CU’s Michelle Aiken Receives Terminal Degree in Athletic Training
Chowan University boasts a large number of faculty with terminal degrees. To be more exact, in a recent report released by the Provost's office in November of 2018, 79 percent of Chowan's 65 faculty members have terminal degrees in their respective teaching fields. Chowan University is also home to 162 staff members, representing seven different areas of operation on campus. While many Chowan staff members boast Master's degrees and advanced certifications, only two staff members currently hold the distinction of Doctorate. Michelle Aiken, a member of the Chowan University Athletic Training Staff, recently completed her Doctorate of Athletic Training from Temple University, giving her the hard-earned title of Dr. Michelle Aiken.
The road to Dr. Michelle Aiken has not been an easy task for this South Carolina native. "The hardest aspect of completing the program was time management," stated Aiken. "Working full-time and going to school full-time was tough. Even finding energy to complete assignments was difficult at times."
Aiken completed her undergraduate work in 2014 at Erskine College in South Carolina. She traveled to Temple University in Philadelphia for her Master's Degree work and MAT certification in Kinesiology. In fact, since May of 2018, the last six months have been the longest she has not been enrolled as a student.
"The best thing about completing both my masters and doctorate degrees is that I learned how to properly research information and apply what I learned in a clinical setting," said Aiken on completing her terminal degree requirements. "If I hear about an intervention, I don't just assume that what is said about it is correct. I can research the intervention myself, and make a determination and decide if it will benefit the athletes here at Chowan."
Aiken didn't always see a path to sports medicine in her future. It took convincing from her high school friend, Blake Robinson, to consider it as a college major. She also got nudging from long-time high school athletic trainer, Barry Atkinson, in her hometown of Waterloo, South Carolina.
Once Aiken got a taste of the sports medicine field at Erskine, she immersed herself in the clinical and practical experiences that come with the tedious major.
"I am simply most proud to have obtained each degree, and, in the process, increased my knowledge and resources that I might be able to best serve my patients," Aiken said.
"Obtaining a Doctorate of Athletic Training helped me to become a better athletic trainer. Assignments for the courses required me to research and apply evidence-based medicine to my current practice which ultimately benefited the student-athlete," finished Aiken.
Aiken currently attends Murfreesboro United Methodist Church and is active in the Prayer Shawl Ministry. In her free time, she likes to read, watch television, hang out with co-workers, and knit.
Aiken serves as an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the CU Athletic Department. She has been employed since 2016 and oversees athletic training needs of men's soccer, men's and women's swimming, and softball. Prior to joining the staff at Chowan, Aiken worked as a part-time athletic trainer for campus recreation and completed a clinical rotation at the Temple University athletic training room. In that capacity, she evaluated and diagnosed student-athlete injuries and supervised rehabilitation while covering men's and women's club rugby, men's club wrestling, men's club volleyball, and men's ice hockey. Aiken also served as a teaching assistant for anatomy and physiology labs.