In Focus: Alexandra Sperduti
What piqued your interest in Athletic Training?
While in high school, I played three Varsity sports. We were fortunate to have an Athletic Trainer to cover our practices and games. I spent a lot of time speaking with him about the profession. I became very interested and began shadowing him. I loved being able to stay around athletics while also helping others. It was clear to me at this point that Athletic Training was the route I wanted to pursue.
What made you choose Hofstra University for your undergraduate studies?
While I was researching colleges, I called program director, Dr. Ellinger, to schedule a meeting to learn more about the Athletic Training profession and major at Hofstra University. Her eagerness and knowledge of the profession was very comforting. As a high school senior, she allowed me to sit in on classes as well as introducing me to other faculty members. The warm welcoming I received was one that I could not turn away. Needless to say, I am very happy with my decision.
Congratulations on receiving a scholarship from the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association! How did you accomplish this?
I made sure that I kept my grades up, maintaining a high cumulative GPA. Additionally, I worked hard and showed my dedication to the profession while in the Athletic Training Facility, allowing me to get strong letters of recommendation.
What kinds of hands-on experience did you gain through the Athletic Training Education program?
There have been so many hands-on experiences that it is hard to just name a few. They ranged anywhere from taping athletes before they ran out to practice to assisting the management of on-field injuries to creating and implementing a pool workouts. I was able to travel with the Hofstra Men’s Lacrosse team, working with them for a full season. The ability to make relations with the athletes and follow them through the course of their injuries was both rewarding and exciting. For my final internship, I am at ProHealth Care Associates Physical Therapy Clinic in Lake Success. Under the supervision of Dennis Treubig, PT, DPT, I work with patients of all ages to evaluate and assess their injuries and design a rehabilitation/treatment program.
Did you connect well with any particular faculty members?
Absolutely. All of the faculty members in the department are amazing. They are eager and willing to help the students with any matter. In particular, I have connected with Jayne Ellinger. I have been her student assistant for the past 3 years. Over my time at Hofstra University, she has always been there to help anyway possible. Dr. Ellinger always goes above and beyond in everything she does and is a true inspiration. I have learned so much from working with her and she has become a life-long mentor to me.
Were you active in any Hofstra student organizations?
I am an active member in HATS (Hofstra Athletic Training Society). We go to seminars, run First Aid and CPR certification classes, support charities, and go to athletic training conferences. We also went around the area helping Hurricane Sandy Victims, which was very rewarding. This club has helped all the students bridge the gap between being a student and becoming a professional. Additionally, I am the Captain of the Women’s Club Lacrosse team for the third year. Aside from playing lacrosse, we have a program called “Goals for the Good.” For every goal that we score throughout the season, we donate $10 it 3 charities of our choice. Last season we were able to donate $1,000!
What are your long-term goals?
Long term, I want to work for the military as a physical therapist and athletic trainer to help wounded soldiers return to active duty or improve the quality of life.
What AT skills and competencies will be most helpful for you as you complete your doctoral program in physical therapy?
I believe that the whole experience will be helpful as I complete my doctoral work at Stony Brook University. Specifically, the fact that I have already been working with patients for 4 years, developing both my hand-on manual skills as well as my interpersonal/professional skills, has created a solid foundation for me to build upon.
Do you have any advice for students considering Athletic Training at Hofstra?
I think that any student interested in this field and the opportunity to pursue it, should. Aside from the knowledge you obtain, the relationships you make with the fellow athletic training students as well as faculty are life-long. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but it is definitely worth it in the end. Just stay focused and dedicated and the rest will come.