District 8 News from California, Hawaii and Nevada

FWATA 2020 Honors & Awards

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

2020 Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award
Hazel Ando, MS, ATC
Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Director/Event & Insurance Coordinator, University of California, Santa Barbara

Education: Eastern Kentucky University – Master of Science, Sports Administration; California State University, Long Beach – Bachelor of Science, Kinesiology: Athletic Training

Volunteer Service: NATA District 8 Hall of Fame Committee, Member (2014-2019); FWATA Honor & Awards Committee, Chair (2015-2019), Member (2014-Present); CATA Legislative Action Team, Member (2012-Present); FWATA Scholarship Committee, Member (2014-2016); FWATA Mark Ando/Ito Family Scholarship, Fundraiser (2006-Present); FWATA Annual Symposium Publicity/Registration (2001-2018); FWATA Scholarship Silent Auction Director (2006-2013); NATA Annual Meeting Learning Lab Moderator (2011); NATA Hit the Hill Participant (2010); NATA Annual Meeting Convention Volunteer (2008, 2009)’ NATA 2007 Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium Local Host Co-Chair (2006-2007); NATA Convention Education Program Committee, Member (2006-2007); Chapman University Approved Clinical Instructor (2003-2007); FWATA Secretary (1999-2001); CATA President (1995-1999); CATA Secretary (1986-1995); and NATA/BOC Certification Examiner (1979-1990.

Honors & Awards: UCSB 2013-2014 Staff Sustainability Award (2014); NATA Special Service Award (2009); FWATA Special Recognition Award (2008); Bill Chisolm Ethnic Diversity Advisory Council Professional Service Award (2006); FWATA Special Service Award (2004); and CATA Special Service Award (1994).


“I watched Hazel as I developed into an athletic trainer and admired her dedication and passion for the field … Hazel has consistently volunteered with CATA, FWATA, NATA, and internationally for over 35 years. Hazel is long overdue for this recognition…”
-Carolyn Peters, MA, ATC
FWATA Hall of Famer, Past FWATA District Director
San Diego Christian College, Director of Athletics and Athletic Trainer

“For as long as I can remember, she has been actively engaged in committees or involved in providing community service to promote the athletic training profession. She has influenced countless lives and will continue to do so for many more students, parents, and community members … Her service to record demonstrates her commitment to the athletic training profession, and this award would shed light on all that she does for FWATA.”
-Tricia Kasamatsu, PdD, ATC
California State University, Fullerton Athletic Training Program, Associate Professor and Co-Clinical Coordinator

“Athletic training is not just a profession to Hazel, it’s personal. She cares deeply about the athletic training profession and the dedicated people who serve in those roles. Her contributions to athletic training and to intercollegiate athletics in general have had significant impact on the profession and on the careers of the athletic trainers she has mentored throughout the years.”
-Diane O’Brien
University of California, Santa Barbara, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor

2020 FWATA Special Recognition Award
Mark D’Anza, MEd, ATC, LAT
Select Physical Therapy, Athletic Trainer; Clark County School District, Secondary School Instructor

Volunteer Service: NATA Convention Planning Committee Host City Representative (2018-2019); NvATA, President (2016-2019); and NvATA, President Elect (2014-2016.


“Mr. D’Anza doesn’t stay in the confines of the athletic training room. He works on the local level, reaching out to the communities he represents as an AT, a teacher, a parent, and a citizen. He serves on boards, plans events, organizes service opportunities, and chairs committees, all while representing what is the best in our community.”
-Timothy Jackson, CMAA
Clark County School District, Director of Athletics

“When I think of Mark and his dedication to athletic training, I often utilize the descriptive words passionate, hardworking, and a visionary … On top of his accomplishments, Mark still finds the time to be a leader in his peers. HE has served as a mentor to myself and others and instills passion to promote an practice athletic training at the highest standards.”
-Michael Sepiol, LAT, ATC,
NvATA, President
Corporate Health Coach Life Time Fitness; Heat Football Club, Head Athletic Trainer

“… I was able to see Mark’s passion and determination for improving the profession of athletic training, which was immensely motivational … Mark has a unique way of engaging his audience and creating excitement …”
-Michelle Samuel, MS, ATC, LAT
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Athletic Training Program, Lecturer/Clinical Education Coordinator

2020 FWATA Special Recognition Award
Leroy Heu, MA, ATC
University of California, Santa Barbara, Associate Athletics Director/Sports Medicine and NCAA Health Care Liaison

Volunteer Service: FWATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia Committee, Member (2018-Present), Lead On Site Volunteer (2001-Present), Silent Auction/Scholarship Fundraising Volunteer (2006-2013); Special Olympics Basketball Tournament: Santa Barbara Chapter, Medical Director/Athletic Trainer (2015-2020); Nikkei Games Basketball Tournament, Athletic Trainer (2005-2007, 2009-2019); NATA National Convention and Annual Symposia, On Site Volunteer (2008, 2009); NATA National Convention and Annual Symposia, Local Team Leader and Volunteer Coordinator (2007); NATA/BOC Test Site Coordinator, Examiner/Room Captain (1992-1994); and NATA/BOC Model, Examiner/Room Captain (1986-1992).


“Leroy is a prime example of a person who has willingly volunteered his time within our District in a role that often goes unnoticed to the general membership. Only those who know how much must be done at our Annual Meeting are aware of how many things he handles without having to be directed. He has been a problem solver, an incredibly hard-working volunteer, and great central pillar in our AMCS operation.”
-Ruem Malasarn, MA, ATC
FWATA AMCS Committee Commissioner
California Polytechnic University, Pomona, Assistant Athletic Director – Sports Performance

“Leroy is an outstanding person who possess excellent athletic training skills and is a professional in all endeavors. Leroy is a very dedicated employee who goes beyond the call of duty to complete tasks. Leroy will always volunteer for extra assignments. He has mentored many athletic trainers who have advanced in the athletic training and medical professions … I could always count on Leroy to get a task completed with expertise.”
-Dr. Gary Cunninghham
United States International Sports Federation, President

“Leroy would always tell me when I was a student athletic trainer the old cliché, ‘what you put into this profession, what what you will get out of it’. His dedication, leadership, and selflessness exemplifies a special athletic trainer and individual … It was Leroy’s worth ethic and guidance that taught me to go above and beyond and give back to the profession.”
-Brian Schulman, MA, ATC, CSCS
Oakland Athletics, Assistant Athletic Trainer


Congratulations to Hazel Ando, Mark D’Anza, and Leroy Heu! They along with our Scholarship and Research & Grants winners will be honored at the 2020 Awards Banquet held on Friday, July 17, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, 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 2020 FWATA Award Winners! See everyone in Kona.



Courtesy of the Honors and Award Committee

Junior Domingo
Honors and Awards Chair

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Far West Athletic Trainers Association