Thanks to a private donation, the Eastern biokinetics program, which is comprised of the athletic training and exercise science majors, will be receiving a new laboratory space in McInnis Learning Center.
“We are excited, we love being in the athletic training room, but it will give us more space. We won’t be in the way during practice and games,” said Allison Cawley, an athletic training senior graduating in December. “It will be nice to have our own space, and we will be near our professors’ offices.”
Currently, most athletic training and exercise science training occurs in Eastern’s athletic training room, which is often overcrowded. The new laboratory will provide the department with its own space and equipment for student use and education.
With work starting over the summer, McInnis classroom 101 will be transformed into the lab, which the department has been hoping for and is greatly anticipating.
“It will be helpful in two ways,” said John Post, Eastern’s head athletic trainer. “It will give us space we’ve definitely needed in the department, and it will free up room in the athletic training room that we need and haven’t had.”
The new laboratory will be a “dedicated” space where training equipment will be held. Classes will not actually be held in this room, but chairs and tables will be available if instructors decide to teach there, according to Dr. Wendy Mercier, head of the biokinetics department.
Currently some equipment that Eastern’s biokinetics program has is unusable due to space constraints, and this laboratory will allow for that equipment and new equipment to be used. New equipment has been donated to the program by Cooper Bone & Joint Institute and NovaCare Rehabilitation.
“Students will learn any number of skills they will use in the training room,” Mercier said. “There will be equipment to practice the therapeutic modalities used by trainers.”
Students and faculty alike express excitement about this improvement and look forward to the improvements this space will offer.
“Our courses will now be taught with much improved ability,” Mercier said. “It represents a great improvement in the way we execute; it will allow us to teach students better; it will allow for better education.”
The laboratory will not only immediately affect students, but in the future Dr. Mercier hopes to see the effects throughout the Eastern community as well.
“It will allow us to do things within the Eastern community,” Mercier said. “We can do nutritional and fitness assessment counseling and exercise testing for people outside the major. Eventually we can provide rehabilitation services on campus; that’s our vision for the future.”