For the second time in three years, a South Dakota State University student will receive the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society John Norwig Scholarship. Andrew Haldeman was selected for the national honor, following Hinako Nagayama, who received the award in 2019.
Haldeman is the fifth SDSU student to have received a scholarship from the National Athletic Trainers' Association Research & Education Foundation. Other recipients were:
- 1993, Sandi Odens, Postgraduate Scholarship Award;
- 1996, Stephanie Buisker, Curriculum Scholarship Award; and
- 2020, Gwyneth Phillips, National Basketball Athletic Trainers' Association.
“These scholarships affirm we are bringing in quality students,” said Trevor Roiger, an assistant professor and program director. “We’ve never been a program that seeks to bring in a large volume of students. We emphasize quality, and we’ve largely achieved that. However, this scholarship is not a testament to the program but to the students and the work they’re doing.”
Haldeman is completing his first year pursuing a Master of Science degree in athletic training at SDSU. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, he played football and was a student assistant in sports medicine while earning his bachelor’s degree at Saint John’s University in Minnesota.
That love of sports and the injuries that came with that passion interested him in becoming an athletic trainer.
“I knew early on I wanted to go into sports medicine,” he said. “I loved sports growing up, but I got injured often so I constantly worked with athletic trainers. From my impression, the profession was something I’d like to do. Getting the hands-on experience as a student cemented the idea that this field was my career path.”
SDSU’s curriculum and model appealed to Haldeman.
“SDSU definitely felt like the right fit as the program has a unique orientation, which was really attractive to me,” Haldeman said, noting graduate students spend their first year on campus in classes before spending their second year in an immersive clinical rotation. “I wasn’t expecting to win it so I was pretty excited when I learned I won.”
Haldeman will do his fall semester clinical rotation at The University of Missouri. He will have another rotation in the spring semester before moving on to work in a collegiate or professional setting but is also considering teaching. He is thinking of becoming a Doctor of Athletic Training and working in both a clinical and teaching role.
“Andrew has been shown his commitment to the profession by putting in the time as an undergraduate student at Saint John’s; his academic work in his first semester on campus has also shown his dedication,” said Mary Beth Zwart, an assistant professor and the program’s clinical education coordinator.