Ms. Walter began working with the center in Spring of 2013. Over the past three years, Alexa has become a valuable asset to the research team. She completed her undergraduate honors thesis research with us on the impact of sub-concussive blows on virtual reality and academic scores. Ms. Walter graduated from Penn State in May 2015 with her B.S. in biology: neuroscience. She is now continuing her research at the center as a graduate student working towards her Ph.D.
Mr. Wilkes received his BS degree in Kinesiology with a focus in Athletic Training in 2013 from Penn State University. He then served as a support staff member with Penn State Athletics helping assist with Varsity, Club, and Intramural sports coverage for two years. Mr. Wilkes took a Graduate position with the Penn State Men’s Rugby team for two years before completing his MEd at Penn State University in 2017. He currently serves as a Certified Athletic Trainer to assist athletics with medical coverage as well as strengthen the relationship between the concussion lab and Penn State Athletics. He is also currently working towards a PhD in Kinesiology with a focus on the effects of exercise in concussion.
John Gaspich III
Mr. Gaspich began working with the Center for Sport Concussion in Fall 2014, majoring in biology:neuroscience and minoring in kinesiology. John’s passion for pediatric concussion research stems from his firsthand personal experience with pediatric TBI. John experienced, lived through, and functioned as a caregiver during his brother’s recovery over a seven year period from a severe concussive injury. Upon graduation, John intends to pursue an integrated medical degree program, either M.D./M.B.A or M.D./PhD.
Ms. Hickey is currently a Junior and began working as an undergraduate intern for the center in Fall 2016. She is majoring in Biobehavioral Health and minoring in Biology. Her interest in the lab stems from her sports background and experiencing her own sports related injuries, as well as the ever-increasing coverage about concussions in today’s media. Following graduation from Penn State, she plans to continue her education and attend school to be a physician assistant.
Ms. Meszar is a freshman currently planning to major in general science with a biomedical science and health professions option, and is hoping to minor in kinesiology. After graduation, she plans to continue her education through a physician assistant program and start a career soon after that. Her interest stemmed from her numerous years participating in sports and seeing the brain related injuries that could occur.
Ms. Higgins is a senior studying kinesiology with a movement science specialty. She started working for the center in Fall 2016. Sarah’s passion for sports orthopedics and concussion research comes from her involvement in various sports throughout her whole life as well as from suffering from multiple concussions. After graduating, she plans on attending graduate school to become a Physicians assistant specializing in sports orthopedics or neuroscience.
Michael is a junior majoring in biology. This is his fourth semester as an intern at the center. He has played football much of his life, which has led to an interest in concussions and working at the center. After graduation, he plans on attending medical school.
Mr. Ceasar is a junior majoring in Biology-Vertebrate Physiology Option and is also working toward a Kinesiology minor. He is currently planning on attending medical school. He joined the concussion research center because of his interest in how the brain works, and also had a family member whose life was severely affected by a concussion.
Ms. Kaudy began working as an intern for the center in Summer 2017 as a premedical: neuroscience student. After graduating from Penn State, she plans to attend medical school to pursue a specialty in either neurology or orthopedic surgery. She became interested in joining the concussion research center after facing many concussions of her own from playing volleyball. Her own concussions also led her to an overall interest in how the brain functions.
Ms. Kondeti is currently a sophomore majoring in Kinesiology. She began working as a volunteer at the center in Summer 2017. Her interest in the lab stems from her fascination with prevention and rehabilitation of concussions. After graduating from Penn State, she plans on attending medical school.
Mr. Cohen is a Sophomore majoring in Economics and Pre-Medicine.
He developed a passion for concussion research from personal experience; he had to miss 2 years of college due to concussions. After graduating, Mr. Cohen hopes to go to medical school and specialize in neurology with a focus on Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Ms. Whalen is currently a junior majoring in Biobehavioral Health and minoring in Psychology. She began working as an intern for the center in the fall of 2017. Her interest in concussions came from a strong background in sports and sustaining many sports related injuries of her own. After graduating from Penn State, she plans to take a year off before continuing her education in a medical related field.
Mr. Fornini is a senior majoring in Kinesiology and has been working at the center since the Fall of 2017. After multiple concussions in high school that put an end to his wrestling career, he has been intrigued with brain injuries. After graduating, Mr. Fornini plans on working at the center for another year before attending medical school.
Mr. Earl began working with the Center in Fall 2017, majoring in Kinesiology and pursuing a Smeal College Business Fundamentals Certificate. Sam’s passion for concussion research increased after his own nine week concussion, being treated by the Center’s very own Dr. Peter Seidenberg, MD. After graduating, he plans to do something within exercise physiology specializing in concussion treatment, management, and prevention.
Biology Vertebrae/ Physiology Major
Sustaining a concussion while competing in high school sports intrigued Mr. Matthew’s interest on why a concussion can be so devastating with so many side effects.
After Penn State, Mr. Matthew plans to attend medical school, and working in the concussion center will help him look into how the brain is affected during an injury, like a concussion.
Mr. Peters is currently a sophomore majoring in Biology with a vertebrate physiology option, and is hoping to minor in French and Kinesiology. His interest in concussion research stems from a passion for fitness, sports medicine, and helping others, as well as sports involvement throughout his life. After graduating, he would love to apply what he has learned in the lab and attend medical school.
Mr. Wilkie is currently a Junior majoring in Kinesiology Movement Science. He began working as an undergraduate intern for the center in Spring 2017. His interest in sport concussion research is rooted in personal experiences sustaining multiple concussions as well as playing sports throughout high school. After graduating, he plans on attending graduate school to become a physical therapist specializing in neurology and orthopedics.
Mr. Furst is a senior majoring in biology and minoring in psychology. Through his involvement with athletics, he has personally experienced concussions and has also seen many of his teammates sustain head injuries. This has motivated him to pursue research related to concussions and brain injury. He is currently an EMT for the University Ambulance Service and Centre LifeLink EMS. He will be attending medical school following his graduation from Penn State.
Ms. Macholz is currently a sophomore majoring in Kinesiology Movement Science. Her interest in concussions originally stems from her own experiences in high school athletics. She became interested in working for the lab after gaining experience working with athletes as an athletic training intern. After graduating from Penn State, she plans on going to grad school to continue her studies in performance science.
Ms. Faerber is currently a junior. She recently started working at the center in the spring of 2019. She is a Kinesiology major and member of Penn State’s Swimming and Diving team. Her long history of concussive injury is what sparked her interest in working in the lab. She is still unsure of her exact path after college, but she knows she wants to pursue a career in a health field.
Ms. Ernst is currently a sophomore majoring in Kinesiology with a movement science option. Her interest in concussion research comes from being involved with sports her whole life, having a desire to help others, and wanting to contribute to future research involving physical activity. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school for a Master’s in sports management with intentions of pursuing a career relating to the business aspect of sports.
Mr. Bucci is currently a sophomore majoring in Biobehavioral Health. He has been playing sports his whole life, and is currently a manager of the Penn State Football team. It is this love for sports that brought him to working with the research center. Although he has never sustained a concussion, he has seen many first hand, and is interested in learning more about how these concussive blows affect the brain long term.
Ms. Grace is a junior Kinesiology Movement Science major. This is her first semester volunteering at the center. Grace’s passion for studying brain injuries is a result of the exposure to these injuries during her summers spent volunteering as an EMT. After she graduates, she plans to further her education through a physician assistant program.