RSU Allied Health Sciences Senior is First to Accept Graduate School Offer

Sydney Murray

Rogers State University senior Sydney Murray is the first graduate of the Allied Health Sciences program to be accepted into Missouri State ​University’s Master of Athletic Training. Murray, a member of the RSU Women’s Golf program, is a native of Derby, Kansas in the Wichita area. She begins the program this fall.

“Sydney’s acceptance is a huge accomplishment. Missouri State has tremendous faculty who are instrumental in the profession. She is a great candidate, and we are very proud of Sydney,” Instructor of Allied Health Brian Coley said. 

Coley serves as an instrumental advisor, mentor and instructor for the program. With more than 30 years of professional experience across the state of Oklahoma and throughout the region, he brings his real-world connections into the classroom. Coley is a past president of the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association and was recognized by his peers with induction into the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame. 

“I am so grateful for everything RSU has done to prepare me for this opportunity. I feel as if I am the first of many students who will succeed in the Allied Health Sciences program, and I can’t wait to see how the program continues to grow,” Murray said. 

RSU’s Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Sciences prepares pre-professional students with the knowledge required excel in graduate programs such as athletic training, physical therapy and occupational therapy. The program began in 2019.  

“We tailored this degree to meet the demand of exercise science related fields. Many RSU graduates are successful professions in these fields. However, we recognized that a formalized program would best prepare our students to excel in graduate school,” Dr. Susan Willis, dean of the school of professional studies, said. “In the first year, we had more than 100 students enrolled in the program. Sydney’s acceptance is a huge step forward for our department. We are excited for others to join her,” Dr. Willis said. 

As a collegiate athlete, Murray has firsthand experience dealing with injuries. 

“I have had several injuries playing Golf, which resulted in treatment from an athletic trainer. I was always curious to know more about the injury and how or why the injury happened,” Murray said. 

Shadowing, internships and observations are required curriculum that allows students to gain hands on training in their respective fields. 

“The real-life experience showed me that it’s not just about a diagnosis or an exercise regimen. You are responsible for an athlete’s wellbeing and an advocate for the sport they love. Approachability and trustworthiness is so important.” Murray said.

Murray joins more than 150 RSU graduates who have advanced to medically related graduate or professional schools including medicine, dentistry, physician’s assistant, pharmacy, optometry and physical therapy. Her acceptance once again demonstrates the effectiveness of RSU’s undergraduate science programs.