Covassin receives MSU Outstanding Faculty Award

May 8, 2023

Tracey Covassin, a scholar from the Department of Kinesiology, is one of the 2022-2023 honorees for the MSU William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award.  

Part of the All-University Awards, the Beal Award is given to individuals who have made a distinguished and widely recognized contribution to their respective field and to the MSU community. It is a distinct honor for MSU faculty; no more than 10 individuals are given the accolade each year.  

“Tracey Covassin is a determined and thoughtful leader in our programming and a dedicated and innovative scholar,” said Panteleimon “Paddy” Ekkekakis, chair of the department. “We are incredibly proud of her and her work.”  

At MSU and beyond, Covassin has time and again been a leader within the field of athletic training, and specifically for research related to concussions.  

Her research, which includes more than 150 manuscripts and several book chapters, has been cited over 10,000 times. She was one of the first to demonstrate a difference in sports-related concussion rates between male and female collegiate athletes. Her research on females being at greater risk for concussions than males informed the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s position statement on concussion in sport (2018). Her research has also found female adolescents and collegiate athletes report more total symptoms, show greater vestibular and ocular-motor deficits and suffer greater neurocognitive impairments following sport-related concussions than males.  

In 2022, Covassin was recognized with one of the highest honors in the field of Kinesiology: She was elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology.  

Covassin (middle) smiles with Athletic Training students and Tom Mackowiak (far left), the program’s clinical education coordinator.

More recently, Covassin was named the MSU Gwendolyn Norrell Professor in Youth Sport and Student-Athlete Well-Being. The professorship provides funding for Covassin to continue and expand her research, as well as to continue the annual Norrell Lecture on Youth Sport and Student Athlete Well-Being. Covassin also continues to serve as the director of the Master of Science in Athletic Training Program, a role she has held since 2005.  

“Tracey Covassin is incredibly deserving of this prestigious MSU honor,” said Jerlando F. L. Jackson, dean of the college and MSU Foundation Professor of Education. “Her research, teaching and outreach efforts have supported the college, the university and the field in making significant strides forward.” 

With the Beal Award, Covassin joins an illustrious group of current and emeriti faculty across the College of Education who are also recipients. She is the first from the Department of Kinesiology to receive the honor since Gail Dummer’s recognition in 1998.  

Covassin will formally receive the honor at the MSU All-University Awards on May 8, 2023.