SAINT PETER, Minn. (May 12, 2016) -- Mary Joos, program director and clinical education coordinator of the Gustavus Adolphus College Athletic Training Program, has been awarded the 2016 Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence. Nominated and selected by students, the award was presented at the College’s Honors Day convocation on Saturday, May 7.
“It’s incredible to be selected for this award,” Joos said. “It shows the strength of the Athletic Training Program and the fact that Gustavus is so well-connected among students and faculty.”
“Mary goes above and beyond every day,” senior athletic training student Cassie Lindstrom said. “She is an amazing professor and role model and she more than deserves this incredible honor.”
Joos has been a member of the Gustavus community since 2008, when she began as an assistant athletic trainer and instructor. Her role quickly grew to include coordinating the program’s clinical education efforts in 2009, and she became the program director in 2015. As the program director and clinical education coordinator, Joos leads the Athletic Training Program, develops and evaluates clinical sites, supervises preceptors, teaches classes and advises students, and maintains the accreditation of the program. In the Department of Health and Exercise Science, she’s assisted professor Aaron Banks on January Interim Experience study-away trips to Austria, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, France, and Ireland through his Olympic Quest course. Outside the classroom, Joos advises the Gustavus Athletic Trainers’ Association and Iota Tau Alpha, the athletic training honor society. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa’s Eta Chapter of Minnesota.
Despite her lengthy list of projects and involvements, her interactions with students are where Joos shines. “Mary’s innovative teaching is displayed in our practical exams,” Lindstrom said. “She pushes us to think critically every time with unique scenarios that challenge us to take initiative, instill confidence in our patients, and develop excellent decision-making skills.”
Joos believes that the athletic training is a hands-on application of the liberal arts. “I’ve learned that liberal arts are more about how the course is taught than what the course is,” she said. “Athletic training is about communication, critical thinking, serving others, and the way that your care is always in terms of the whole person.”
“The priority is always the students,” Joos continued. “This award is more an indication of the students than me. I’d like to recognize them for believing in the program and the way we do things at Gustavus.”
The Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence honors the memory of two Gustavus students and members of the Student Senate, Greg Swenson and Holly Bunn, who were killed in a car accident in 1989. It has been awarded annually since 1990.