Press Release: CAATE Award Winners


The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education honored award recipients, along with all of our volunteers, at the CAATE Accreditation Conference on October 13, 2017 in Tampa, FL.  The CAATE appreciates the dedication and service that each of these deserving recipients have provided to accreditation and the profession of athletic training.

Pete Koehneke Award Recipient: R. Mark Laursen, Boston University

The Pete Koehneke Award honors an outstanding leader who has made significant, on-going contributions of exceptional value to athletic training education and accreditation over a sustained period of service. Recipients of this award through their dedication and work, have had a lasting influence on the course of the profession at the national/international level.

R. Mark Laursen. Mr. Laursen has nearly three decades of dedicated service to athletic training accreditation. Beginning in 1989 he served as a Site Visitor for the NATA’s Professional and Post-Professional Education Committee, then the JRC-AT (under CAAHEP), and continued to serve as a Site Visitor for the CAATE when incorporated in 2006. In total he has served as the member or chair of 24 site visits. He also served as a member of the CAATE Site Visit Committee from 2006-2009, and a member of the CAATE Review Committee from 2007-2009. From 2010 – 2016 he served as a CAATE Commissioner, fulfilling the roles of Treasurer, Vice President, President, and Past-President during his tenure. Mr. Laursen’s leadership on the Executive Committee of the CAATE led to numerous successes including CHEA recognition, the decision to move the professional degree to the masters, and the development of a centralized application service for athletic training (ATCAS). He has also served as the CAATE Representative to the NATA’s Executive Council of Education. Since 2010 he has served as a member of the Advisory Board for the Secondary School Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network. In addition to his volunteerism in accreditation, Mr. Laursen has more than 30 years of voluntary professional services as an athletic trainer at various sporting events. He most recently received the Tim Kerin Award for Excellence from the NATA. His dedication to the profession of athletic training, and his passion to moving our profession into the future of healthcare can be felt by all who know him.

Bob & Lynn Caruthers Service Award Recipients: Sara Brown, Boston University & Greg Gardner, University of Tulsa

This service award is given to individuals that demonstrate the character and performance traits Bob and Lynn Caruthers displayed in their respective careers; it is intended to be a reflection of the commitment to professional education and service shown by the Caruthers.

Sara Brown. Sara Brown has over two decades of contribution to accreditation and quality assurance in athletic training education.  She has served as a site visitor, for both the JRC-AT as well as the CAATE, since 1995.  In 1997, she was the Chair of the BOC Standards Committee. From 2000-2008 she served as the Vice President and then the President of the BOC Board of Directors (2004-2007) she was also the BOC liaison to the CAATE. In 2004, she participated in the Educational Degree Task Force. Following her terms of service with the BOC, Ms. Brown went on to serve as the Chair for the Executive Committee for Education (ECE) for the NATA (2009-2013). During her tenure as Chair for the ECE, Ms. Brown led the writing of the “Professional Degree in Athletic Training White Paper”.  In 2014, she was named as the inaugural Chair of the CAATE Standards Committee, and has led the development of the new Standards for professional programs at the Master’s degree level.  The letter submitted in support of her nomination stated, “There is no more deserving member of the profession for this award; she has given her time, passion, effort, and intellect to improving education and accreditation in our profession”. The Commission appreciates her dedication to athletic training education.

Greg Gardner. Greg Gardner has over two decades of contribution to accreditation and quality assurance in athletic training education. He has served as a site visitor, for both the JRC-AT as well as the CAATE, since 1995. He participated in the transition from the JRC-AT (under CAAHEP) to the CAATE’s independent professional accreditation agency. Dr. Gardner was the first-ever Chair of the CAATE Site Visit Committee (2006-2008) and in this role established the roots of quality assurance that is vital to the peer review process. Dr. Gardner also served as President of the CAATE from 2008-2011.  He played an integral role in initiating the process of national accreditation recognition which resulted in CHEA recognition following his tenure with the Commission. He has been involved in the globalization of athletic training and serves as US Vice President to the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy. The letter submitted in support of his nomination stated, “Greg didn’t just ‘serve’, he approached these service leadership opportunities with the same dedication to integrity, professionalism, and excellence that he applies to each of his personal, professional, and academic efforts”. We are appreciative of his dedication to the profession of athletic training and the accreditation process.

To download a copy of this press release, click HERE