For physical therapy students at UMass Lowell, the real world is no farther away than the campus’s Costello Gym.
Raymond Goddu and Michael Caeran are gaining valuable hands-on experience in the University’s gym, helping to heal UMass Lowell athletes, with the help of a Scott Waugh ’90 Sports Therapy Fellowship Award.
In addition to tuition support of $6,000 per year, the scholarship provides students with an opportunity to work with UMass Lowell Head Athletic Trainer Artie Poitras, who was a mentor of alumnus and donor Waugh.
Waugh ߝ a rehabilitation coordinator, physical therapist and athletic trainer for both the Red Sox and Bruins ߝ created the scholarship to give students the same experience he received at UMass Lowell, which he credits to his professional success.
“I spent every single day in the training room at the Costello Gym,” says Waugh, who also co-owns a rehabilitation clinic Sports and Physical Therapy Associates. “It was where the passion for what I do started.”
The second-year graduate students are working with the athletic department and trainers on rehabilitation and treatment for all types of athletes. From educating an athlete on proper steps to take for healing minor injuries to providing rehabilitation exercises for athletes who have recently undergone surgery, the experiences bring classroom learning to life.
“I am able to get a sense of how to deal with acute, right-on-the spot injuries,” says Caeran. “The freedom and independence I am given when working with these athletes is probably the best learning opportunity you can get.”
“I think that this is a great experience that will better prepare me for working with athletes and treating musculoskeletal injuries in the future,” says Goddu.
Goddu and Caeran are optimistic that the experience they’re gaining will help them stand out when they search for jobs.
“I see this experience has being a stepping stone in the right direction when it comes to looking for a position to work with an athletic population. To me it all comes back to experience,” said Caeran.
“This experience will definitely help me to work more closely with an athletic trainer in the future,” said Goddu.