Feature Article

Raising the Bar

Lasell’s Athletic Training and Exercise Science Program Expands

Hands On: Professor Cris Haverty gives pointers to Marisa Visocchi '14.

Lasell's Athletic Training and Exercise Science Program is on the cusp of something big.

A little more than 10 years ago, the College was building the department, developing curriculum, and looking to recruit more students.

Today, under the leadership of department chair Associate Professor Cristina Haverty, the academic discipline recently set an incoming student record, has student interns at Harvard, local pro trainer Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, and now, is looking to add a graduate program by 2014-15.

"The goal has been to get students to come here because it is their number one choice," says Haverty. "Now, it's about this exciting future [here at Lasell] with new faculty and student opportunities. The students want to come here and we want to help them be the best they can be."

The recent five-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) of the Exercise Science Program and ten-year re-accreditation of the Athletic Training Program by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) give fuel to the department's fire.

"Achieving both accreditations was monumental for the department," says Haverty. "It's all part of the excitement. The students feel the buzz," says Haverty.

Since her arrival at Lasell in 2000 from MIT, where she coordinated the Sports Medicine program, Haverty has brought a high level of energy and excitement that has helped to steadily attract students to the program.

"Under Cris's leadership, these programs have grown steadily, not to mention the excellent faculty she's recruited," says Vice President for Academic Affairs Jim Ostrow. "The students also benefit tremendously from her own professional expertise as an athletic trainer to elite athletes."

After finishing her clinical practice and graduate work at Boston University, she came to Lasell with plans for growing a department and anticipation of working directly with students.

"I always knew I wanted to lead a department, but I also loved being on the field or the ice. I'm a clinician at heart," she says.

Earlier in her career she was Head Athletic Trainer for the U.S Youth Soccer's Region 1 Olympic Development program for Girls Soccer and was an athletic trainer for the U.S Soccer Federation, until 2010.

Keeping up on best practices, she endeavors to keep one foot on the athletic field, taking three or four training jobs a year, despite a hectic teaching schedule and managing a department.

But, her real love is working with the students.

Often a line of students forms out her office door, but Haverty makes time for them all.

"I just can't say no when it comes to them. You just don't know who needs your attention most, so we try to create a community," Haverty adds.

And when she's not giving her time to Lasell's undergraduates, she's part of a bustling household that includes three children under the age of 10 and a very devoted husband (He's with the kids as needed, she says.)

That support enables her to focus squarely on a very bright future for Athletic Training and Exercise Science at Lasell.

"I'm excited about collaborating with my colleagues to develop a vision that positions Lasell College as a leader in athletic training and exercise science education," says Haverty.

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