Elon BrainCARE Symposium to highlight concussion, mental health research

The Elon BrainCARE Research Institute will host its fourth-annual symposium on Thursday, April 6. 

Student and faculty research into how concussions and mental health impact student-athletes and college students will be featured this week during the Elon BrainCARE Symposium

It’s the fourth annual symposium for the Elon BrainCARE Research Institute, which seeks to elevate the quality of the mentored undergraduate research experience into concussion and mental health research and education through an ongoing partnership with Elon’s Athletics Department. The symposium will feature research findings by Elon students and faculty as well as by presenters from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, the University of Washington and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

This year’s symposium expands the focus to incorporate research related to mental health and resilience in college students, which will be featured during the first half of the event. The second half of the symposium will center on how to translate knowledge about concussions into practice and policy.

Along with the annual symposium, the Elon BrainCARE Research Institute publishes peer-reviewed articles, presents at national and international organizations and submits for external grants. The institute is directed by Professor Eric Hall and Associate Professor Caroline Ketcham in the Department of Exercise Science.  

The schedule for Thursday’s symposium, which will be held in Lakeside 213 and 214: 


2 – 2:30 p.m. – Mental Health in College Students and Student-Athletes – Introduction to NCAA Mental Health Best Practices
David Wyrick, director, Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness; associate professor of public health education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro 

2:30 – 3 p.m. –  The Importance of Resilience in College Student Mental Health
Marie Shaw, director of counseling students, Elon University

3:00 – 3:30 – Resilience in College Student-Athletes: Importance for Physical and Mental Wellness
Nikki Barczak, researcher, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

3:30 – 4:15 – Building Resilience: Lessons Learned and Future Implications
Brent Walker, associate athletic director for championship performance, Columbia University


5 – 6 p.m. – Theory, Potential Pitfalls, and Politics in Sports-related Concussion Research
Zachary Kerr, assistant professor, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

6 – 7 p.m. – Failures and Inequities in Concussion Prevention, Identification and Management: Setting a New Agenda
Emily Kroshus, assistant research professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington