The Halfway Point: Valuable Discussion at Sprint Mid-Crit

Yesterday was the Mid-Project Crit for this year’s ID Department Sprint project. Each of the 25 design teams created boards detailing their research and design process to date, then displayed them in Hayward Hall. The open “trade show” style helped the teams quickly get broad-based input from both students and faculty alike.

After the trade show, each team met individually with a small group of ID faculty for additional discussion. Later in the afternoon, all teams finished the day by meeting with the client (SDI Technologies) for a Q&A session via Skype. A wide range of design directions were introduced and discussed, with each team obtaining valuable feedback that will guide their project development as they work toward the final presentation this coming Tuesday.

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Philadelphia University Launches New M.S. in Athletic Training

Philadelphia University this fall is introducing a new M.S. in Athletic Training to meet the growing demand for sports medicine professionals.

In addition to the two-year master’s program, students can apply as freshmen for an accelerated five-year program during which they will earn both a B.S. in Health Sciences and M.S. in Athletic Training.

“Philadelphia University’s athletic training program complements and builds on the strengths of our graduate programs in the health professions,” said Michael Dryer, DrPH, executive dean of the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts. “This in-demand program prepares students to practice as part of the healthcare team that treats, prevents and rehabilitates injuries in athletes.”

Both the master’s and the accelerated five-year program will begin in fall 2016. Applications are currently being accepted for both options (click here for information).

Athletic trainers work with athletes to recognize, evaluate and help prevent injuries, as well as counsel individuals on appropriate equipment and specialized medical care. The demand for certified athletic trainers is expected to grow significantly over the next decade both in traditional athletic settings such as high schools, colleges and professional sports, as well as in medical offices, rehabilitation centers and industrial sites.

Ali El-Kerdi, who holds a doctorate in health sciences and is a certified athletic trainer and physical therapist, has been named director of the program. He has worked with athletes at all levels from youth sports clubs to the Olympics.

“With the recent shortage of physicians, athletic trainers are filling an important role in providing care in their area of expertise,” El-Kerdi said. “The education athletic trainers receive is unique in that it includes orthopedic and sports medicine education, as well as health and wellness education.”

PhilaU’s new program reflects the need for more advanced education and training for those in the field. “All athletic training degrees, starting in 2022, have to be at the master’s level,” said El-Kerdi, who has taught health and wellness courses at PhilaU and other area universities. “We are medical practitioners and we need advanced education to fulfill that responsibility.”

Previously, El-Kerdi worked as a senior outpatient clinician specializing in orthopedic, manual and sports therapy at MossRehab in Philadelphia, where he was also a faculty member in the orthopedic residency program and served as director of the Community Falls and Injury Prevention Initiative. His research focus is on biomechanical and clinical assessments of balance, performance and injury prevention in athletes and adults.

Graduates of PhilaU’s athletic training program will have the practical, clinical and professional experience to become Certified Athletic Trainers and work in traditional athletic settings or in other medical fields. They will be prepared to take the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Board of Certification examination upon graduation.

The curriculum includes courses in anatomy; rehabilitation; emergency care; prevention, evaluation and treatment of athletic injuries; social and psychological aspects of physical activity; and exercise physiology and biomedical ethics. Students also must complete a research/collaborative project and practicum in athletic training.

PhilaU is currently seeking accreditation for the M.S. in Athletic Training program from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. The University will be submitting a self-study to begin the accreditation process on July 1, 2017. Submission of the self­‐study and completion of a site visit does not guarantee the program will become accredited. Students who graduate from the program prior to accreditation will not be eligible to sit for the credentialing examination for athletic trainers and will not be eligible for licensure in most states.

For more information on the program,  click here. Contact a graduate admissions counselor at or email the program director at with questions or to schedule an informational visit.


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Tom Shirley Talks About Reaching 700 Career Wins: KYW Newsradio

PhilaU women’s basketball head coach Tom Shirley was interviewed Feb. 8 by KYW Newsradio about hitting the 700-win milestone on Saturday. Listen to the interview here.

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PhilaU Starting New M.S. in Athletic Training: Inside Higher Ed

Philadelphia University is starting a master’s program in athletic training, with an option to enroll in an accelerated five-year B.S./M.S. program, Inside Higher Ed reported Feb. 9.

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2016 ID Sprint Project Begins

The annual Sprint Project is underway in the Hayward Hall ID Studios. The client for this year’s project is SDI Technologies, makers of a broad range of consumer electronics including the iHome line. Junior-year ID undergrads are managing 25 teams that each contain a member from every year of the program including graduate students. This arrangement enables vigorous cross-pollination within the teams. The Mid-Project Crit is scheduled for early this week, when the SDI team will return to campus and assess each teams’ progress thus far. We’re looking forward to this set of always-productive critiques.

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Women’s Coach Tom Shirley Wins 700th Career Game Feb. 6

Philadelphia University women’s basketball head coach Tom Shirley became only the third women’s coach in NCAA DII history to earn 700 career wins when the Rams defeated host Dominican College 59-54 in a Central Atlantic Collegiate conference contest Feb. 6.

Tom ShirleyShirley, who is 24th in NCAA women’s basketball career wins in all divisions, is now 700-326 in his 25-year career, 551-253 with PhilaU and 149-73 in eight seasons at DeSales University, his alma mater.

“I am honored to have achieved my 700th coaching victory at such an outstanding university,” Shirley said. “I share this recognition with our current team, as well as all the former players and assistant coaches who have participated in our program over the past 35 years. I look forward to future winning seasons and I thank Philadelphia University for all its support.”

With the win, Philadelphia (17-6, 13-1 CACC) secured a home game for the opening round of the CACC Tournament. High scorers were Mary Newell with 16 points, Bria Young with 15 points and Rachel Day with 14 points.

The PhilaU women return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 9 with a CACC road contest at the University of the Sciences at 6 p.m.

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