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Athletic trainer honored for transgender, concussion work

Amanda Nicoles, head athletic trainer at Emerson, was named recipient of the Dr. Donald Grover Memorial Award last week and will be formally recognized during the 25th annual Eastern College Athletic Conference Convention and Trade Show this fall.

UPDATE: On August 12, Nicoles was additionally named Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.

Aside from her regular duties, Nicoles has done extensive research on transgender student athletes in the NCAA, which she began in 2008 while working with a student athlete at Pine Manor College. Nicoles has shared her findings at several regional and national athletic association meetings.



Amanda Nicoles, head athletic trainer for Emerson, is being honored with the Dr. Donald Grover Memorial Award in September.

Nicoles worked as head athletic trainer at Pine Manor College and Merrimack College before joining Emerson in 2010.

“While the true reward is always getting to work with students, being honored for that work is extremely validating and humbling,” Nicoles said.

Additionally, in the fall of 2010, Nicoles implemented mandatory “ImPact” testing for student athletes regarding head injuries, and developed policies addressing concussion management, mental health disorders, and eating disorders. She also coordinated the restructuring of the medial clearance process from a single-page questionnaire into a 17-page entrance assessment and mandated physical examination by a doctor prior to each academic year.

The Grover Memorial Award is bestowed periodically to an athletic trainer who has achieved outstanding success in his or her career, has made an unusual contribution in the interest of intercollegiate athletics, and has rendered meritorious service to intercollegiate athletics.

“Mandy takes great pride in her work,” said Dean of Students Ronald Ludman, “and she works tirelessly to provide our student athletes with the highest quality of care. Emerson is quite proud and pleased that the ECAC has recognized Mandy for her commitment, dedication and service to our students and the profession.”

“I am extremely grateful for the students and colleagues who have helped me get to this point in my career,” Nicoles said. “This is absolutely an award to be shared with my staff.”

Nicoles earned her master’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration in sports psychology from California State University, Fresno, in 2006. She obtained her undergraduate degree in athletic training from Boston University in 2004.

Nicoles provided medical coverage for the USA Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics teams in 2012 and 2008.

She will receive the award on September 29 at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, Massachusetts.

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