HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES' BIOS
Sherry Summers, MS, ED, AT-Retired
Sherry Summers interest and passion for the profession of Athletic Training began as an undergraduate student at then Madison College. She became the 1st female graduate assistant at the college in 1976, and was then hired as the 1st assistant athletic trainer at James Madison University in 1977. Sherry was one of the early females to join the NATA & was the 133rd person in District III to become a certified athletic trainer. During these early years at JMU, the staff consisted of 2 full-time members and 2 graduate assistants providing services for 26 sports, including JV teams. At that same time, the ground work for an undergraduate athletic training curriculum program had begun with JMU’s program becoming the 1st accredited undergraduate athletic training education program in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1980. Sherry taught the athletic training students at JMU that in order to be successful you need to be passionate about the profession, have a thirst to learn, & then share that knowledge with others, & you must have a sense of humor to help you deal with the stressors of the job.The profession of athletic training was growing rapidly in the 1970’s & 80’s with members working to help the NATA be recognized as an allied health profession. This was even occurring at the state level, with the formation of the VATA in 1980. Sherry was appointed as the 1st Secretary/Treasurer & Membership Chair, and continued to serve as the Treasurer till about 1994. Shortly after becoming a state organization, the VATA began legislative efforts to try an develop some form of licensure which would create title protection for the athletic trainer and to develop a scope of practice, in the rapidly evolving body of knowledge for the profession, and Sherry was actively involved in that effort. Due to her involvement in the VATA and being an educator in the Athletic Training Program at JMU, Sherry received the NATA Service Award for District III in 1994. She also received the MAATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2016 after having served on the NATA’s Educational Multi-Media Committee and the MAATA Honor & Awards Committee while continuing to serve as a Clinical Instructor and an Associate Athletic Trainer at JMU, working primarily with the Women’s Basketball program. Her career as an Athletic Trainer, at JMU, ended sooner than expected due to a work- related injury, but she continues to serve on the MAATA Honors & Awards Committee and is presently researching the History of Athletic Training at JMU where the full-time staff has grown from 2 to about 18.
Ronald Stefancin, MSED, ATC, LAT
Ronald Stefancin received his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in 1975 and his MSED in Health Education/Higher Education from James Madison University in 1978 where he completed his graduate assistantship. From there he became the Head Athletic Trainer at James Madison University until 2003 when he retired. During his tenure at JMU he also worked to develop the athletic training education curriculum and was the president of the VATA from 1986-1988. Stefancin currently resides in Harrisonburg with his wife Lisa and has two daughters, Amanda and Allison.
Lance M. Fujiwara M.Ed., LAT, ATC
The 2018-19 year will be Lance Fujiwara's 32nd year at VMI. Fujiwara arrived at VMI in 1987 as an Assistant Athletic Trainer. After serving in this role for one year was promoted to Head Athletic Trainer/Director of Sports Medicine and has served in this capacity for the last 30 years. Lance became Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine in 2002 and Associate in 2008. Lance is a native of The Dalles, Oregon and attended Oregon State University, graduating in 1985. He has a dual emphasis from the Department of Physical Education in Athletic Training and Commercial & Industrial Fitness. After graduation from Oregon State, Lance served as a fitness director at Cascade Athletic Club and then Albany Athletic club in Oregon for one year. In the summer of 1986, he attended the University of Virginia (UVA), pursuing a Master of Education degree in Sports Medicine. During the 1986-87 academic year, he concurrently served as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer at Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia, while completing his Sports Medicine/Athletic Training degree at UVA. In 1998 Fujiwara went on to earn a second Master of Education degree from the University of Virginia in Counselor Education with an emphasis in Higher Education. Lance is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and is licensed as an Athletic Trainer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is a member of the McCue Sports Medicine Society and serves as a clinical instructor in Athletic Training with Western Carolina University. He has served previously in this capacity with: University of Virginia, Lynchburg College, Longwood University, Wright State University, University of Florida, James Madison University, and Salisbury University. He is also a CPR/AED/First Aid instructor with the American Red Cross and on the editorial board of the Journal of Training & Conditioning. Fujiwara has been honored with the 2014 Virginia Athletic Trainers Association College/University Athletic Trainer of the year, 2014 VMI Achievement award, 2015 Mid Atlantic Athletic Trainers Association Service award, and 2016-17 Southern Conference All-Conference Staff award. Lance lives in Lexington with his wife Karen. He has a daughter Kace, son Jamo and step-daughter Lindsey. He enjoys running and biking as his hobbies.
Scott Johnson, MSEd, LAT, ATC
Scott Johnson joined the ODU staff in 1988 and is currently the Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine and Athletic Training.
Before taking over associate AD duties, Scott was the Associate Athletic Trainer at ODU from 2008-2018. Prior to his associate position, Johnson was Assistant Athletic Trainer from 1988 to 2008. He also worked as Assistant Athletic Trainer at Virginia Military Institute for the 1987-1988 season.
In 2018, Johnson was inducted into the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Virginia Athletic Training Hall of Fame in 2021.
Scott has received numerous honors and awards throughout his years at ODU, including the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Service Award, and the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers Association (MAATA) Service Award in 2014, and the (MAATA) Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2017. He also received the College/University Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year Award in 2008.
Johnson served as the District Chair for the NATA Research Education Foundation from 2011 to 2013. He also served as Vice President of District Relations of the NATA Research and Education Foundation.
Born in Bethany, Conn., Scott graduated from Bridgewater State College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in physical education with a concentration in athletic training. He is also an alum of Old Dominion University, where he earned a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in athletic training in 1987.
Paul G. Rupp, MS, LAT, ATC
Paul Rupp earned his Associates degree in Movement Learning and Exercise Science from Orange County Community College (Middletown NY), his Bachelor of Science om Movement Studies and Exercise Science with a concentration in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine from East Stroudsburg
University (East Stroudsburg PA), and his Masters of Science in Physical Education from Syracuse University (Syracuse NY). He is in his 22 nd year as an athletic trainer at Oakton High School in Fairfax County Public Schools. Prior to working at Oakton HS, he worked for 41/2 years at St. John’s University
as an Assistant Athletic Trainer, and 2 years as a Graduate Athletic Trainer at Syracuse University. In his 22 years working in the Commonwealth of Virginia, along with working at Oakton HS, he has served as the VATA Secondary School Committee Chairperson (2001-2008), Virginia High School League(VHSL) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee member (2001-2008 & 2014- present), VHSL Wrestling Rules Committee member (2014-present), VATA Governmental Affairs Committee member (2018-present), and the MAATA representative to the NATA Committee of Professional Ethics (2018-present). He has been a preceptor for George Washington University, George Washington University, and Shenandoah University. He has worked with Virginia Youth Soccer Association’s Olympic development program, and the Iroquois National lacrosse teams. He has presented at the NATA National symposium, the MAATA Annual symposium and the VATA Annual Symposium, and has given presentations at Shenandoah University, and Big Sky Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Conference, and The Academy for Sports Dentistry Conference. In 2011 he was awarded the Vito Perriello Secondary School Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Tom Kuster, MS, LAT, ATC, PES, CES
Tom Kuster coordinated the process of cross-disciplinary collaboration with various Integrated Health and Sports Performance personnel and physicians in making post-injury assessments, monitoring and progression of injured student-athletes, return to conditioning programming, return to competition and discharge strategies and sustainability programming for student-athletes.
Within JMU Athletics, Kuster provided leadership to the areas of Sports Medicine, Strength and Conditioning, Sports Nutrition and Sports Psychology while overseeing a staff of nearly 25 sports medicine and sport performance professionals. He facilitated the performance team meetings, Dukes C.A.R.E (Care and Recovery Enhancement) team meetings and performance committee meetings. He also continued to coordinate all the medical services and physician services contracted to support JMU student-athletes. Kuster served as a member of the Athletics senior leadership team, and he also continued to partner with the University Health Center regarding the institutional drug testing program and student-athlete wellness education programming.
Kuster most recently served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine, a role he started in 2006. He earned his undergraduate degree in health sciences with a concentration in athletic training from JMU in 1995. He later served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at West Virginia University where he received a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training in 1997. While at WVU, Kuster was the educational graduate assistant for their nationally-recognized undergraduate athletic training curriculum program and also served as the athletic trainer for the men's soccer team.
Prior to coming back to JMU, Kuster was the head athletic trainer and lecturer at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C. At Pfeiffer, he was responsible for directing the overall sports medicine services for 19 Division II athletic teams, administering the university's athletic insurance program, and teaching within the exercise science/sports medicine curriculum.
He served as the President of the Virginia Athletic Trainer's Association 2010-2012 and was the President-elect from 2008-2010. He previously held the position of liaison to the College/University Athletic Trainers Committee. In addition, Tom was the 2012 recipient of the National Athletic Trainers Association District 3 Athletic Training Service Award and in 2015 he was named the VATA College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year. He also held advanced certifications as a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is certified in the Functional Movement Screen and Selective Functional Movement Assessment.
Tom passed after a prolonged fight with cancer in May 2022. He will always be remembered as a pillar in the Virginia Athletic Training Community.