Abigail Watkins has spent the past few months working in the athletic training department at Stanford University, gleaning every last bit of information before she begins her first job.
“We have 22 athletic trainers on staff,” Watkins said of Stanford. “It’s kind of like its own little city. It has its own coffee shop.”
Watkins soon will leave Stanford for Pendleton after being hired as the athletic trainer at Blue Mountain Community College.
“When I first started grad school, I wanted to work minor league baseball, but when I was in Wenatchee, I fell in love with the community college atmosphere. It’s an exciting time for student-athletes. It’s much different than Stanford, but it’s perfect for me.”
Watkins will take over on July 1 for Ellen Rodgers, who has been at BMCC for about a year. Rodgers will stay on for a few weeks to help Watkins with the transition.
“She was in my program at University of Idaho,” Watkins said of Rodgers. “She had talked about going to nursing school, so I had an inside scoop on the job. You don’t find a lot of job postings, so when you find a job, you keep it.”
Watkins is finishing her Master of Science in athletic training through the University of Idaho and will graduate from the program in May.
Watkins is finishing her clinical work at Stanford, but she also has completed time at Wenatchee Valley Community College, Summit High School and the University of Idaho.
She also worked for Justin Sports Medicine at the Ellensburg Rodeo.
“I thought it was awesome,” Watkins said. “It is different than any other setting in sports medicine. They don’t want to hear no. You just have to figure it out.”
While Watkins is ready to get her career started, the staff at BMCC has already put out the welcome mat.
“We are very excited to have her join us,” BMCC assistant athletic director Brad Baker said in a news release. “She will be a tremendous asset for our student-athletes.”
Watkins, a native of Yakima, went to Eisenhower High School, where she graduated in 2014. Watkins attended Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, where she played softball and completed her Bachelor of Arts in kinesiology and athletic training.
After graduating from NNU in 2017, she went to Idaho for grad school.
“When I had my interview, they asked if I had ever been to Pendleton,” Watkins said. “I told them I had been through there.”
Now, she will call Pendleton home.