Cross offers different perspective to athletic training students, staff memebers


by Abbie CraneStaff Writer

There is a new face in the training room at Simpson College this year, and her experience stretches across the United States.

Rhonda Cross, assistant athletic trainer and clinical coordinator of athletic training, is hoping to bring new ideas to the Simpson Campus.

Cross, earned her doctorate in Administration and Teaching from Southeastern Louisiana University, where she was an assistant professor in Kinesiology and Health Studies, as well as the clinical coordinator of the athletic training education program. She left the South to be closer to her friends and family and because she was not getting to work as an athletic trainer at the university.

Head Athletic Trainer Jason Uhlenhake said Cross is a good addition to the program because she brings her own set of unique ideas to the training room.

“I teach taping differently than she does,” Uhlenhake said. “And it helps students to see different ways, to increase their knowledge.”

Mike Hadden, athletic training program coordinator, said Cross is a good addition to the staff not only because she has a wide range of experiences, but because she is approachable to students and athletes.

“She adds a different dimension to the athletic training education program,” Hadden said. “We can utilize her experiences to help improve our program.”

Uhlenhake has worked with Cross daily since the beginning of August. He said he enjoys working with her because she brings a lot of new information to the program, both clinical and on the field.

“She is a good addition, she has a lot of energy and knowledge,” Uhlenhake said.

Cross also says she brings some liveliness to the training program.

“I feel that I bring an enthusiasm toward Simpson athletics,” Cross said. “By working with athletics, I will be able to do what I love, rehab with the athletes, injury care (and) prevention, as well as educate my students.”

Additionally, Cross teaches three courses per semester along with her work as an athletic trainer, something this enthusiastic educator has been doing very for quite some time.

“I have been teaching at the college level since I was 22,” Cross said.

Hadden said in their search to replace Neil Nelsen, Cross found them. She was trying to get into the collegiate setting in central Iowa.

“We were very fortunate to add such a high quality athletic trainer and educator to our staff,” Hadden said. “The athletic training program here at Simpson is an academic program and Rhonda was excited to stay in this type of setting.”

Cross says students in the Simpson Athletic Training program work very hard and that the staff within the program work hard to make it one of the top in the state.

“(The athletic training students) take classes that are probably some of the most intense classes on campus,” Cross said, “and they also put in 20 plus hours outside of their class room, not being paid, to take care of Simpson Athletes.”