KSI Fellowship


By Savannah Knighton, Korey Stringer Institute Fellow

My name is Savannah Knighton and I am an undergraduate athletic training student at Louisiana State University. I became aware of the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) in 2014 after my brother suffered a heat stroke. KSI played an integral role in his return to the football field. I have always admired the work that they have done, and this summer I was fortunate enough to become part of the team when I was offered the 2016 summer fellowship.


My main focus this summer was the Athletic Training Locations and Services (ATLAS) project. The goal of ATLAS is to create a real-time database of the athletic training services in secondary schools across the country. Being an athletic training student and a strong advocate for the importance of the presence of athletic trainers at all levels, this was a very appropriate task. I spent much of my time uploading the information from new surveys to our database. I also created numerous contact lists of athletic trainers from different states to help promote ATLAS.  This was my first real experience working with excel, but I was able to learn numerous tips and tricks.


I was also asked to write letters to authors that inadequately described exertional heat stroke. I have become very knowledgeable about heat illnesses, especially exertional heat stroke; so I was glad to be able share this knowledge. I was even able to learn a little bit more about the specifics and misconceptions of heat illnesses while writing these letters.  My creative side was put to the test by designing some social media graphics to help promote KSI and its initiatives.

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During my last few weeks here, I was able to help out with some of the research studies. I spent many hours in the heat chamber, helping out with  max testing, and collecting data before and after testing. This was my first experience with research, but it has definitely made me consider about going into research in the future.


I cannot thank the KSI team enough for all the mentoring they have done. The amount of knowledge I have acquired from them this summer is unfathomable. I am excited to bring everything I have learned back to Louisiana and carry it with me throughout my career. I can only hope that future fellows learn just as much as I have. KSI does some amazing work, and being apart of the team even for a summer is an experience I would recommend to any athletic training student.

KSI Fellowship


This summer, Korey Stringer Institute welcomed the first fellow, Kyle MacKinnon, BS, ATC. (Photo from left: Dr. Stearns, Sarah Attanasio, Rachel VanScoy, Luke Belval, William Adams, Dr. Huggins, Lesley Vandermark, Andrea Fortunati, Kyle MacKinnon)


By Kyle MacKinnon

Going to college at Ithaca College, I was fortunate enough to gain the mentorship of Kent Scriber. Kent was known for his stories from his early career. In 1985 he provided potentially life-saving treatment to a young track athlete suffering from exertional heat stroke. This athlete was Douglas Casa, the Chief Operating Officer of the Korey Stringer Institute. One day over our winter break, my program director emailed me with an opportunity-a summer position had been posted at KSI. After a period of emails, phone calls, and interviews I was fortunate enough to be selected as the inaugural KSI research fellow.

After graduating college in the spring, I had about two weeks of nothing. Quickly, this passed and I was off to Storrs, Connecticut. I started at KSI on June 1st. Although I am only here for 8 short weeks, I have been immersed in several on-going projects. From high school policy updates to a prolonged study on performance variables and soccer players, I have gained invaluable insight into the world of research and sports safety. Most recently I have been creating an informational video on heat acclimatization. Many of KSI’s research publications have been compiled into policies to optimize safety. The video project is designed to be an accessible resource for all those who may encounter heat stress.

My time here has given me a better awareness of what goes on in world of research. It is filled with tough work and even tougher people doing the work. The process behind a publication was almost a mystery to me before I came to KSI. After observing and having conversations with my colleagues I have a firmer understanding of the process. One thing that I have learned that is a constant is that something can always be better, whether that means getting new eyes on a paper or stepping back and trying a new perspective.

There is a constant need for more research. In an era of information, KSI is committed to producing only the best quality evidence and research. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to be at the front lines of research. The lessons taught to me here will follow me throughout my career and life.