Close Menu

Whitworth athletic training professor and student participate in Weyerhaeuser Younger Scholars Program

February 23, 2011
Brian Stenberg, Whitworth Class of 2010, and Director of the Scotford Center Todd Sandberg, who is also an assistant professor and assistant athletic trainer, recently participated together in a student-mentor program called the Weyerhaeuser Younger Scholars Program. This project culminated with Brian presenting his findings at the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference, hosted by Gonzaga University and sponsored by both Whitworth and Gonzaga, in April 2010. Eight student-faculty pairs were chosen from diverse academic disciplines. Entrants for 2010 included majors and professors from athletic training, art, English, political studies and biology. The program's emphasis is to develop mentoring relationships between faculty and students working together on research projects and to encourage students to pursue graduate studies in their chosen fields.

Stenberg and Sandberg decided to examine injured athletes' desire to incorporate faith into their rehabilitation. A number of studies have been conducted relating to spirituality, religion and faith, and the connection of these things to health and patient care. In the athletic training discipline, however, the number of such studies is minimal.

The two Whitworthians combined questions of their own design with those of the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire. Fifty-four student athletes from Whitworth and Pacific University (23 men and 31 women) were surveyed. Overall, the study suggests that athletes desire to have faith incorporated into injury rehabilitation, specifically in helping them to cope with rehab and manage stress. Additionally, the study showed that interactions with athletes should vary by age and gender and should be individualized for each athlete's needs.

Stenberg says, "I really enjoyed this opportunity. At first I was hesitant to add a big project to my final year at Whitworth, but the knowledge and experience I gained were worth the time and effort I put into the project. It was a lot of fun working closely with Todd and gleaning nuggets of wisdom from his life and experiences. Participating in the Weyerhaeuser Younger Scholars Program was one of the many highlights of my senior year at Whitworth University."