Highly Decorated Athletics Trainer Honored with the Julius Olsen Medal during Commencement


Early, Texas, native Kayla Dickerson is the recipient of the Julius Olsen Medal, given by Hardin-Simmons University during the spring commencement exercises in Behrens Auditorium May 11, 2013.

The Olsen Medal is awarded annually to the graduate who has the highest grade point average, has exemplified the highest scholarly achievement, and has completed at least 90 semester hours of residence credit at Hardin-Simmons.

Dickerson has maintained a 4.0 GPA while being active both on campus and in the community. Kayla has served as an officer of Gamma Beta Phi and the HSU Pre-Physical Therapy Club, as well as a being a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Fitness & Sport Sciences Major/Minor Club, and still found time to participate in softball for HSU.

As an active member of Southside Baptist Church, she has served on the College Ministry Leadership Team, taught vacation Bible school, and participated in mission trips to Florida and Kenya. Dickerson has also provided volunteer service for the Hendrick Equine Rehabilitation Opportunity, the North Park Friendship House, and volunteered to assist with athletic training services at the FCA Myrle Greathouse All-Star Classic football game.

During her time at HSU, Kayla has been selected for several university scholarships, as well as other scholarships sponsored by outside foundations. Most notably, she was one of 37 undergraduate students nationally to be awarded a scholarship from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Education Foundation in 2012.

Selected for the Honors Program, her capstone project was a “Survey of the Immediate Care of Joint Dislocations by Certified Athletic Trainers.” This original research was presented in poster form at the Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Texas capitol this spring and will also be presented this summer at the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association’s annual symposium. She is a student member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association, and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Behavioral Science degree, Kayla will begin HSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in the fall of 2013.

She is the daughter of Stewart and Teena Dickerson of Early, Texas.



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