NFL Selects Four West Chester University Students as Interns
As thoughts turn to the upcoming Super Bowl, four West Chester University students are readying for their own NFL experience. After having emerged successfully from a rigorous selection process, four West Chester University students in the University’s graduate Athletic Training program will intern with NFL teams from across the country this summer.
“Four WCU students landing NFL internships in the same summer is a testament to their hard work, the strength of our program, the faculty who support them, and our larger University community’s dedication to excellence,” said Scott Heinerichs, dean of the College of Health Sciences, which houses the Athletic Training program.
“We’re thrilled for their selection in this competitive process, and to see how they’ll inspire future WCU students,” he said.
The students, all pursuing their master’s degree in Athletic Training, are working with the following NFL teams:
- Kansas City Chiefs - Sharese Johnson
- New York Jets - Gabrielle Louis-Charles
- Buffalo Bills - Julia Rose
- Washington Commanders - Nicholas Tucker
The Department of Sports Medicine has had students intern with the NFL before, said Neil Curtis, program director of the Athletic Training Education program.
“Our program has an excellent reputation, and the past performance of our students has paved the path for current students to be awarded these types of opportunities,” he said. “We’re able to attract good students, and they go on and do good things and keep the cycle going. I’m proud of our students.”
This year was a new record.
“We’ve never had four at one time,” Curtis said.
One of the students, Nicholas Tucker of Frederick, MD, is headed to the Washington Commanders and is excited to see what the program will entail.
“Ever since I chose Athletic Training as a career, my goal has been to work in the professional setting,” he said. “This experience will give me a great opportunity to get a glimpse of that.”
Tucker said he feels a sense of nostalgia since he has been a Washington Commanders fan his entire life and is from the area.
“I feel a sense of ‘going back home,’” he said.
Gabrielle Louis-Charles of Princeton, New Jersey, is thrilled to work with the New York Jets and hopes for opportunities to help contribute to the health and performance of elite athletes.
“I am most looking forward to working alongside leading professionals in the field of Athletic Training,” she said.
Sharese Johnson of Bear, Delaware, says she is ready to work with the Kansas City Chiefs because of her time at West Chester University.
“WCU helped me prepare for this internship by giving me the football experience early on with my first clinical being WCU football,” she said. “I am looking forward to spending the summer somewhere I have not visited yet and getting to work at the highest level of football.”
Julia Rose of Thorndale, PA, also credits the support of her mentors at West Chester for preparing her to work with the Buffalo Bills.
“Not only have my professors challenged me, but they also listened to my professional goals for life after graduation,” she said. “They have provided me with exceptional clinical and academic experiences that have me well prepared for this upcoming internship and future career. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity.”
With the largest Athletic Training program in the country, West Chester University boasts more than 127,000 graduates from its rigorous curriculum. WCU athletic trainers dominate such national teams as the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Wild (NHL), New York Islanders (NHL), and the Baltimore Orioles (MLB). Numerous alumni are also former athletic trainers for the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL), Minnesota Vikings (NFL), and the Philadelphia Phillies (MLB).