Rebecca L. Stearns KSI Alumni Award

This award recognizes exceptional dedication and work to carrying forward the mission of KSI beyond graduation from UConn.


Rebecca Lopez, Ph.D.

Dr. Rebecca Lopez received her BS and MS in athletic training at Florida International University and completed her P.hD. in exercise science from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Lopez is a certified athletic trainer through the Board of Certification. She is also an NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist an ACSM certified exercise physiologist. Dr. Lopez joined USF in 2010 and is currently a Professor in the Athletic Training Program within the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences and the Morsani College of Medicine. She is the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences’ Assistant School Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Lopez has been a board member on the Medical and Science Advisory Board for the Korey Stringer Institute since 2010. Her clinical athletic training experiences include working in the high school setting, women’s professional football, and mass medical events. Dr. Lopez’s research interests include exertional heat stroke and other heat illnesses, hydration, preventing sudden death in sports, and creating an inclusive environment in athletic training. Her passion is educating athletic training students, certified athletic trainers, and other clinicians on the evidence-based prevention, recognition, and treatment of exertional heat stroke.

In recent years Dr. Lopez has taken on service roles that have made significant contributions and positive changes in the profession. In 2017, Dr. Lopez was an committee member of the newly formed
NATA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee and then chaired this committee for two years. The mission of this committee is to advocate for an environment of inclusion, respect, and equity and to provide educational resources regarding health care topics affecting patients in the LGBTQ+ community. In 2021, Dr. Lopez was asked to be a co-chair of the NATA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Task Force. In this role, she was tasked with bringing the NATA’s six commitments to DEIA to life by creating initiatives that cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment in the profession and ensure that the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access are embedded in the NATA and the athletic training profession.


Yuri Hosokawa, Ph.D., ATC, FACSM ’17

Dr. Hosokawa is an Associate Professor at Waseda University in Saitama, Japan. Her research interests include prevention and education of sudden death in sport, establishing best practices in road race medicine, development of regional-specific heat guidelines and exploring the roles of genetics in the susceptibility of exertional heat stroke. She is also partaking in research projects in the field of biometeorology to promote interdisciplinary research across physiologist, climatologist, and public health researchers.

Dr. Hosokawa has led projects to help advance the Athletic Training profession in the U.S. and Japan, including assessment of athletic training service return on investment through secondary school insurance cost, National Football League Foundation athletic trainer grant program, and Journal of Athletic Training translation project lead by the Japan Athletic Trainers’ Organization. She is a member of the International Committee of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. She serves as a science advisor for Sport Safety Japan, NPO, and is a member of the International Institute for Race Medicine Ambassador Program Committee.

Dr. Hosokawa received her bachelor’s degree in Sport Sciences from the Waseda University in 2011, her master’s degree in Athletic Training from the University of Arkansas in 2013, and her doctoral degree from the University of Connecticut in 2016. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Korey Stringer Institute.