A dream delayed is now a dream in the making

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Portrait of Jack Hammack

A dream delayed is now a dream in the making

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Meet Health Hero Jack Hammack

After getting stymied due to the pandemic, Jack Hammack is on his way to pursuing his dream of becoming an athletic trainer. 

He is now a third-year undergraduate student and peer advisor studying kinesiology, pre-therapy and allied health

What inspired or interested you about your field of study? And why did you choose OSU/the college? 

In high school, I discovered a passion for athletic training and knew I wanted to make a career out of it. Unfortunately, I didn't get the guidance I needed to navigate the path to becoming an athletic trainer. So, I started my college journey at Chemeketa Community College, where I spent a year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

I quickly learned that online schooling was not for me, so I made the difficult decision to step away from school and wait out the pandemic. 

Once things started to open back up again, I attended a college football game where I saw a sports medicine tent. This reminded me of my passion for athletic training, and I knew then that I wanted to go back to school to make my dream a reality.

When I got home, I searched online and learned that Oregon State University has a graduate program in athletic training along with a kinesiology degree that can lead me right to where I want to be. 

I informed my parents of my decision, and with their support, and one application later, I was set to attend OSU to finally pursue the goal I have dreamed of for so long.  

Have you had to overcome any challenges in your academic journey? 

My academic journey hasn't been a straight shot. I've faced setbacks like unexpected course difficulties and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the biggest hurdles was the lack of guidance in high school regarding the path to becoming an athletic trainer. I had to navigate this process independently through research.

Adapting to online classes during the pandemic was another challenge. I found it made everything from lectures and communication with instructors to completing coursework significantly more difficult.

Recently, I encountered some class-specific challenges, but through perseverance and attending office hours, I was able to overcome them quickly.

Do you participate in campus or community clubs or organizations? 

I am currently a part of the peer advising team in the College of Health's Office of Student Success

I am grateful to work in this office because it has helped me develop my advising relationship not only with my own advisor but also with all the advisors in our office. 

This has helped me gain a better understanding of my own major along with the other majors offered in the College of Health and campus resources.

Have you completed an internship? If so, where and what did you learn from the experience? 

I have yet to complete an internship, but I have the KIN 343/344 PTAH practicum and seminar lined up for the spring term with OSU Athletics.  

What do you think of your experience at OSU/in the college so far? Any stand-out experiences? 

I would say that it is beyond awesome that we have advisors who are committed to students and want them to succeed in their degrees. They go out of their way for COH students, and personally, I am so thankful for their hard work because they do so much for students. 

I can say from experience they do not simply write off students, their concerns or plans. 

Our advisors are something else and really need more appreciation than what they get because they are some of the strongest cornerstones for new and incoming students. 

I would also say that OSU provides an overall welcoming vibe, especially in the College of Health, and a very cool part of Anatomy and Physiology is having access to cadavers. 

What are your post-college dreams/plans? 

I plan on attending athletic training school once I graduate. Oregon only has two schools for athletic training, and I am hopeful I get to stay at OSU since it is one of the two.

After graduate school, I hope to work in a high school or clinical area for athletic training because that is where I fell in love with the field. I want to "pay it forward" for the next wave of athletic trainers as many have done for me.