Denise is entering into her 32nd year of working at Iowa State. She was hired in 1991 for the position of Head Women’s Athletic Trainer and Adjunct Instructor with duties including coverage of all women’s athletic teams at Iowa State University as well as teaching within the Kinesiology Department. Denise currently serves as an Associate Director of Athletic Training with direct supervision of Gymnastics (W), Swimming/Diving (W), Soccer, Softball, Tennis (W), Golf (M/W). Her main area of interest is women’s health and professional opportunities. Denise enjoys teaching in the athletic training curriculum and mentoring athletic training students. Denise says that working with motivated student-athletes and her peer athletic trainers gives her the motivation to provide the best health care possible to student-athletes on a daily basis.
Professional Certifications and Credentials
NATABOC Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC)
Licensed Athletic Trainer (LAT) - State of Iowa
Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) - National Academy of Sports Medicine
Dr. Ma’s Systemic Dry Needling Certification
Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Certified Medical Professional
Kinesio Taping Association - KT1 & KT2 Certified Provider
Graston Technique – M1 Certified Provider
Active Release Technique (Certified 2015-2017)
Blood Flow Restriction Therapy Certification – ORS
Muscle Energy Techniques M1 Certification
Laser Use Certificates – American Institute of Laser Therapy Applications
American Red Cross – Professional Rescuer Certifications
Iowa State University - Associate Director of Athletic Training
Kansas State University - Assistant Athletic Trainer
Illinois State University - Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer
University of Northern Iowa - Bachelors of Arts in Teaching Credentials
Illinois State University - Masters of Science in Exercise Science
A TR 425 Medical Aspects of Athletic Training
A TR 220 Basic Athletic Training (2002-present)
Professional Affiliations & Volunteer Service
Sexual Assault Response Team Training, Iowa State University, 2006, 2007
Iowa Shrine Bowl - Athletic Trainer Fund Raising Event, 2012-2014
Served as a qualified examiners and Test Site Administrator for the Board of Certification 1987-2006
HIPPA Compliance Committee: Iowa State University, 2003-2009
NCAA Train the Trainer Diversity Session, Indianapolis, IN, 2000
Completed Curriculum & Policy Integration Methods for Enhancing Racial and Ethnic Understanding, Iowa State University, 1999
District representative for the Board of Certification Exam Administration Committee 1996-2001
State of Iowa: Iowa Athletic Trainer Examiners Boards. Secretary, Vice-chair, and Chair 1995-2001
Special Olympics of Iowa - Medical Coverage for numerous years 1991-2015
Iowa High School Athletic Administration: Coverage for Softball, Girls Basketball, X-Country, Track & Field Championships, 1991-1995
Iowa Athletic Trainers Association: Education Committee 1991-1994
Honors & Awards
Mid-America Athletic Trainers' Association - MAATA Ethnically Diverse & Female Award, 2019
Iowa State University, 25 Years of Service, 2016
Sac Community High School, Hall of Fame, 2010
Dan Libera Service Award - Board of Certification, 2008
Athletic Trainer Service Award - National Athletic Trainers Association, 2005
Family & Other Activities
Spouse - Dan O’Mara
Children and Grandchildren - Ruby Melendez with son Lionel and Maggie Carlsen with daughter Nora.
Extended Family - Andrew Orey with daughter Vivian
Dog - Zoey
Denise enjoys outdoor activities, reading, spending time with her family. She was a Licensed Foster Parent from 2002 to 2014.
2016: Bodies in Motion Research Project: In conjunction with NCAA and West Virginia University
Spring 2008: Presentation for the FCCLA (Family, career, community Leaders of America): Sports Hydration, practical applications.
Summer 2007, 2008: Iowa State University Extension Program: Athletic Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation of the High School Student Athlete.
Summer 2002: Iowa High School Coaches Association: Presentation: Nutrition and Eating Disorders in student-athletes.
Fall 2000 and Spring 2001: Iowa State University Athletic Department: Co-Facilitator, Workshop: Understanding Diversity and Creating Community.
Fall 2001: Boone Middle School. Workshop on body Image and Eating Disorders.
Fall 2001: Boone High School: Presentation: Nutrition for today’s athlete.
May 2001: Big 12 Conference Athletic Trainers Annual Meeting: Presentation: Eating Disorder in Female Intercollegiate Athlete, A Case Study.
1990-91: Cramer Coaches Clinic: A 5 day course in athletic training for high school coaches.
1987-90: Special Olympics Workshop Lecture. Proper Conditioning Techniques. Manhattan , Kansas.
April 1997: Iowa Athletic Trainer Society Student Workshop: NATABOC Examination.