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.
Ms. Hickey is currently a senior 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. In addition, this past summer, she had an internship opportunity with Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, working in their Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Department. At this internship, she continued to increase her knowledge about concussions and their mechanism of injury. Following graduation from Penn State in the spring, she plans to attend post graduate program to receive her masters in physician assistant studies.
Ms. Meszar is a senior working toward a degree in General Science with a Biological Science and Health Professions focus. She has been a member of the center since the Spring of 2017. Her interest in concussion research stems from her participation in sports throughout school and the possible interventions that affect the symptoms and severity. Following graduation in the spring, she plans to attend a post-graduate program to receive a masters degree in physician assistant studies.
Mr. Luba is a senior majoring in biology. This is his third year 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 is currently a junior majoring in General Science (Biological Life Science option) with a minor in Neuroscience Psychology. She began working as an intern for the center in Summer 2017. 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.
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.
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 Senior majoring in Kinesiology Movement Science. He began working as an undergraduate intern for the center in Spring 2016. 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.
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.
Mr. Bucci is currently a junior in the College of Health and Human Development with an emphasis in Biobehavioral Health. He plans to complete a minor in Neuroscience upon graduation as well. Mr. Bucci has been playing sports his whole life, and is currently a manger of the Penn State Football Team. It is this love for sports that led him to the research center. Although he has never sustained a concussion, he has seen many first hand and is interested in learning more about how concussive blows affect the brain long term.
Ms. Pfarr is a senior Kinesiology Movement Science major. This is her third semester volunteering at the center. Grace’s passion for studying brain injuries is a result of the exposure she had to patients with these injuries during her summers spent volunteering as an EMT. After graduating from Penn State, she plans to further her education through completion of a Masters’ degree in Physician Assistant studies.
Ms. Weerakkody is currently a junior majoring in Biology and planning to minor in Human Development and Family Studies. This is her first semester as an intern in the center. Her interest in sports concussion research stems from past involvement in sports and an overall fascination with how the brain works. After graduation, she plans on attending medical school.
Ms. Horner is a senior working toward a Bachelors’ of Science in Athletic Training degree. She became an undergraduate intern in Fall 2019. Her interest in concussion research was provoked through management and treatment of concussions while completing a clinical practicum rotation with Penn State Football. After graduating from Penn State, she plans to further her education through completion of a Masters’ of Science Degree.
Mr. Griffith received his B.S. in Kinesiology with a focus in Fitness Studies from Penn State University in 2015, while playing for Penn State’s men’s soccer team. After undergrad, Owen joined the Penn State men’s soccer staff as an assistant coach and director of operations from 2015-2019. After one year as an assistant coach for the University of Denver men’s soccer team, Owen returned to Penn State in the spring of 2020 to begin research in the center while working towards a Masters in Kinesiology.
Ms. Walsh is currently a sophomore majoring in Kinesiology Movement Science and minoring in Neuroscience and Biology. Her interest in concussions and neuroscience comes from personal experience with concussions and other injuries in high school, as well as exposure to family members with various neuro disorders. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school and becoming a physical therapist.