ELAC athletic trainer earns Doctorate

By Susan Lorenzana

East Los Angeles College athletic trainer Diane Stankevitz earned her Doctorate degree in athletic training from the University of Idaho, last year.

Stankevitz received her Bachelor’s Degree in physiological science from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master’s Degree in kinesiology from California State University, Long Beach.

Stankevitz said that she could not pass the opportunity to receive her doctorate in two years. She went to a two-year hybrid program that required  attendence during the summer.

Stankevitz takes care of the injuries, participation physicals, and rehabilitation for athletes.

“I’m a Kings fan. I saw someone get hurt from the Kings twenty something years ago and somebody came out to help them and I was like,”Hey, that’s what I want to do,” said Stankevitz.

Stankevitz  sent emails to the Los Angeles Kings athletic trainer. She got to meet the head athletic trainer at the time, watch the Kings games  and that’s what pushed her to become an athletic trainer.

When meeting with the athletic trainer, she was already in college and she still didn’t know what she wanted to do.

“One of the reasons why I went to school to get my doctorate was for the exact same reason I asked you if you know what an athletic trainer was,” Stankevitz said.

                                         Diane Stankevitz

She said that throughout her career people don’t really understand what athletic trainers do, so athletic trainers get treated like they are the waterboy or watergirl.

Athletic trainers are medical professionals and they perform medical treatment.

Stankevitz said that at ELAC there are people that don’t know what athletic trainers do.

Stankevitz said that her job is important because without an athletic trainer schools can’t have sports on campus present because they are the medical team.

“For instance let’s just say I got sick, Dr. Lopez got sick and there was nobody here to work a football game. President Martinez couldn’t come and supervise the game because he’s not a medical professional,” Stankevitz said.


Stankevitz stressed that athletic trainers are the ones who provide health care and patient care and people must let them do that. “I blame the profession. We are just misnamed,” Stankevitz said.

Athletic trainers are not people who train athletes. Stankevitz  is a strength and conditioning specialist and an emergency medical technician.

She isn’t a paid emergency medical technician, but she is certified and gets recertified every two years.

“Athletic trainers do more than EMT’s. If ever there is an incident I am required to stop and make sure that everybody is OK and ask if anybody needs help,” Stankevitz said.

Stankevitz  is mandated by the California Community College Athletic Association to travel with the ELAC football team because they are a large group compared to other sports teams.

Stankevitz hopes that there is a push and people understand what an athletic trainer actually is.

Stankevitz also teaches a cardio boot camp class at Rio Hondo College.

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