District 8 News from California, Hawaii and Nevada

FWATA 2019 Honors and Awards

It is with great pleasure that we are able to honor our colleagues that have provided their service to our district and profession.

Hall of Fame

The FWATA Hall of Fame Award is the highest honor any member of FWATA can achieve. It is to recognize dedicated members who have spent countless hours as an athletic trainer, mentoring students and athletes, as well as volunteering their personal time to advance the athletic training profession.

This year, we will be honoring our 2019 FWATA Hall of Fame Inductee:

Kristine Boyle-Walker, MPT, OCS, ATC, CHT

Education: Chapman University – MPT – Master of Physical Therapy; California State University, Long Beach – BA – Physical Education: Athletic Training

Career: Orthopaedic Specialty Institute – Assistant Director of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapist (2013-present); Wilcox Physical Rehabilitation Center – Senior Physical Therapist, Administrator (1994-2013); Occidental College – Assistant Athletic Trainer (1991-1996); California State University, Fullerton – Part Time Faculty (2015-present); Chapman University – Adjunct Faculty (2011-2012); Concordia University – Adjunct Faculty (2010-2012); Athletic Training Students Preceptor (2004-2016); and Physical Therapy Students Preceptor (1994-2013)

Volunteer Service: NATA Honors & Awards Committee, Member, Hall of Fame Sub-Committee (2019-present); FWATA Annual Meeting & Symposium, Moderator (2015-present); FWATA Convention Program Committee, Member, Education Program, Chair (2014-present); NATA Executive Committee for Education, Liaison (2013-2014); NATA Convention Program Committee, Chair (2010-2015); NATA Athletic Training Services Project Team, Member (2008-2009); NATA Search Committee, Education Council Executive Committee Chair (2008); BOC Home Study Reviewer (2006-2010); NATA Strategic Implementation Team, Member (2006-2009); NATA Convention Program Committee, Chair-Advanced Track Seminars (2005-2010); NATA Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium, Moderator (2005-2010); NATA Education Council Executive Committee, Member (2005-2009); NATA Education Council, Continuing Education Committee, Chair (2005-2009); NATA Governmental Task Force, Member (2006-2007); NATA Bone and Joint Decade Task Force, Member (2005-2007); Cerritos College Advisory Committee, Fitness Specialist & Athletic Trainer Aide Certificate Programs (2003-present); NATA Education Council, Continuing Education committee, Co-Chair One Day Workshop (2000-2005); FWATA Honors & Awards Committee, Member (1999-present); and NATA Education Council, Continuing Education Committee, Sub-Committee Member (1998-2000)

Honors & Awards: CSULB Sports Medicine Club Hall of Fame (2018); Sunburst Youth Academy Mentor of the Year (2016); NATA Continuing Education Excellence Award (2012); NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer (2011); FWATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer (2011); NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award (2010); FWATA Special Recognition Award (2009) and Occidental College Associate Athletic Trainer (1996)


“Working alongside and watching Ms. Boyle-Walker allowed me to witness her visionary mindset, as well as her thoughtful reflection…Her passion for the profession and District 8 is not easily matched.”

–Robert Kersey, PhD, ATC,

NATA Hall of Famer

“Kris has given more of her personal time and energy to the profession of athletic training, local universities, and various national and district committees than anyone will truly know. She has quietly done more to help provide growth through education to athletic trainers on a large scale than anyone else I have known.”

-Ruem Malasarn, MA, ATC

FWATA AMCS Commissioner

“Kris has devoted an immense amount of time and effort for the athletic training profession and in doing so has helped improve the educational learning opportunities of the membership.”

-Beverly Sweet, MA, ATC

Cerritos College, Adjunct Faculty



2019 Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award

Stacey Jensen Ritter, MS, ATC, ITAT

San Luis Sports Therapy/Team Movement for Life, Director of Sports Medicine & Athletic Training

Education: California State University, Fullerton – Master of Science, Kinesiology: Psychology of Injury; California State University, Long Beach – Bachelor of Science, Kinesiology: Athletic Training

Volunteer Service: Gatorade Inc. Expert Chat, NATA Annual Symposium (2018); FWATA Annual Symposium, Moderator (2018); NATA Health Care Reform Workgroup (2016-present); Gatorade Inc. High School Athletic Trainer Task Force (2015-2017); Gatorade Inc. High School Athletic Trainer Advisory Panel (2015); NATA Annual Symposium, Moderator (2013, 2007-2011, 2001); NATA Annual Symposium, Secondary Schools Programming Chair (2013); NATA Secondary Schools Committee, District 8 Representative (2011-2016); FWATA Secondary Schools Committee Chair (2011-2016); CIF Southern Section Athletic Training Advisory Committee (2011-2016); CATA State Symposium & Hit the Hill, Registration Chair (2011); CATA Secondary School Athletic Trainers Committee, Chair (2009-2011); FWATA Scholarship Silent Auction, Chair (2008-2010); NATA Annual Symposium, Convention Committee Team Leader (2007); NATA Annual Symposium, Speaker (2007, 2001); CIF Wrestling Master Assessor (2006-present); Gatorade Inc. High School Athletic Trainers Advisory Council (2005-2009); CATA California State Representative, NATA Convention (2003); FWATA Secondary Schools Committee, CA State Representative (2002-2011); CATA State Secretary (2002-2004); and CATA Region 2 Director (1999-2002)

Honors & Awards: NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer (2018); Movement For Life Service Award (2016); NATA Athletic Training Service Award (2015); CATA State Recognition Award (2013); Movement For Life Team Award (2013); CATA State Service Recognition (2011); and FWATA All District Team: Secondary Schools (2005)


“She mentored athletic trainers but more importantly she also mentored and educated athletic directors and school administrators to the value and expertise of the secondary school athletic trainer.”

Cindy Clivio

FWATA Hall of Famer, FWATA District Secretary

“I can say from experience that without the mentorship, support and guidance of the amazingly talented Stacey Ritter, I might not have stayed in the high school setting…It has been through her support that myself and many of my fellow high school ATs have found our way through the dark and difficult times, and onto the sustaining path of work-life balance and satisfaction.”

-Megan Swanlund, MA, ATC

Coast Union High School, Head Athletic Trainer

“Stacey is the consummate advocate for athletic trainers, the athletic training profession and the communities the athletic trainer serves…Stacey empowers others with her knowledge and desire to make communities a better place through the role of athletic trainers.”

-James E. Glinn, PT, DPT, OCS

Team Movement for Life, Founder



2019 FWATA Special Recognition Award

Tricia Kasamatsu, PhD, ATC

California State University, Fullerton, Athletic Training Program, Assistant Professor & Co-Clinical Coordinator

Volunteer Service: NATA Executive Council on Education Committee, Member (2018-present); FWATA Research & Grants Committee, Member (2018-present); CATA Legislative Action Team, Member (2016-present); NATA Research & Education Foundation Scholarship Committee, Member (2016-present); FWATA Student Leadership Committee, Lead Advisor (2014-present); and CATA Annual Meeting Planning Committee, Member (2013-2015)


“I am impressed, but not surprised, by the amount of service Dr. Kasamatsu has provided to FWATA over the years…I would simply add that she is a wonderful colleague and representative of athletic trainers as she is intelligent, thoughtful, works diligently to get the job done, and is simply great to work with on a daily basis.”

Jason Bennett, DA, ATC

CATA President

“With Tricia’s continued guidance, the Student Leadership Committee has become more than just a small group of students who…only chose leaders for a breakfast to one that has grown to fully organize the networking breakfast, is [now] responsible for outreach activities within the student population, developing and implementing a student symposium session and helping to get students more engaged in leadership within the profession.”

Joanna Engel-Finer, MS, ATC

University of La Verne, Director of Athletic Training Services

“Her presence as an athletic trainer in the CATA and FWATA is unremarkable and she continues to be a positive role model to all her students as well as her colleagues.”

Hazel Ando, MS, ATC

University of California, Santa Barbara


Michelle N. Samuel, MS, ATC, LAT

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Athletic Training Program, Clinical Education Coordinator/Lecturer

Volunteer Service: FWATA Student Leadership Committee, Advisor (2016-present); CAATE Site Visitor (2015-present); and NvATA Treasurer (2012-2018)


“Michelle’s name is the first to come to mind when thinking of people in Nevada that are making a positive impact on the profession of athletic training. She works with students and other athletic trainers on multiple levels to promote our profession.”

Mark D’Anza

NeATA President

“Michelle Samuel’s patience, availability to students and colleagues, eagerness to participate on educational and professional committees, advancement of her own education, education and community outreach, and above all, mentorship of our future athletic training professionals more than exemplify the qualities deserving of a FWATA Special Recognition Award.”

Tami Fernandez, LAT, ATC, LMT, BCTMB

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Visiting Lecturer

“Her compassion, selflessness, and passion is something that I admire and have always strived to encompass in my own life. I have never known any person to be as dedicated to anything as she is to her students and this field.”

Brianna Picone, LAT, ATC

University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Congratulations to Kristine Boyle-Walker, Stacey Ritter, Tricia Kasamatsu, and Michelle Samuel! They along with our Scholarship and Research & Grants winners will be honored at the 2019 Awards Banquet held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, which will include a pre-banquet social at 5:30 p.m. Please join us as we celebrate our awardees.

On behalf of the Honors and Awards Committee, I would like to thank those that submitted nominations for this year’s awards. Also, thank you to the committee for dedicating their time.

Congratulations to our 2019 FWATA Award Winners! See everyone in San Diego.

Junior Domingo, Honors and Awards Chair




Courtesy of the Honors and Awards Committee

Junior Domingo, Honors and Awards Chair

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Far West Athletic Trainers Association