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Athletic Training Quiz Whiz

Rebecca Marszalek, ’20, excels in Jeopardy!-like contest

Winter break wasn’t much of an academic recess for Rebecca Marszalek, ’20. The Bridgewater State University student hit the books to prepare for an athletic training competition.

The Jeopardy!-like contest called Quiz Bowl tested Rebecca’s knowledge of her profession. And, her hard work paid off.

She placed second in the New England region of the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association competition. But, Rebecca isn’t satisfied.

“It was both exciting and a little disappointing,” the athletic training major said. “I was hard on myself.”

By placing in the top three, she gets another chance, this time at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Quiz Bowl in June in Atlanta. Rebecca, a Dartmouth High School graduate who transferred into BSU, praises the rigorous program and dedicated faculty for preparing her for the Quiz Bowl and a successful career helping others.

“My athletic training classes – they’re difficult, they’re challenging. All of that information came in useful when it came to the Quiz Bowl,” she said. “There’s a lot expected of us and I expect a lot of myself in return.”

That commitment made her a natural choice to compete, said Dr. Philip Szlosek, an assistant professor in the Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion, and Leisure Studies.

“Her dedication to her academics is exceptional,” he said. “She is definitely a perfectionist and gives it her best and her hard work shows.”

She also stands out for seeking to work with artists, an emerging clientele for a profession commonly associated with athletes.

“We’re health care professionals,” Szlosek said. “We treat patients, not just athletes.”

Rebecca has a performing arts background, having played the violin since she was a child and danced since high school.

“I hope to work with dancers in the future,” she said. “They really are athletes – artistic athletes. … They have to have strong coordination and agility.”

Rebecca already has relevant experience from spending a semester working with dancers at Dean College in Franklin.

She’ll graduate as one of the last undergraduate athletic training majors. Changes in the profession mean new students need a master’s degree. BSU already offers a graduate program and the university launched an undergraduate health science program that prepares students for advanced athletic training, physical therapy and occupational therapy programs.

Rebecca encourages high school students to consider a health science degree as the start of a rewarding career.

“There are just so many opportunities going into any health science pathway,” she said. “It gives you that science- and evidenced-based background to be successful in any of those areas in the future.”

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