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SLU Athletic Training Student Earns Multiple Graduate Scholarships

Saint Louis University (SLU) Athletic Training (AT) Senior Kate Perko was recently awarded a Memorial Scholarship by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Research and Education Foundation and a graduate scholarship from the Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association (MAATA). Both scholarships will support Perko’s graduate education as she continues working towards her Master of Athletic Training degree as a member of the Class of 2021.

Kate Perko, SLU AT
SLU Athletic Training Student Kate Perko

The NATA awards between 50 – 75 scholarships each year to undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students across the nation. To be considered, applicants had to be enrolled in an accredited AT program and have at least a 3.2 GPA. The MAATA is one of ten districts of the NATA. To be considered for the MAATA graduate scholarship, applicants had to be enrolled in an accredited AT program, have at least a 3.0 GPA and sponsorship from a current athletic trainer.

While Perko knew it was possible to receive both awards, she was not necessarily expecting to do so.

“Finding out I was awarded both scholarships was exciting and surprising. I applied for multiple scholarships this year but tried not to get my hopes up too much after submitting each application,” Perko said. “I was really happy when I opened the email saying I was being awarded the MAATA scholarship.”

As it is a national organization, Perko was even more surprised to learn she had been awarded a NATA scholarship.

“NATA scholarships are very competitive, so I was preparing myself to not see my name on the list as I opened the email. After I saw my name was listed, I was very excited and I emailed my professors who helped me with the application to thank them,” Perko said.

SLU AT Program Director Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D., ATC, FASAHP, was thrilled to hear Perko had won both awards and thought she was a very deserving recipient.

“Kate Perko is an outstanding student who is engaged in multiple activities across campus; she is truly a person for others in the Jesuit tradition,” Dr. Breitbach said. “Receiving both the NATA and MAATA scholarships is a great achievement for Kate and our program.”

After graduation, Perko has her sights set on taking a unique path as an athletic trainer to work in a field that has been her passion for a long time.

“I would like to work in a performance arts setting,” Perko said. “I have danced all my life, so I have a good understanding of the mentality of that world. That experience and my education from SLU’s AT program gives me a unique perspective to bring to caring for performing artists.”

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.