In a tribute to the former Athletic Training Program at Dominican College, three athletic training alumni were inducted into the Alumni Hall of Achievement on November 14, 2021. The new inductees are: Christine Friel ’10, for Excellence; Frank Alexander ’10, for Leadership; and Yen Pham ’17, for Service. The former head of the Athletic Training Program Jim Crawley, presided over the ceremony. Crawley is now an Assistant Professor in the Health Sciences program.
Christine Friel ’10, for Excellence
Christine Friel is the Assistant Director of Sports Medicine at the College of Mt. St. Vincent. Prior to that, she worked at Long Island University in Brooklyn as an Assistant Professor and Associate Head Athletic Trainer. Friel helped oversee athletic training coverage for 26 athletic teams.
“The best advice that I have received was to pay it forward. Having the opportunity to teach students and mentor graduate assistants that have crossed my path has been my favorite experience so far,” she said.
At Dominican College, Friel was a gifted student, a member of the Athletic Training Honor Society, and took part in clinical work at the United States Academy at West Point. After graduation, she earned a Master of Science in Advanced Athletic Training and Sports Science from LIU and earned the Dean’s Award for Clinic Excellence in Athletic Training.
During the award ceremony, Friel credited her parents with teaching her to “work hard, always show up, and get the job done with the best effort possible.”
Frank Alexander ’10, for Leadership
Frank Alexander remembers being a young boy meeting former Yankees pitcher David Cone. When he told Cone he wanted to be a Yankee when he grew up, Cone suggested he have a back-up plan as well.
“So my fall-back plan was to be a New York Yankee and then figure out how I could stay around baseball. Athletic Training really held the key to that door for me,” said Alexander. Now he feels fortunate to do what he does every day. .
Alexander is the athletic trainer and physician extender for Dr. Christopher Ahmad of Columbia University Medical Center’s Orthopedic Department. He works with Dr. Ahmad in his roles as team physician for the New York Yankees, New York Boulders, and the New York Football Club.
Alexander said earning a bachelor’s degree at Dominican College was an important stepping stone in his career. He also earned a master’s degree in kinesiology from A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ.
Alexander co-authored a book several years ago with Dr. Ahmad called “Understanding Tommy John Surgery and How to Avoid It.” The book is geared toward children in fifth grade and older.
Yen Pham ’17, for Service
Yen Pham was recently promoted to Head Athletic Trainer for the Westchester Knicks of the G League. The G League is the National Basketball Association’s official minor league basketball organization.
At Dominican College, Pham was a talented and dedicated student who was focused on her studies and learning new skills. Pham served as president of the Iota Tau Alpha Athletic Training Education Honor Society and graduated cum laude. Upon graduation, Pham was hired by the Westchester Knicks to serve as Assistant Athletic Trainer after having done clinical work with the organization.
Like the other speakers, Pham recognized the heartbreaking absence of Jenna Tacinelli-Hach at the ceremony. Hach passed away after a lengthy battle with brain cancer in August 2021. “I got the Service Award, when it really it really should be the Jenna Award,“ said Pham. “She gave everything she had to the program. I wouldn’t be here without her and Jim.”
Pham has continued to give her time and talents to Dominican College, and has mentored more than ten students since graduating.
A photo of the three inductees will hang in the lobby of the Prusmack Center along with other members of the Alumni Hall of Achievement.