DAPHNE, Ala. — A United States Sports Academy alumna who has had a dual career as a national leader in athletic training and as a college faculty member has been named head of the Division of Professional Studies at Bridgewater College in Virginia.
Dr. Barbara H. Long, associate professor and chair of Health and Human Sciences and director of the athletic training program at Bridgewater, is the new head of Bridgewater’s Division of Professional Studies, where she oversees the departments of Economics and Business Administration, Health and Human Sciences, and Teacher Education.
Long graduated in 1988 from Bridgewater with a bachelor’s degree in biology and in 1989 earned Master of Sports Science degrees in sports medicine and sports health and fitness from the Academy. She completed her Doctor of Education degree in organizational leadership from Shenandoah University in 2012.
Long began her career as an athletic trainer, certified by the Board of Certification (BOC). She has worked with professional and high-level amateur athletes including at the World University Games, U.S. Olympic Training Center and several professional football camps. She also served as head athletic trainer at a high school and as a clinical athletic trainer for two outpatient clinics in Virginia.
Long has also provided leadership to the training and certification of athletic trainers in the mid-Atlantic region, as well as serving nationally with the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, where she has served as review committee chair. She is co-author of a book, “Athletic Training Exam Review,” published by Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, that assists athletic training students in preparation for the BOC examination.
After 10 years as a full-time athletic trainer, Long in 1999 began her academic career at Bridgewater College, an 1,800-student liberal arts college in central Virginia. She began an accredited athletic training program, in addition to serving on the faculty in health and human sciences. She has conducted research into prevention of infections in athletic training, hydration levels in athletes, and fall prevention in the elderly. Throughout her career, she has conducted community education programs on exercise and aging, fall prevention, and children and sports.
Long said her education at the Academy prepared her well for her career in the clinic and in the classroom.
“I came to the United States Sports Academy as a traditional student right out of my undergraduate degree,” Long said. “I wasn’t sure the direction I wanted to take, so the Academy was an opportunity for me to see a broad spectrum of areas devoted to sport.
“The Academy was a great opportunity for me to delve into sports medicine and become connected to people who understood sports medicine and fitness,” she said. “I felt the education provided a chance for me to become networked with professionals who ultimately benefited my career.”
Long said the position she holds at Bridgewater arose out of her mentorship with Bridgewater as a master’s degree student at the Academy. In fact, approximately one-third of Academy student mentorships lead to positions with the mentoring organization.
“The first step to getting the job I have now began during my Academy mentorship when I came to Bridgewater College and worked as an athletic trainer. While I had been an undergraduate student at Bridgewater, I was in another area, natural sciences, and I did not know the people in health and exercise sciences very well.
“My Academy mentorship laid the groundwork for my return to the institution 10 years later as a clinical healthcare provider and assistant professor.
“I feel that the faculty at the Academy did a good job helping me to define my professional pathway and giving me the tools to become a strong professional.”
Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located the city of Bridgewater in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,800 undergraduate students.
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, regionally accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.