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Preceptor of the Year award winner, John Panos

Preceptor of the Year award winner, John Panos

The University of Pittsburgh Athletic Training program is proud to announce that the recipient of the inaugural Preceptor of the Year award is Clinical Instructor John “JP” Panos. This award has been established to recognize clinical preceptors who serve as exceptional mentors and instructors, and exemplify an unwavering commitment to excellence in the clinical education of athletic training (AT) students.

Panos has long been an integral part of the Pitt Athletic Training program where he has positively impacted countless students pursuing athletic training careers for the past 13 years. “His dedication to nurturing the next generation of athletic trainers and fostering a culture of learning and growth has made him an invaluable asset to the athletic training program,“ says William Ankrom, clinical education coordinator of the Athletic Training program.

 “JP has been a strong supporter of the AT program at Pitt for many years,” continues Ankrom. “My time started at Pitt in 2015 and I recognized his impact on students very early in the program. JP has always made himself available and has been a regular participant in any extra events that we may host, like an educational presentation for the students. Students that have not been assigned directly with JP have been given opportunities to work with him in other areas, like the Steelers 5K event and the Allegheny Wrestling Tournament held at Fox Chapel High School. JP is a stand-out clinical educator and we appreciate him and Fox Chapel School District for having the Pitt Athletic Training program in their school district.”

Throughout his tenure, Panos has demonstrated unparalleled expertise in the field of athletic training, passing on his extensive knowledge to students with an unwavering passion. Under his guidance, students have thrived, developing their skills and competencies in a hands-on clinical setting, which prepares them for successful careers in this demanding profession.

"I did not expect to grow as a clinician and as a person as much as I did in my first clinical experience, and I can attribute a lot of that credit to JP,” said Elizabeth Murphy (BS RS ‘23, MS AT ‘24). “I have modeled a lot of my clinical practice after what he taught me and learned life lessons that I can apply on and off the field. He is really more than a clinical preceptor to me. He is a lifelong mentor and somebody I will always turn back to. For the rest of my clinical experiences, I will always compare them to JP. He made me feel like I was family, and that's a quality I appreciate and will uphold myself with others."

Panos' genuine care for each student has created a nurturing learning environment where students feel supported and motivated to achieve their best. His mentorship has not only equipped students with the necessary skills, but also instilled in them a passion for lifelong learning and dedication to the field of athletic training.

When asked about being the inaugural recipient of this award, JP shared, “I am honored to be thought of at this level to receive this preceptor award. As many of you know, I bleed the Old Gold and Blue from 70 miles south at WVU, but a number of years ago, Ryan Grove (BS AT ‘93) encouraged me to get involved with the Pitt AT program as a clinical preceptor and to work with the Pitt students at the Steelers organization. The chance to work with Ryan and Steelers’ Clinical Preceptor Jon Andino (BS AT ‘08, DPT ‘11) made it an easy decision to request to be included. This has been a prideful program for over 40 years and is being taught by quality professionals. Each student is exposed to a variety of sites and levels from secondary school to ACC football championship-caliber teams. The education and our profession are moving so quickly and this program is preparing students to be the best. I also felt like a proud dad last year when our students won the quiz bowl at the National Athletic Training Association.”

The Preceptor of the Year award is a testament to Panos' extraordinary contributions to the field of athletic training and his dedication to shaping the future of the profession. The Athletic Training program commends his outstanding commitment and exemplary service, which continue to significantly impact the education and growth of athletic training students.

As a token of the Athletic Training program’s appreciation, Panos was honored during their annual preceptor training, where he received a commemorative plaque and a generous gift in recognition of his achievement.


Written by:

Devin Kielur, DAT, LAT, ATC - Assistant Professor in the Athletic Training Program

Devin Kielur, DAT, LAT, ATC
Assistant Professor in the Athletic Training Program
Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition


Published October 20, 2023