Mount St. Joseph University

Building Strength Leads to Lasting Career Path

Health Sciences, Athletic Training, Alumni

By: Amanda Gratsch

File Under: academics, alumni, athletic training

Life is full of obstacles, but for Taylor Ruder, she found the greater the obstacle, the greater the reward.

Equipped with a competitive spirit and determination, athletic training graduate Taylor Ruder, ’16, embarked on a positive journey at Mount St. Joseph University to pursue a rewarding career path filled with personal growth.

An avid athlete, Ruder was initially drawn to the Mount after becoming inspired by the astounding history of the women’s volleyball program. However, while playing volleyball in high school, she sustained a back injury, leading her to work with an athletic trainer and physical therapist, limiting her time on the court as they aided in her recovery. It was with their help that she knew her dedication to volleyball had not come to an abrupt end.

Throughout this process, she was incredibly thankful for their assistance and became inspired towards a career that would allow her to give back to other athletes in a positive way. Once she explored the options the Mount held, she was impressed by its highly-appraised health sciences program, and found athletic training to be a strong foundation for her future career endeavors.

“My athletic trainer was able to give me that confidence that I had been lacking ever since my injury. Through my own experience, I wanted to provide other student athletes with this experience as well,” says Ruder.

She recovered, and upon acceptance to the athletic training program, she played collegiate volleyball for the next four years while earning her degree. 

In addition, Ruder had the opportunity to gain hands-on experiential learning off-campus. She completed a 16-week clinical rotation with St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine where she interacted with staff and doctors. As a result, Ruder was able to secure a position before graduation as a Certified Athletic Trainer for St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine, and has now been working with local high schools through St. Elizabeth for the past year.

Studying at the Mount has had a lasting impact on Ruder’s current work as she uses her degree every day, whether her job that day is to help prevent injury, rehabilitate, or act as a first responder during a sporting event. "The educational experience that I had at the Mount was impeccable.  My clinical coordinator as well as my advisor went far and beyond of what was needed. For that, I am extremely grateful to have them as mentors,” she says. 

Ruder reflects on her current career path, noting that perseverance and flexibility are key components to learn about the job. “The advice that I would give students considering to pursue this career path and that are wanting to be successful in this field is to put in the extra work and to also be flexible with your schedule; practices get changed and games get moved or delayed because of weather.  Overall, your coaches, parents and student athletes will be extremely grateful for what you do.”

Click here to learn about the health and wellness program at the Mount. For details on the Mount’s Master of Athletic Training program, click here