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Hope College October 2013 : Page 14

Faculty Profile A Higher By Chris Lewis ’09 Calling “I felt that God was calling me to leave that high profile position and work in my chosen profession at a place where I could make a difference in the lives of young people, while still finding professional satisfaction by doing what I love,” Dr. Brumels said. This sense of calling led him directly back to Hope, where, as a student, he had been mentored not only by Dr. Richard Ray, former director of the athletic training program, but members of the faculty college-wide. In return, he longed to dedicate his time and talents to new generations of students—as a mentor and full-time professor. “Although Rich had the most significant impact on my personal and professional life, other professors also took time to invest in me as a student and as a person,” said Dr. Brumels, who has been back at Hope since 2001, serving today as program director of athletic training education and associate professor of kinesiology. “I believe these relationships are critical for students as they navigate the process of determining their vocations, so I wanted to provide the same type of mentorship I received to current students.” Since returning to Hope, he has become highly respected in his discipline, not only as an educator, but as a scholar and leader within the athletic training community. Earlier this year, the Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society (MATS), of which he is a past president, inducted him into its Hall of Fame, and he currently serves as Michigan state representative to the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association (GLATA). After 11 years as a trainer with the New England patriots, Dr. Kirk Brumels ’88 returned to his undergraduate alma mater to teach because he valued the opportunity to be a mentor to young people, reflecting and honoring the important difference that Hope faculty across campus I n 1990, Dr. Kirk Brumels ’88 accepted an offer that is often considered the epitome of success within the athletic training profession, a full-time job with a National Football League (NFL) organization, the New England Patriots. For the next 11 years, he served as assistant athletic trainer for the team, diagnosing, treating, and rehabbing players’ injuries. He even had an opportunity to work on the sidelines of Super Bowl XXXI. But, through it all, he oftentimes wondered if he was fulfilling his vocation. Involving students in collaborative research provides valuable lessons as they learn how to develop and implement the projects and share the results. A project derived from Dr. Brumels’s avid interest in fishing provided a serious opportunity to use Electomyography (EmG) to evaluate muscle activity in comparing different types of fly rods. Here, students work during testing with community member John Osborn, who is one of Dr. Brumels’s fishing partners as well as a fly-fishing author. “He completely remade who he was as a professional. After Hope hired him, he didn’t have a doctorate, so he earned it while working full-time,” said Dr. Ray, who is now provost at Hope, as well as a professor of kinesiology. “I soon realized that he was gifted in ways that I didn’t even know about. “From his book projects to his published materials, it is clear that Kirk is not pigeonholed only as a clinician,” he continued. “He has a much wider lens.” Dr. Brumels began his involvement with athletic training at Hope as an athlete in need. As a freshman member of the junior varsity basketball team, he sustained a foot injury that threatened to end his collegiate playing career. He became interested in sports medicine while receiving rehabilitation from Dr. Ray and witnessing some of the responsibilities of athletic training first-hand. He joined the program as a sophomore, and soon became involved in clinical experiences with Hope’s basketball, baseball, field hockey and football teams, prior to landing an internship with the Patriots during the summer of 1987. “Rich had a relationship with the Patriots’ head athletic trainer, as they had worked together with the Philadelphia Eagles when he was an intern,” Dr. Brumels said. “He encouraged me to apply and I was offered the opportunity.” After graduation, he returned to the 14 News News From From Hope Hope College College

Faculty Profile

Chris Lewis

<br /> A Higher Calling<br /> <br /> In 1990, Dr. Kirk Brumels ’88 accepted an offer that is often considered the epitome of success within the athletic training profession, a full-time job with a National Football League (NFL) organization, the New England Patriots.<br /> <br /> For the next 11 years, he served as assistant athletic trainer for the team, diagnosing, treating, and rehabbing players’ injuries. He even had an opportunity to work on the sidelines of Super Bowl XXXI. But, through it all, he oftentimes wondered if he was fulfilling his vocation.<br /> <br /> “I felt that God was calling me to leave that high profile position and work in my chosen profession at a place where I could make a difference in the lives of young people, while still finding professional satisfaction by doing what I love,” Dr. Brumels said.<br /> <br /> This sense of calling led him directly back to Hope, where, as a st udent, he had been mentored not only by Dr. Richard Ray, former director of the athletic training program, but members of the faculty college-wide. In return, he longed to dedicate his time and talents to new generations of students—as a mentor and full-time professor.<br /> <br /> “Although Rich had the most significant impact on my personal and professional life, other professors also took time to invest in me as a student and as a person,” said Dr. Brumels, who has been back at Hope since 2001, serving today as program director of athletic training education and associate professor of kinesiology. “I believe these relationships are critical for students as they navigate the process of determining their vocations, so I want ed to provide the same type of mentorship I received to current students.”<br /> <br /> Since returning to Hope, he has become highly respected in his discipline, not only as an educator, but as a scholar and leader within the athletic training community. Earlier this year, the Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society (MATS), of which he is a past president, inducted him int o it s Hall of Fame, and he currently serves as Michigan state representative to the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association (GLATA).<br /> <br /> “He completely remade who he was as a professional. After Hope hired him, he didn’t have a doctorate, so he earned it while working full-time,” said Dr. Ray, who is now provost at Hope, as well as a professor of kinesiology. “I soon realized thaThe was gifted in ways that I didn’t even know about.<br /> <br /> “From his book projects to his published materials, it is clear that Kirk is not pigeonholed only as a clinician,” he continued. “He has a much wider lens.”<br /> <br /> Dr. Brumels began his involvement with athletic training at Hope as an athlete in need. As a freshman member of the junior varsity basketball team, he sustained a foot injury that threatened to end his collegiate playing career. He became interested in sports medicine while receiving rehabilitation from Dr. Ray and witnessing some of the responsibilities of athletic training first-hand.<br /> <br /> He joined the program as a sophomore, and soon became involved in clinical experiences with Hope’s basketball, baseball, field hockey and football teams, prior to landing an internship with the Patriots during the summer of 1987.<br /> <br /> “Rich had a relationship with the Patriots’ head athletic trainer, as they had worked together with the Philadelphia Eagles when he was an intern,” Dr. Brumels said. “He encouraged me to apply and I was offered the opportunity.”<br /> <br /> After graduation, he returned to the organization for a second internship that lasted throughout the 1988 NFL season, which ultimately led to a full-time position, once he earned his master’s degree two years later.<br /> <br /> “I completed graduate studies at Western Michigan in 1989 and 1990 and, when the Patriots had an opening on their staff, I was contacted about my interest and hired without an interview,” he said.<br /> <br /> Internships are oft en a t ransformational element of a student’s experience, and They continue to be a central component of The college’s athletic t raining major, but, as a mentor, Dr. Brumels has also enjoyed developing new ways for students to explore their disciplines and develop skills that will serve them well in their post-Hope careers. He has especially made a priority of engaging students in collaborative student-faculty research, allowing them to apply the knowledge they acquire in the classroom in a practical manner so that they can personally experience The core responsibilities of athletic training.<br /> <br /> For example, after watching his daughter play Wii video games like “Dance Dance Revolution,” Dr. Brumels initiated a collaborative research project to determine whether or not such games could help athletes recover from injuries and restore their balance. Working with Troy Blasius ’09, Tyler Cortright ’09, Daniel Oumedian ’09, and Brent Solberg ’09, Dr. Brumels’ team discovered Wii games were not only more enjoyable but also more effective than traditional balance-improvement programs.<br /> <br /> “They were intimately involved in the literature review, the study design and implementation of it, and the data collection and analysis,” Dr. Brumels said.<br /> <br /> It’s an experience that Blasius continues to value.<br /> <br /> “As an undergraduate student, you get very limited exposure to legitimate research work, let alone designing, conducting, gathering data, and composing the peer-reviewed report,” Blasius said. “His expectations were large, yet attainable, which ultimately made the research study a successful process and led to eventual publishing in Clinical Kinesiology.”<br /> <br /> This past year, Dr. Brumels, an avid fisherman, sought to discover which fly rods cause less muscle fatigue while casting—graphite or bamboo. Using Electomyography (EMG) to evaluate muscle activity, he worked with Dr. Kevin Cole, associate professor of kinesiology, Kurt Buchholz ’12, and Katherine Vorhoorst ’12 to determine whether or not there was a statistical difference between the rods.<br /> <br /> “Even though we did not find a difference, the process was fun, as Kurt and Katherine were involved with everything from conceptualization to dissemination,” he said.<br /> <br /> In addition to journal articles such as the Wii piece in Clinical Kinesiology, his publications include co-authoring the fourth edition of Developing Clinical Proficiency in Athletic Training: A Modular Approach, with Dr. Kenneth L. Knight, professor of athletic training at Brigham Young University. The book, used by Hope’s athletic training program since its inception, primarily features clinical education topics and laboratory activities. Last year, he also co-authored nine chapters for an introductory textbook, Core Concepts in Athletic Training and Therapy, written by several athletic training professors nationwide, including Dr. Ray.<br /> <br /> The breadth and quality of Dr. Brumels’s professional activity reflects a program with a tradition of excellence. Under Dr. Ray’s leadership, Hope was the first liberal arts college in Michigan to receive national accreditation for its athletic training major. The programs’ graduates also consistently score well above average in passing The national Board of Certification examination in athletic training.<br /> <br /> “Our faculty is comprised of excellent clinicians and educators who work directly with athletic training education and service programs,” Dr. Brumels said. “Our program exceeds Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) standards by responding to changes in healthcare education as They occur. And our st udents have opportunities to learn in facilities rarely found at other liberal arts institutions.”<br /> <br /> Dr. Brumels also appreciates seeing his discipline set within the broader context of Hope, even more than he did as a student.<br /> <br /> “The challenge of Hope academics and the enriching atmosphere of Christian development and inquiry create the ‘perfect storm’ that allow Hope students to excel professionally and personally,” he said. “Hope athletic training graduates have excellent employment options and acceptance rates to graduate school, thus creating value in the degree for current and future students.”<br /> <br /> He added, “The athletic training program’s faculty and staff are personally invested in students and care about the entire person, offering opportunities for students to develop their minds, bodies, and spirits. We provide foundational principles and experiences that encourage students to think about their place in God’s kingdom and find purpose in serving their communities through their chosen vocations.”<br /> <br /> “Although Dr. Richard Ray had the most significant impact on my personal and professional life, other professors also took time to invest in me as a student and as a person. I believe these relationships are critical for students as they navigate the process of determining their vocations, so I wanted to provide the same type of mentorship I received to current students.”<br /> — Dr. Kirk Brumels ’88, associate professor of kinesiology and program director of athletic training education

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