Dr. Dan Wagner, of Dakota Wesleyan University, was honored Wednesday by the South Dakota Athletic Trainers’ Association with the Educator of the Year Award.
Wagner is an athletic training professor and preceptor at DWU, as well as director of the athletic training program.
The award was one of several given Wednesday, June 6, during the annual South Dakota Athletic Trainers’ Association Honors and Awards ceremony in Sioux Falls.
The purpose of the Educator of the Year Award is to recognize an athletic training instructor or preceptor for his or her outstanding dedication to the development of athletic training students and the profession of athletic training.
“There are many qualities that make Dan an incredible educator,” said Dr. Lana Loken, clinical education coordinator and athletic training preceptor and professor. Loken nominated Wagner for the award. “He believes that athletic training education should be rigorous and challenges our students constantly. He cares about his students and spends a lot of time helping them make career and life decisions. …Recently, one of our pre-athletic training students was having some personal problems, which made it difficult for him to stay in Mitchell and remain in classes. Over a break, Dan called and helped him find a job and a place to live so that the student could remain at DWU.”
Wagner has more than 20 years of experience in athletic training and assisted the university in creating a Master of Athletic Training degree program. DWU’s athletic training graduates this year also all passed the Board of Certification exam on their first try – an impressive accomplishment that the university’s program has accomplished several times before, Loken said.
“Qualities that make Dan a great candidate for this award are his passion for what he teaches,” stated one student recommendation. “Also, he cares. It is pretty special to have a professor that goes so far out of his way to help us get where we want to be.”
Another student recommendation read, “Dan is always extremely well read on every topic we bring up, and always provides us the research to support it. He does a great job with one-on-one teaching and applying new ways so that everyone learns in their own way.”