Providing Active Care
for Active People

Student Senate


The Board of Directors (BoD) charges this committee to represent the needs of the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association (WATA) student members by identifying, promoting, and coordinating educational activities for the student membership of the WATA.  The committee also supports the efforts of all WATA Committees.


President: Samantha Atkielski
Vice President: Rhianna Wieness
Secretary: Cassie Klubertanz

Committee Members

Faculty Advisors: Rhonda Verdegan
Meeting Coordinators: 
Rachel O'Donnell, Carla Ikert and Jarret Byrnes
Quizbowl and AT Olympics Coordinators: Bianca Mendez and Abraham Vargas
Textbook Raffle Coordinator: Melissa Florine
GLATA Student Senate Representative: Bianca Mendez

WATA Committee Student Senate Members

Research Committee: Marissa Baumhardt
Secondary School and Youth Committee: Rachel O'Donnell
Communication Committee: Carla Ikert
Awards and Scholarship Committee: Ryan Maurer
Young Professionals Committee: Madalyn Krenz
Leadership Development Committee: Abraham Vargas
Continuing Education Committee: Jarret Byrnes

Student Senate School Representatives

Advisors: Beth Kinslow and Rhonda Verdegan
Alison Kramer(UW Oshkosh)
Frank Esposito (Carthage University)
Cassie Klubertanz (UW Steven's Point)
Bridget Graff (Marquette University)
Rhianna Wienss (Concordia University)
Zach Williamson  (UW Eau Claire)
Alex Wendler(UW La Crosse)
Samantah Atkielski (UW Milwaukee)
Aaron Clifton(UW Madison)
Rebecca Everhart (Carroll University)
GLATA SS: Aaron Bestul

Samantha Atkielski
WATA Student Senate President
"I am a second year masters student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I enjoy hiking, running, yoga, and adventures. While studying athletic training, I have learned a lot about myself. Athletic training has taught me leadership skills, and how to be flexible. The thing I love most about athletic training is being able to watch the athlete from the point of injury, through rehabilitation, and then returning to sport. It is truly an amazing experience being able to help others achieve their goals."  

Rhianna Wieness
WATA Student Senate Vice President

 "I am a senior in the Master’s Athletic Training Program and Concordia University Wisconsin. I enjoy downhill skiing, hiking, being outside and traveling to new places. While growing in my athletic training experience I have learned to embrace being flexible and adapting to change. I love being able to be a part of the athlete’s lives and seeing them every day as they progress back to full activity. Encouraging them through their journey and seeing them improve their health is such a reward."


Cassie Klubertanz
WATA Student Senate Secretary
"I am currently a senior in the athletic training program at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. In my free time, I enjoy fishing, four wheeling, hunting, and almost anything else outdoors. In my time in the program I have learned to break out of my shell and become a more confident version of myself. The most important and hardest lesson I have learned as a student is that it is okay to be uncomfortable in a situation, because those are the times that you grow the most. The thing I love about Athletic Training the most is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who want to be active."

Rachel O'Donnell
Annual Meeting Co-Coordinator
Secondary School and Youth Committee
"I am a junior in the Athletic Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I enjoy playing softball, running, listening to country music, and being outdoors.  While being an Athletic Training Student and a Student Senate member, I have learned the importance of communication and the confidence to step out of one’s comfort zone. The best part about Athletic Training is that there is never a dull moment; each day is an opportunity to learn something new and make a difference in an athlete’s life."

Carla Ikert
Annual Meeting Co-Coordinator
Communications Committee
"I am a junior in the athletic training program at Carthage College. I enjoy playing all sports, camping, and spending time outdoors. Through being an athletic training student and being in the WATA Student Senate I have learned to really push my limits and to step out of my comfort zone. The best part about athletic training is that you get to experience something new everyday."

Jeremy Byrnes
Annual Meeting Co-Coordinator
Continuing Education Committee
"I am a junior in the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point Athletic Training Program. My hometown is Superior, Wisconsin. I enjoy being in the outdoors, fishing, going to college and professional hockey games, and being around friends and family. One thing I've learned from being an Athletic Training student and apart of the Student Senate is that you can learn a lot by just asking questions and to not be afraid to ask questions. One thing I love about Athletic Training is the positive impact you can have on an athlete!"

Marissa Baumhardt
Research Committee
"I am a Junior in the Direct-Admit Athletic Training Program at Marquette University. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the city of Milwaukee, hiking in Wisconsin’s state parks, and reading great books. As an Athletic Training Student and a WATA Student Senator, I have learned the value of challenging one’s self to take on new opportunities in order to expand horizons and reach one’s fullest potential. Furthermore, the best part of Athletic Training is that I am able to connect with great people and feel part of a team!"

Abraham Vargas
Quiz Bowl and AT Olympics Coordinator
Leadership Committee
"I am a senior in the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee’s Athletic Training Education Program. I was born and raised in the South Side of Milwaukee so coming to UWM was not that big of a change for me personally! I enjoy being active, especially anything that gets me outside (running, hiking, sports, beach, etc.) and breaking a sweat! I have learned so much throughout my college years but my biggest takeaway is that when you to put yourself out of your comfort zone that is really when all of the great learning starts to happen in this great profession."


Madalyn Krenz
Young Professional's Committee
"I am a senior athletic training student at UW Madison. I enjoy traveling, going to country music concerts, and attending sporting events with family and friends. I’ve learned so much thus far as an athletic training student and being a part of the Student Senate, but one of my biggest takeaways is how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself and make the most of it."

Melissa Florine
Textbook Raffle Coordinator
"I am a senior in Carroll University’s Athletic Training Program.  I enjoy all that summer has to offer with bonfires, camping, the beach, and concerts, but am perfectly content curling up on the couch watching a good movie as well.  I have learned so much in the short time I have had at Carroll, but the most valuable is to be flexible and take advantage of every opportunity that you can, you never know what is once in a lifetime.  Growing up I was in many sports, so I love that Athletic Training allows me to still be a vital part of the team."

Bianca Mendez
Quiz Bowl and AT Olympics Coordinator

GLATA Student Senate Representative 
"I am a junior in the Athletic Training Program at UW Oshkosh. In my spare time I enjoy playing soccer, golf, basketball, and cooking. As an athletic training student and a member on the GLATA Student Senate I have learned the importance of communication and to not be afraid to fail. The best part of athletic training is getting to know all different kinds of athletes and helping them be the best they can."