Published on December 16, 2016 by Joey Mullins  
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Samford University’s Robert Hensarling and Michelle Durban have been named to the recently released Southern Conference’s All-Faculty and Staff team for 2016. 

A Southern Conference representative will recognize Hensarling and Durban at the Jan. 25 Samford men's basketball game against East Tennessee State University at 7 p.m. in the Pete Hanna Center.

Hensarling serves as associate professor of kinesiology and director of the Master of Athletic Training program in the School of Health Professions. With more than 20 years of service to the university, Hensarling was previously an assistant athletic trainer with the men’s basketball team and an associate athletic trainer with the football team. 

Hensarling’s research interests include baseline and postconcussion testing and treatment on concussion outcomes, and the development of interprofessional education programs in Samford’s College of Health Sciences. He serves on the executive council for the Alabama Athletic Trainers Association, and numerous school and university committees. 

“I’m honored to have been selected for the Southern Conference All-Faculty and Staff Team,” Hensarling said. “Throughout my career, I’ve had the honor of working clinically as an athletic trainer and teaching athletic training at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I believe that instructing future athletic trainers while also researching prevention and management techniques that enhance athletes’ lives during and after their playing careers are important aspects of our role as athletic training faculty.”

Hensarling is also working on increasing athletic trainers’ role on the interprofessional health care team.

“The athletic trainer has an essential role in the full spectrum of injury, from prevention to return to work or activity,” Hensarling said. “The inclusion of our expertise helps improve health care outcomes.”

Durban began her career at Samford University in January 2004 as head volleyball coach. In 2006, she added the senior woman administrator (SWA) role to her coaching duties. In 2008, she transitioned out of coaching and became assistant athletic director for compliance, while continuing as SWA.

Now a senior associate AD, Durban oversees volleyball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross-country/track and field, women’s tennis and women’s golf. She also oversees student services (academics, compliance and financial aid), athletic training, strength and conditioning, and sport nutrition. She is the Southern Conference chair for volleyball and track and field, and serves as a member on other committees. 

“Working with the quality coaches and student-athletes we have at Samford has made my time here a pleasure,” Durban said. “From my time here as a coach and now as an administrator, working in Samford athletics has been a tremendous experience. Receiving this honor means a great deal to me because I love what I do, and the coaches and student-athletes I serve.” 

Samford biology professor Betsy Dobbins was named to the inaugural SoCon All-Faculty team last year. 

Joey Mullins is assistant athletics director for communication.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.