FACULTY
Chris Kuenze, Ph.D., ATC
Dr. Kuenze is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and a clinical professor in the Division of Sports Medicine at Michigan State University. He serves as the Director of the Graduate Program in Athletic Training as well as the Director of the Sports Injury Research Laboratory. His primary research interest revolves around the impact of ACL reconstruction on physical activity, response to exercise, and quadriceps neuromuscular function with the goals of reducing ACL re-injury risk and promoting positive long term patient outcomes. In addition, Dr. Kuenze is working to develop low cost evaluation and intervention technologies to assist in the restoration of quadriceps muscle function and the optimization of functional movement patterns following knee joint injury. His recent work has been featured in the Journal of Athletic Training, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, and Journal of Orthopaedic Research. Contact Dr. Kuenze at kuenzech@msu.edu.
Tracey Covassin, Ph.D., ATC, FNATA
Dr. Covassin is an Associate Professor and licensed athletic trainer at Michigan State University in the Department of Kinesiology. Her research in sport-related concussion includes sex differences in concussion outcomes, epidemiology and risk factors associated with sports-related concussion. Dr. Covassin currently directs a multi-site high school and college sport-concussion outreach program in the Mid-Michigan area. Dr. Covassin has over 90 professional publications and 120 professional presentations, and has received over 1.5 million in external funding as a principal investigator from external sources including the National Operating Committee of Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), BrainScope, National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Research and Education Foundation, NFL Charities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2013 she was appointed to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council Sport-Related Concussion in Youth Committee. The committee reviewed current literature on concussions, their causes and the relationship of hits to the head during sport, effectiveness of protective devices and equipment, screening and diagnosis, prevention, management and treatment. The evidence-based report titled “Sport-related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture was released October 2013. Dr. Covassin was invited to the White House for President Obama’s Healthy Kids & Safety Sports Concussion Summit, and has been an invited speaker at the NIH Pediatric Concussion Workshop, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and the Department of Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health. Contact Dr. Covassin at covassin@msu.edu.
GRADUATE STUDENTS

Abby Bretzin, M.S., ATC
Abby is a fourth year Ph.D. student interested in sport-related concussion (SRC). Currently, her focus is neurocognitive deficits and sex differences following a SRC, as well as investigating long-term effects of both SRC and head impacts below the threshold of a concussion. Her master’s thesis evaluated the relationship of head impact kinematics and strength of various muscle groups in the cervical spine in soccer athletes. Abby is currently a research assistant in the Sport Injury Research Laboratory and teaching assistant in the Department of Kinesiology. Abby was recently awarded the NATA Research and Education Foundation Memorial Scholarship in recognition of her work at MSU. Contact Abby at bretzina@msu.edu

Jennifer Savage, M.S., ATC
Jennifer is currently a fourth year Ph.D. student in Kinesiology with a concentration in Athletic Training, studying under Dr. Tracey Covassin. Her interest includes examining simulated driving performance among concussed high school and collegiate athletes and the self-efficacy of certified athletic trainers in the use of concussion assessment and management. She completed her Master's Degree in Sports Medicine in 2015, at Georgia State University. Her research focus examined the effects of the short-foot exercise in athletes with chronic ankle instability. She completed her Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training in 2013, at Western Carolina University. She serves as a teaching and research assistant in the Department of Kinesiology. Contact her at savage25@msu.edu

Caroline Lisee, M.Ed., ATC
Caroline is a third year Ph.D. student interested in neuromuscular adaptations after traumatic knee injuries. Specifically, she studies aspects of muscular performance and physical activity after ACL injury to help identify clinical tools to reduce risk of re-injury and developing osteoarthritis. Caroline received a 2017 Doctoral Research Assistant Grant from the National Athletic Trainers' Association Research and Education Foundation to support her ongoing work investigating the impact of involved limb quadriceps dysfunction on single leg movement quality after ACLR. Her master’s research assessed limb symmetry in healthy subjects as a means for guiding objective return to play criteria following ACL reconstruction. She serves as a research assistant and teaching assistant in the Department of Kinesiology. Contact Caroline at liseecar@msu.edu

Kyle Petit, M.S., ATC
Kyle is a third year Ph.D. student who currently serves as a research and teaching assistant in the Department of Kinesiology. His research interests primarily focus around rest and activity after a sports-related concussion. Kyle is particularly interested in assessing how manipulations to physical and cognitive rest affect recovery. He is also interested in the use of cognitive and physical activity when managing athletes with a sports-related concussion. His recent work evaluated Athletic Trainers’ perceptions of rest and activity when managing athletes with a sports-related concussion. Contact Kyle at petitkyl@msu.edu

Ashley Triplett, M.S.
Ashley is a second year Ph.D. student in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Physiology. Her research interests include the physiological effects of ACL reconstruction on aerobic fitness, body composition, and physical activity engagement. She completed her Master’s Degree in Kinesiology with a focus in Exercise Physiology at Michigan State University in 2016. Her master’s research evaluated the physiological response of Division I ice hockey players during games and practice sessions. She serves as a research and teaching assistant in the Department of Kinesiology and is currently the President-Elect for the Kinesiology Graduate Student Organization (KGSO). Contact Ashley at triple18@msu.edu

Morgan Anderson, M.S.
Morgan is a second year Ph.D. student. Her research interests include the neuropsychological, psychosocial, and physical effects of sport-related concussion (SRC). Ashley was awarded a 2018 Summer Research Fellowship from the Michigan State University College of Education to investigate changes in exercise performance and body composition among individuals with ACLR. She completed her Master’s Degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science at the University of Arkansas in 2017. Her thesis compared before-school and after-school neurocognitive performance and symptoms to determine the optimal time to administer computerized neurocognitive testing. Morgan is currently a research assistant in the Department of Kinesiology. Contact her at ande1997@msu.edu

Tom Birchmeier M.S., ATC, CSCS
Tom is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Kinesiology, where he serves as a teaching and research assistant. Tom received his Master's Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Indiana. His master’s research focused on treating plantar fasciitis with instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. His current research interests include improving quadriceps function and return to physical activity following ACL reconstruction by integrating clinical rehabilitation techniques with strength and conditioning principles. Contact Tom at birchm48@msu.edu

Christopher Tomczyk, M.S., ATC, CSCS
Chris is a first year Ph.D. student in the Department of Kinesiology, studying under Dr. Tracey Covassin. His research interests include the psychosocial effects of sport-related concussion in underserved adolescent and youth populations. He completed his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Athletic Training from Georgia Southern University in 2018. His thesis examined the effects of state and trait anxiety on baseline neuropsychological testing in high school athletes. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Chris is currently serves as a teaching and research assistant in the Department of Kinesiology. Contact Chris at tomczykc@msu.edu