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Dr. René Shingles: The First African American Woman Inducted Into The Athletic Trainers Hall Of Fame

Dr. René Shingles: The First African American Woman Inducted Into The Athletic Trainers Hall Of Fame


Photo via: The Morning Sun 

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) recently inducted 30-year athletic training veteran, Dr. René Revis Shingles, into their Hall of Fame. Earning the prestigious acknowledgement makes Shingles the first African American woman to receive the honor.

“While I may be the first, my goal is to ensure that I am not the last. Being an athletic trainer is about providing the highest quality of care to our patients and a tireless dedication to learning, growing and serving. That is what has been bestowed to me by my mentors, and what I hope to continue to contribute to the generations that follow,” said Shingles during her award acceptance speech.

In 1987, Dr. Shingles became only the 13th Black woman in the United States to become a certified athletic trainer. Shortly thereafter in 1996, she was identified by the United States Olympic Committee to serve as a trainer for that year’s games in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently serves as a professor, program director, and internship coordinator for the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences at Central Michigan University. She has taught and continuously acquired additional responsibilities at CMU since 1992.

Dr. Shingles’ background includes a bachelor’s in physical and health education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s in physical education from Illinois State University, and a Ph.D. in kinesiology from Michigan State University. She co-authored the first book on cultural competence in the athletic training field and is now considered a national expert on the subject matter. She is also a founding member of the NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee (EDAC) to the NATA board of directors. This special interest group identifies and addresses the unique issues and/or obstacles faced by ethnically diverse populations within the athletic training profession. She has been a champion of community service for numerous causes, including serving as medical staff for the Michigan State Summer Special Olympics Games and as a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Induction into the NATA Hall of Fame is the highest recognition that a certified athletic trainer can achieve. Dr. Shingles, who was joined by six other accomplished trainers to make up this year’s class of inductees, said: "After the ceremony, many of the African American men and women who were present serenaded me. They sang ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ which is the national Negro anthem and that was unbelievably special. It moved me to tears because it tied both my culture as well as my career achievements together." 

Congratulations, Dr. Shingles on making history!