Gardner-Webb Athletic Training Program Introduces Students to Career Possibilities

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Tripp Hastings (’17) Gains Friendships, Makes Connections to last a lifetime

Clyde Donald “Tripp” Hastings III (’17) of Boiling Springs, N.C., grew up coming to sporting events at Gardner-Webb University with his grandmother Teresa Huggins. She’s a lifetime Bulldog Club member and is related to J.D. Huggins, the first principal of Boiling Springs High School, the forerunner of Gardner-Webb University.

Because the University is close to home, and he already knew about the campus, Hastings considered going to college elsewhere.

“Growing up in Boiling Springs, I thought there was no way I would ever go to Gardner-Webb, because I drive five minutes to go home, but still live on campus,” he shared. “When the time came, though, God had a different plan and I am glad he did. I wouldn’t trade my time at Gardner-Webb for anything else.”

Once on campus, Hastings also changed his mind about his major. He started in the physical education program, intending to teach like his father. Then, his roommate, Brandon Smith, a junior majoring in athletic training, shared about his classes.

“He introduced me to the profession and answered questions,” Hastings reflected. “I truly enjoy the profession and look forward to a long career in it. Plus, I am a people person so athletic training allows me to be around people all the time. I am also a big sports guy, and athletic training has opportunities to work in the sports world also.”

The clinical experiences in the athletic training program introduce him to a variety of career options available in physical therapy, high school athletics and orthopedic offices.

“At the end of our time we will have worked with six sports and at a physical therapy clinic, orthopedic office and medical office,” he observed. “These contacts provide us with ample education and knowledge to be prepared for the career path we choose to pursue.”

After graduating, he plans to attend graduate school and will carry with him the lessons learned from his peers and the faculty at Gardner-Webb.

“I have been able to make some great friends and have also been able to make connections among professors that will last a lifetime,” Hastings affirmed. “The faculty in the School of Preventive and Rehabilitative Health Sciences can be described like family. The professors and the students truly connect and make a small community within our profession.”