Dr. Suzanne Konz, director of the Marshall biomechanics programs, was on sabbatical last year, during which time she earned the Dr. C. Harmon Brown award from USA Track and Field and was appointed chair of the National Athletics Trainers’ Association (NATA) Committee on Professional Ethics.
The Brown award is made annually to an individual whose work in the sports medicine and science field has benefited the athletes and coaches of USA Track and Field (USATF) on the national level. The award is named for the late Dr. C. Harmon Brown, an endocrinologist at the University of California at San Francisco, who was a pioneer in the field of sports medicine. He served as the chairman of the Sports Sciences and Medical Committee for two decades, along with chairing the USATF’s High-Performance Sports Science group.
“I was privileged to know Harmon for several years before he passed in 2008,” Konz said. “Harmon’s innovation to create the USATF High-Performance group was ahead of its time. I attended my first USATF Sports Science events in the spring of 2003, covering the indoor weight at the USATF Indoor Championships in Boston, followed by the Penn Relays hammer throw a month later. I was hooked on the hammer and sports science. I have been fortunate to travel throughout the United States and the world as a result of my work with USATF and hammer throw. It is so exciting to watch the men and women hammer throwers be successful and improve. It is so inspiring to watch them achieve their dreams through the years of hard work.”
Konz has worked with USATF indoor weight and hammer throwers for almost 20 years, and in that time, the level of competition in the hammer has improved and resulted in American women consistently making the finals at the IAAF World Championships, winning the 2019 IAAF (International International Amateur Athletic Federation, now known as World Athletics). Konz said the women’s American hammer throw record improved to 78.12m in 2019.
In addition to earning the Brown award, Konz has been appointed chair of the NATA Committee on Professional Ethics. She said she has served as a member of the committee since 2010, but this is her first time serving in a leadership role.
“As chair, I oversee the confidential adjudication process of ethics complaints by appointing appropriate subcommittees and panels to investigate the complaints of alleged violations of the code and standards,” Konz said. “I am responsible for communicating the investigative results to the member, as well as communicating case results to the public as part of transparency, safety, and accountability. I interpret the Code of Ethics for members as needed and educate the membership regarding the ethical complaint process, ethical practice, and standards through presentations and articles. Lastly, the position requires me to collaborate with other committees to improve member understanding and adherence to the NATA Code of Ethics.”
Through these achievements, Konz said she hopes her students learn that service to their community is important.
“I want students to understand that they can use their time and talents as service to their communities to improve the world.”
To learn more about Konz and the biomechanics programs at Marshall, visit www.marshall.edu/biomechanics.