete, the associate professor of athletic training recalls a positive relationship with one of his high school athletic trainers as the spark that moved him to pursue the field.
“He was knowledgeable and compassionate and really modeled a way to merge healthcare with the physically active population,” said Franek, who works in athletic training at Commonwealth Orthopedic Associates and with the Berks Youth Rugby Club.
It’s what Franek hopes students in Alvernia University’s Athletic Training Department will go on to do for others upon graduation. The clinical opportunities they receive while at Alvernia get them started on the right foot. Students learn from certified athletic trainers with terminal degrees, getting cutting-edge experience with athletic-based training opportunities in high school, collegiate and semi-professional arenas, as well as in non-traditional areas, including industrial settings and at physician practices, sometimes serving a diverse population.
“The clinicals represent potential workplace settings," Franek said. "They give students the opportunity to experience what they may get to experience as a clinical athletic trainer. They can graduate feeling prepared to take on their chosen future role. The foundation they receive at Alvernia prepares them to practice."