Alumnus Ben Gecewich Is Dedicated to Supporting his Alma Mater

'Where Your Passion Is'

By Loralyn Cecil
CHS Philanthropy Director

Ben Gecewich doesn’t wax on about personal philosophies.

A look at his path since graduating, though, shows the value of finding and investing where you can make the biggest difference – in your work, through your community, and at your university – even after graduating.

His motivation, he says, to succeed both at work and in his community is, not surprisingly, straightforward. “Be a good person,” he says. “Be a good human.”

Phillip Gribble, PhD, Professor and the Chair of the Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition, agrees with Gecewich’s mantra.

“Both Carl Mattacola (the previous director of the Athletic Training program while Gecewich was a student) and I have told our students many times, ‘It is most important that you are good to each other and that you are good humans,’” he said.

First career moves

Gecewich started his career after completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities followed by a post-professional master’s degree in Athletic Training from UK.

After UK, he spent one year in Colorado completing an athletic training fellowship and then relocated to join a newly formed multispecialty orthopaedic practice in Spartanburg, S.C., as an AT. He enjoyed the clinical work – completing diagnostic exams, doing bracing and splints, etc. – but he found he was also good at recruiting and training ATs to serve in the clinic, too.

Within a year, he relocated to Greenville and stepped up to serve as the office manager where he helped expand the clinic business.

“I felt I had more opportunities to help advocate for ATs and grow professionally if I left the clinical side and went to administration,” Gecewich said, which led him to further his education by also completing his MBA.

Gecewich is now a director of ambulatory operations for Prisma Health. He believes his AT education and training prepared him well for administration.

“I used the critical thinking and decision-making skills we had been taught,” he said. “I understood time management, the need for follow-up, and the importance of thinking outside the box.”

UK Alumni Association

While building his career, Gecewich also began supporting his alma mater, as fellow alumni called on him to support UK. He had graduated five years earlier, but was happy to have a good reason to visit Lexington occasionally and reconnect. He was asked to join the College’s Dean’s Advisory Board and later supported the College of Health Sciences in a number of other roles.

Just like in his career, other opportunities emerged, and he was asked to join the Leadership Advisory Council for the UK Alumni Association. Through his work as an alumnus volunteer, he met UK alumni across South Carolina. He also has been able to build relationships with UK alumni in other health care roles.

“Ben is a model alumnus,” Gribble said. “The faculty of the UK College of Health Sciences Athletic Training program always say we want to produce. He came to UK with a goal and passion. Now he – like so many of our alumni – represents the top of our profession. We are proud that so many of our alumni like Ben stay engaged with UK and our priorities.”

Community Volunteer

Gecewich serves as a board member for the South-Carolina based nonprofit Just Cause Cares, and is President of the Board of Directors for Coaches for Character, an organization using sports figures to help at-risk youth to have a chance to succeed in life.

“It is an opportunity to invest in young people just as other people have invested so much in me,” he said.

Gecewich and his wife, Heather, who is also dedicated to volunteering, encourage their kids to be involved, just as they encourage others.

His advice is timeless and essential — and it is also an example of how he lives his own life.

“Find out where your passion is,” he said. “There is always an opportunity to help.”



Alumni and volunteer work:

  • In an alumni survey, more than half of respondents (57%) expressed interest in helping current or prospective students at their alma mater. (2022 Anthology survey)
  • 70% of organizations say their top goal is to increase alumni engagement. (2020 VAESE Alumni Relations Benchmarking Study)
  • One survey found that 80% of hiring managers agree that active volunteers advance into leadership roles more easily, while 85% report that skills-based volunteering improves communication skills and 88% believe skills-based volunteering helps develop strong character traits. (2016 Deloitte Impact Survey)
  • In one study, 82% of hiring managers reported they were “more likely” to choose a job applicant with volunteer experience, and 85% reported they were willing to overlook other résumé flaws if a candidate includes volunteer experience. (2016 Deloitte Impact Survey)