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.