International expert in sports-related concussions highlights Haer Family Symposium

GREENVILLE, Pa.—The third annual Thiel College Haer Family Symposium features internationally renowned expert in sports-related concussions Michael Collins, Ph.D., at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 15 in the Lutheran Heritage Room of the Howard Miller Student Center.

Collins directs the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Established in 2000, UPMC’s program is the first and largest research and clinical program focused on the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of sports-related mild traumatic brain injury in athletes of all levels. Collins’ presentation “Active Approaches to Concussion Management and Rehabilitation: What Are We Learning?” will discuss recent findings about brain injury treatment.

The overall topic for this year’s symposium is concussion and traumatic brain injury. All Haer Family Symposium events are free and open to the public.

Thiel College students and faculty kick off the symposium with a National Brain Week panel discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14 in Stamm Lecture Hall at the James Pedas Communication Center. Thiel College Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Department Chair Greg Butcher, Ph.D., will host a special screening of the movie “Concussion” at 8 p.m. Friday in Bly Hall at the Academic Center. Butcher will lead discussions before and after the movie.

About the Haer Family Symposium

The Haer Family Symposium takes its name from Thiel alumni Fred ’66 and Jill (Shackett) Haer ’66, whose various companies have advanced neuroscientific research and helped to develop new neurological and psychiatric therapies. The first installment of the series included three international experts discussing deep brain stimulation. The second event featured best-selling author Sandeep Jauhar, M.D., and John’s Hopkins economist and author Douglas Hough, Ph.D.

In 1970, the Haers founded FHC, Inc. The company’s microelectrode recording and stimulation technology serves neuroscientific research and neurosurgical operating rooms with more than 7,000 unique metal microelectrodes and clinical instruments. Greenville Neuromodulation Services (GNS), a wholly owned subsidiary of FHC, Inc., supports the neuroscience industry with a full range of services for medical professionals involved in the treatment of movement disorders. It is located in Greenville, Pa. with the nonprofit Greenville Neuromodulation Center.

About Michael Collins, Ph.D.

Collins is a lead author on several major groundbreaking studies of high school and college athletes published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Neurosurgery, American Journal of Sports Medicine, and Pediatrics.

Collins is a national leader in teaching and implementing the proper use of baseline and post-injury neurocognitive testing as a tool to help determine injury. He played key roles in the development of numerous concussion management programs at the youth sports level nationwide. In addition to training hundreds of physicians and athletic trainers in the diagnosis and management of sports-related concussion, he was the co-lead author of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Concussion Tool Kit for Physicians.”

He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology. Collins earned a master’s in psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology at Michigan State University.

For more information, contact Lori Shaffer at 724-589-2052.

About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a new Master of Science in speech-language pathology and 2Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program.A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation as it celebrates 150 years.