From Athletes to Soldiers

Sarah Newman ’01 (right) with JR Celski, U.S. Short Track Speedskating Olympian, at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Sarah Newman ’01 (right) with JR Celski, U.S. Short Track Speedskating Olympian, at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Since graduating in 2001, Sarah Newman has been around the athletic training world a time or two. She studied abroad in Wales and later went on earn her master’s in athletic training from Western Michigan University in 2003 before joining a host of institutions as an athletic trainer—and every experience has taught her the importance of a Central education.

“Central gave me a diverse background, international experience in Wales and instilled confidence in my skill set through one-on-one teaching,” Newman says.

In the past 10 years, Newman has held five prestigious athletic training positions, starting as an athletic training fellow with the U.S. Olympic Committee. That position helped her break into the Olympic world—she was the head athletic trainer from the U.S. National Short Track Speedskating Team for three years, and she recently returned from Sochi, Russia, as a member of the medical staff for the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team as they prepare for 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Newman was also an athletic trainer ay the Froedtert Hospital in Wisconsin in the sports medicine center. In 2010, she moved on to jobs in the U.S. Armed Forces, first taking a position with the Navy in the Sports Medicine and Reconditioning unit (SMART) as an athletic trainer. Newman’s current position has her working with wounded and injured Marines and Sailors as the director of sports medicine and reconditioning for the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Battalion in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

“We work to either prepare them to return to their units or transition into civilian life through sport, recreational activities and individualized therapeutic strength and conditioning programs,” Newman says of the injured soldiers. “Our day can consist of anything from working with a Marine or Sailor as they prepare for triathlons or Paralympics to decreasing their pain during the activities of daily life.”

While at Central, Newman learned a lot from her professors—especially John Roslien, associate professor of exercise science. He taught her how to perform a “proper air guitar solo to AC/DC,” but also how to enjoy her job and be an effective athletic trainer.

“John cared way more about me as a person, than if I was going to be an amazing athletic trainer,” she recalls. “He taught me that you need to be happy and love what you do in order to be successful, and that it’s even more important in your life outside of athletic training.”

During her career, Newman has experienced many new places and people. Her opportunities as a professional and as a person have been endless. As for her success, she credits that back to Central and her mentor.

“At Central, I was an individual, not a number,” says Newman. “People are more important than the jobs that they hold. I am the professional that I am today because of Central and John. He taught me that life is simple: Have a passion for what you do, challenge yourself, don’t treat the injury, treat the person and always have a theme song—AC/DC will always do!”

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