Dr. Susan Edkins has spent the better part of three decades building a top-notch athletic training program at UNC Pembroke.
Under Edkins's leadership, scores of graduates have enjoyed successful careers in athletic training. The longtime athletic training director was presented with the Linda Harrill Rudisill Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual NC Shape Convention on March 13 in Winston-Salem.
Award recipients are master teachers, advocates and innovators who have demonstrated lifelong achievement and dedication to health education.
"I am honored to have my life's work recognized by my colleagues for such a prestigious award," Edkins said. "I have spent the last 31 years at UNC Pembroke advocating for access to appropriate health care for athletes of all ages and abilities. I am passionate about the role athletic trainers play in the health of our communities, especially in rural and underserved areas."
Edkins currently serves as athletic training program director and senior lecturer for health education in the Department of Kinesiology. She played a significant role in the athletic training program gaining accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education in 2007.
During her distinguished career, Edkins has also served as the NCAA Healthcare Administrator and the NCAA Compliance Officer in the Department of Athletics, as well as the clinical education coordinator and program director for the undergraduate and graduate athletic training program.
She has recently taken on a broader role within the Department of Kinesiology, which offers a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science with tracks in exercise physiology, recreation and sport administration and health promotion.
"I couldn't have accomplished what I have without the support of my family, especially my late husband, Brian Edkins," she said. "I am also grateful to my colleagues at UNC Pembroke for their support, especially Dr. Beverly Justice, who has worked side-by-side with me over the years in the athletic training program.
"My greatest joy is having a positive impact on my students' lives. We have so many graduates of our program providing health care to high school athletes in this region of the state, which makes me so happy. I look forward to continuing to guide students toward a career in athletic training as well as other careers in kinesiology."