Care for People

Congratulations to Joyce Champlin Freeman, recipient of this year’s Faculty/Staff Member of the Year Award from the Moses Brown Alumni Association. MB’s certified Athletic Trainer, Joyce has been a member of the Athletics department for many years and will receive her award at Reunion this May.

Joyce joined MB in 1990, with her freshly-minted M.Ed. in health science and sports medicine from Springfield College, hired to serve as the school’s head Athletic Trainer and also teach upper school PE. She says that MB’s welcoming environment immediately drew her in and the people at Moses Brown have kept her here all these years: “The best things about my job at Moses Brown are the people that I work with and, most of all, the student athletes. I see the athletes, at times, at their lowest after an injury. I then have the rewarding job of helping them recover until they are once again at their highest potential—participating in a game and achieving their goals on game day, full of adrenaline and excitement. Each day is an adventure and there is never a dull or boring moment.”

On any given day, you can find Joyce taping up a student in the training room, discussing a recovery protocol on the phone with one of MB’s consulting doctors, sharing fitness moves with colleagues over Zoom, weighing in on the school’s health curriculum, zipping around campus after school with her dog Clover, even pitching in to help with Extended Day if needed. An incredible number of students visit Joyce’s office and training room each day; she helps students heal their injuries, and more. That call to do what’s needed, whenever, has helped Joyce feel right at home at MB over the years.

“The sense of community is so strong here; people are always bustling around the campus with such purpose and energy,” she comments. Joyce has friendships here dating to that first year at MB and fond memories of everything from bonfires and craft fairs to pancake breakfasts and the famous tug of peace. “These moments and traditions are what make this school such an inspiring place to learn, grow, and build lasting relationships.”

At Moses Brown, Joyce is also mindful of the larger mission of the school: “I’m not just taking care of an injured athlete, but taking into consideration the whole person.”

Joyce discovered athletic training in her early years of college, where she spent hours in the training room.

“I went in and I never left!” she laughs. She’s been a student of the profession ever since, constantly learning and staying current on new concepts, advances, and devices. The training room in the Field House is her own design, packed with tables and tools for recovery and years’ worth of memories and connections. “I feel lucky that I have access to continuing education and great facilities here. It’s really an AT’s dream to work at Moses Brown,” she reflects. The photo gallery in her office, depicting students in and after recovery, is a testament to Joyce’s connection to that particular part of the school’s mission.

Her primary goal is taking care of people, giving them hope and goals to get better. While she never wants to see any student get injured, she relishes working with them to see positive outcomes: “That’s the biggest satisfaction, to see student-athletes get back out on the field, be happy, get back in the game again, and be competitive and healthy.”

Along the way, Joyce says she’s been helped by a supportive network with her colleagues in Athletics and Physical Education, great coaches, and the school nurses.  They echo that appreciation for Joyce. Her colleague Leslie Caito-Jones, a longtime MB coach, says, “Joyce is our students’ biggest cheerleader. She’s just a positive fixture on the sidelines and her enthusiasm is infectious. She’s very calming and so knowledgeable in what she does. The kids here love her.”

Not only does Joyce treat MB’s young athletes, she is also an athlete in her own right. She has competed in Ironman distance events and marathons, including the Boston Marathon. An accomplished distance athlete and avid runner in her non-MB time, Joyce now races triathlons to challenge herself. This past fall, she kicked off the new school year by placing 3rd overall in her age group at the Old Orchard Beach Ironman. This summer, she’s doing a 70.3 Ironman in Maine, training with her sisters, and also doing the NYC Marathon with her daughter Molly Freeman ’15, racing for Team For Kids. Joyce says that seeing her daughter attend Moses Brown and compete for the Quakers has been a special part of her MB experience, adding to Joyce’s connection to the school. “Watching Molly play from the sidelines meant a lot to me. It was special to be able to see Molly play sports at Moses Brown and experience its community, competition, and excitement. It was always reassuring to know that she had such great teachers who really cared about their students and enjoyed what they were doing.”

Joyce will receive her award on Saturday night, May 7, 2022 at Reunion.

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Joyce Champlin Freeman, LATC, CSCS, EMT, MEd, ATC, PSC, GT-C, FMS, has been the Head Athletic Trainer at Moses Brown since 1990. She earned her bachelor’s in Athletic Training and Health Education from Rhode Island College and her master’s in Health Science and Sports Medicine at Springfield College. She is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, a member of the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association and Strength and Conditioning Association, and a past member of the RIIL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. Joyce is a Pain-Free Performance Specialist and was a volunteer for the USA Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Team in Lake Placid in 2004. She served as President of the Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association from 2009-2012 and received the Athletic Trainer of the Year Award in 2006. In 2020, she was inducted into the Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame. Joyce worked for passage of the Rhode Island Concussion Bill, protecting athletes statewide. She helped MB become certified with the Safe School Sports Award. Joyce has her certification in American Heart Association First Aid training and CPR, works as a mental toughness coach, is certified in Graston Technique and FMS Functional Movement, is the owner of FIT2Excel, and enjoys spending time with her family. She serves on the MB Wellness and Safety committees.