Jena received her B.S. in athletic training from Wilmington College and her M.A. in education from Valdosta State University. After graduation, she began working at Jacksonville University as an athletic trainer for women’s basketball and cheerleading. Jena likes working with athletes, but wanted more.
“I always wanted to teach athletic training,” she said. “I liked what Heidelberg had to offer.” After coming from a Division I program, Heidelberg was a welcome change. “I have a lot more interaction with students here,” she said. “The athletes are more appreciative of our services.”
Jena teaches Foundations of Professional Practice, Upper Extremity Orthopedic Examination and Diagnosis, Taping and Bracing, Strength and Conditioning, and Nutrition. She has been pleased with Heidelberg’s students. “The quality of students here is higher,” she said. “It’s been a good surprise.”
In addition to teaching, Jena works as the athletic trainer for volleyball, cross country, women’s basketball, and softball. As Jena works with athletes in the training rooms and at practices, athletic training students can watch and learn from her for their clinical hours. She also sets up practices and lets them in on real assessments and sessions.
As a working athletic trainer, Jena has seen her fair share of dislocations, stress fractures, and even broken bones. She wants her students to be able to handle any kind of injury and work with athletes to prevent injuries in the first place.
Jena is looking forward to getting involved with the athletic training honorary Iota Tau Alpha and the Chicago Marathon volunteers. She is also already considering traveling to Tianjin China through Heidelberg’s exchange program.
“I really enjoy being at Heidelberg,” Jena said. “It was like coming home.”
When she’s not teaching: Jena enjoys running, triathlons, and watching movies.