In recognition of Kevin Guskiewicz’s outstanding professional stature and exemplary career contributions, the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education Foundation has selected him to receive its 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Guskiewicz is the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sports Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and senior associate dean for the natural sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences. He is founding director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center and research director of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes.
Guskiewicz is recognized internationally for his laboratory and field-based research on sport-related concussions. He was among the first to identify the long-term effects of multiple concussions, including cognitive impairment and depression in later life, through large-scale epidemiological studies of retired professional football players. His work has been published both in top athletic training and sports medicine journals and in general medicine journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics and Neurosurgery.
Findings from his research have led to changes in the clinical practice of sports medicine, including the use of balance testing in concussion diagnosis, increases in sit-out time for athletes after concussions and computerized neurocognitive testing for concussion now regularly used in intercollegiate and professional sports settings.
His frequent appearances in national media outlets to raise public awareness about head injuries and advocate for sports safety policy make Guskiewicz one of the most visible spokespersons in the sports medicine profession. His visibility was raised even further in 2011 when he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. He was the first athletic trainer to ever win the so-called “genius award.”
He was awarded a fellowship in the American College of Sports Medicine in 2003, the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education in 2006 and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2008. In 2010, he was named to NCAA’s Concussion Committee, the National Football League Players’ Association’s Mackey-White Committee, and the NFL’s Head, Neck, and Spine Committee.
Guskiewicz received a bachelor’s degree from West Chester University in 1989, a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh 1992 and a doctor of philosophy degree in sports medicine from the Curry School of Education in 1995.
The Curry School Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have made considerable professional contributions in their chosen career.
Guskiewicz will receive his award Oct. 24 at a Curry School of Education dinner.