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Community Engagement at the Boston Marathon

April 12, 2018

Boston MarathonThe running of the 122nd Boston Marathon will include five participants raising money for the Lasell College Dennis "DJ" Simmonds '08 Memorial Scholarship Fund and three Lasell athletic training students providing medical assistance along the course.

This marks the sixth Patriot's Day in which students have volunteered to provide care for marathon participants, a tradition that began in 2013 under the supervision of Assistant Professor of Athletic Training Dominique Ross. Two students will be stationed at medical tents along the race route, and one will work with Ross at the finish line on race day, which is Monday, April 16.  

Ross, along with Assistant Professor of Athletic Training Christianne Eason, works with selected students to prepare for what she describes as an "atypical" situation.

"Race medicine is very different than your typical sporting event," said Ross. "The student volunteers get to observe a number of illnesses that they may not typically see with non-endurance athletes, and they are exposed to a variety of different injuries and illnesses at one time."  

It's an immersive experience for the students, who, according to Ross, learn about clinical behavior and communication on-site from leading medical professionals. In addition, students "tap into their resourcefulness" to navigate language barriers and cultural differences as they interact with runners representing nearly 100 countries.

DJ SimmondsOn the race course itself will be five charity runners who have designated their fundraising proceeds to the Dennis "DJ" Simmonds '08 Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support for current Lasell students. Simmonds was a 2008 graduate of the college's criminal justice program and a member of the Boston Police Department (BPD) who later succumbed to injuries sustained in Watertown, Massachusetts, in 2013 during the capture of Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Those running on behalf of the Simmonds Memorial Fund include a current BPD officer and a Lasell alumna, as well as supporters of the Simmonds family.  

The Boston Marathon draws an average crowd of 500,000 spectators each year to watch more than 32,000 runners. Lasell College is positioned alongside the first official turn of the course, across from the fire station on Washington Street and Commonwealth Avenue.