Athletic Trainer in Training
When Randie Kuhar ’21 pulled into Immaculata’s parking lot, even before her campus tour began, she thought, “This is where I’m meant to be.” Her tour confirmed her sense of destiny—she loved the beauty of Villa Maria Hall’s dome, and the student tour guide made her feel welcome.
“I put all my eggs in one basket and didn’t plan for any other colleges,” Randie says. Some people encouraged her to consider all options, but she knew she was making the right choice. IU felt like home to her, and she wanted to continue her Catholic education.
At new student orientation, Randie felt overwhelmed at first. “But from day one of classes, I knew my professors would help, and I wouldn’t be stranded,” she comments. “I lived in the math center freshman and sophomore year!” she jokes, adding that even as a senior, she still goes to the writing center for extra help with her papers.
Randie has built a large yet close group of friends through her field hockey and track and field teams, as well as other avenues. She never would have thought she would get to know some of these people. “We’re so many different personalities and different majors, but that’s what makes us work as one,” she notes.
Some of those friends invited Randie to join Cue and Curtain Theatre. “I didn’t think I would ever set foot on a stage,” Randie acknowledges. Although she was nervous, she became a stage manager and learned that she could challenge herself to try something new. “The worst you can do is not try it and regret it,” she says.
During a rehearsal for “The Little Mermaid,” she remembers asking the director what was supposed to happen at “halftime.” “Everyone looked at me!” Randie recalls, laughing. “I only knew sports terms, not theater terms!” She went on to help with two more Cue and Curtain productions—“The Crucible” and “Bright Star.”
Randie also got involved with Get Fit at IU, a program in which exercise science faculty and students provide tailored fitness training for people with disabilities. Randie helped evaluate the program participants’ strengths and to measure their progress. She worked with a young man who rarely spoke and stayed close to his caregiver at first. “He warmed up to me, and he would walk around the gym,” Randie recalls. “Seeing all their smiles made my day. The program opened my eyes to how different people can learn different levels of fitness.”
With her love of sports and fitness, Randie is majoring in exercise science with a concentration in movement science. When she was younger, she notes, “I fought through injuries and kept going. But now I know it’s OK to say I’m not OK. I learned that athletic trainers can get you back on the field more quickly and safely than you can yourself.”
During a game her sophomore year, a field hockey stick hit Randie in the head. Her helmet softened the blow, and she felt well enough to keep playing. But later that night, she felt nauseous looking at her phone’s brightly lit screen and knew something was wrong.
One of Immaculata’s athletic trainers evaluated Randie’s symptoms, administered some memory tests and recommended a concussion protocol—keeping her surroundings quiet and dimly lit until she recovered. Randie’s friends helped her limit her screen time and email her professors, who shared their slideshow presentations for her to print and look at in low light. “I can’t thank everyone enough for working with me,” Randie exclaims.
Since her injury and recovery, Randie has shadowed Immaculata’s athletic trainers, learning more about muscle and bone function and how to handle certain situations. “Seeing the difference they make for athletes has made my passion for the field even stronger,” she affirms. “My dream is to get my Master of Athletic Training at IU and be someone athletes can go to for help.”
Reflecting on the support she has received from friends and professors, Randie comments, “You’re not going to be alone. Our saying is ‘home under the dome’—it truly is. I can’t stop talking about Immaculata.”