As students look back on their college careers there are certain professors who make an impact or imprint that lasts forever. These few individuals can make all the difference. A professor such as this will inspire, encourage, and challenge others to go beyond what one thinks is possible and attain accomplishments that were unthinkable. One of these professors is Dr. Herb Amato.
While preparing for this speech, I had the pleasure of interviewing some of Dr. Amato’s colleagues and learning about how he has touched their lives. They frequently used words such as advocate, advisor, influential, dedicated, unselfish- almost to a fault, accommodating, and proactive. This list could go on, but we would be here all afternoon with these unending accolades. One of his colleagues, Dr. Jeanne Martino-McAllister, Professor of Health Sciences and General Education Cluster Five Coordinator, said it best when stating, “This man’s positive, uplifting state of life is contagious and you want to be a part of whatever it is that he is doing. A person cannot leave Dr. Amato’s presence without a good dose of hope. He just leaves a trail of positive-ness wherever he goes.”
Dr. Amato began his educational studies by earning his Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University in Physical Education. He then went on to earn his Master of Science degree from JMU in Education and his Doctorate of Arts degree from Middle Tennessee State University. He has worked at JMU since 1988 in various roles within the athletic training program and is responsible for the growth and success that the program experiences today. The Athletic Training Education Program at JMU was approved by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) in 1982 and is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). JMU’s program was the first accredited program in the Commonwealth of Virginia and to this day maintains a rich tradition of producing outstanding athletic trainers, clinicians, and educators. Before working at JMU, Dr. Amato spent four years working at a high school in Durham North Carolina and taught four years at Mars Hill College.
He is married to Lori and has three daughters, Casey, Lindy, and Jessie. It could be said that Dr. Amato is truly a family man. Unfortunately for me, a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, he is an avid Steelers supporter. In July 2006, Dr. Amato changed positions from the Athletic Training Program Director and Cluster Five Coordinator to the Associate Dean of University Studies. However, he still continues to teach in the Athletic Training Program and in the field of athletic training through his student certification program for the National Athletic Trainers Association
After reading Dr. Amato’s nomination and interviewing several of his colleagues, it became apparent to me that he encompasses every aspect of the All Together One Award. He inspires others through his unfaltering guidance, support, counseling, recommendations, encouragement, excitement towards new adventures and exploration, but most of all by being a living example. He builds a better JMU community through his commitment to University Studies, Cluster Coordinators, Orientation, athletic training, freshman advisors, and Muhlenberg Men’s group. Although he is involved in numerous activities, Dr. Amato has a demeanor that allows him to always ask the essential questions that lead to the success of each of his endeavors. At the same time, Dr. Amato takes an active role in the coalition on alcohol prevention and abuse. Although this is not typically part of the Associate Dean’s job description, Dr. Amato has taken it upon himself to aid students who suffer from alcohol abuse. This example is once again a testimony of his devotion to the students and community of JMU.
In addition, Dr. Amato is continually working toward the common good. This is can be clearly witnessed through his words, actions, service, and inspiration to others. His dedication is evident everyday when he arrives in his office at 6:00am to get a head start on the work that needs to be done for the day. He does this willingly and always with a smile. Furthermore, when passing his office in Maury 112, one will commonly hear him say, “How can I help you.” His concern and love for others is the focal point of his life.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to share with you Dr. Amato’s accomplishments and impact. It is with great pleasure and admiration that I present him with the Omicron Delta Kappa All Together One award.
Omicron Delta Kappa