This month, kinesiology graduate student Annie Ronning took first place in the Lightning Talk Competition at the inaugural Institute for the Study of Sport, Society, and Social Change (ISSSC) virtual conference: “Dream with Your Eyes Open: (Re)Imagining Sport in the Age of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.” The event was designed “to continue the legacy of equity and social justice by addressing the issues and challenges in sport,” according to the program’s webpage.
Ronning, who interns at the ISSSC, says the event was a great success. She enjoyed presenting her research at the Lightning Talk Competition, which represented an important intersection of activism and athletics.
“I chose to focus on cultural competency in athletic training education,” Ronning says. “Being an athletic trainer and a recent graduate from an athletic training program, I felt very close to this topic as it is meaningful to me and my colleagues. The profession of athletic training has room for improvement, much like many other facets of sport, and the momentum of positive change begins with conversation and awareness. The goal of my literature review presentation was to do just that in an educational format.”
With an expected graduation date of Spring 2021, Ronning hopes to infuse this passion into her final kinesiology independent study project from a sport management perspective. “My goal with this research is to make it applicable as something that can be utilized to create change within the athletic training profession. Athletic trainers are a significant element of sport and I want to do what I can to improve this field in a progressive way…I am thankful that the ISSSSC has given me that opportunity and I am excited to continue.”
Ronning began her SJSU career as a graduate assistant athletic trainer. Later, she was contracted to work with the athletics program at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco until COVID-19 put a pause on sports. “Since then, I shifted my focus and created my Lightning Presentation with the ISSSSC in efforts to better my profession while promoting social change,” says Ronning.
“My internship at the institute paired with my graduate coursework has allowed me to grow personally and professionally while providing me an incredible support system along the way. I am lucky to work with such great advisors at San José State and want to thank Dr. Akilah Carter-Francique, Dr. Amy August, and Dr. Cole Armstrong for their help throughout my academic journey. I look forward to continued work at the institute and with my KIN 298 final project. I feel grateful to have these enriching opportunities at SJSU.”