The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) has named William Pitney, a professor in NIU’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, as the winner of its Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award for 2015.
The prestigious award recognizes professionals and educators in the field for their exceptional and unique contributions to the athletic training profession. It reflects a lifetime of dedication to the field of athletic training at both a national and regional level.
As a professor, Pitney has carved out a strong reputation both as an educator and as a scholar. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and four textbooks, in addition to receiving several research grants for his work.
“I have always felt a calling to be an educator. I knew that was where my knowledge, skills and abilities intersected with what the greatest need was out there. You always want to find your niche, and this is mine,” Pitney said.
“Seeing your students evolve and progress into professionals and then go out and make a difference in the world is incredibly rewarding.”
In addition to being an educator, Pitney has held major roles with two influential academic journals for the athletic training field. He was editor in chief of the Athletic Training Education Journal for four years and section editor for the Journal of Athletic Training for 10 years.
Pitney will receive the award June 25 at the 2015 NATA Convention in St. Louis.