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NCAA awards $100,000 in grants to researchers

Five research teams will produce work touching wide range of areas

Five research teams will receive a total of $100,000 through the NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program, designed to enhance college athletes’ psychosocial well-being and mental health.

The program is aimed at funding projects that will bring tangible benefits to college athletes when used by individuals or by NCAA member schools’ athletics departments. This year’s grant recipients will produce work that touches a wide range of areas, including mindfulness training, career development, promoting resiliency, and mental health support for injured student-athletes.

A panel that reviewed the 63 proposals and selected the grant awardees was composed of athletics administrators, mental health practitioners, current student-athletes and scholars representing all three NCAA divisions. The committee, which funded grants in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $25,000, hopes the research will lead to programs that other colleges and universities can adopt for use on their campuses or adapt to fit their local needs.

This is the fourth year of the NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program. These five teams will present their findings in January at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis:

Rowan University

Topic: Assisting student-athletes with the transition from college to the professional environment.

Researchers: JoAnne Barbieri Bullard, Psy.D.; Robert Bullard, M.A.; Sean Hendricks, Ed.D.; Dave Naphy, Ed.D.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Topic: Evaluation of a course designed to build resiliency among first-year student-athletes.

Researchers: Genevieve Chandler, Ph.D., R.N.; Jim Helling, MSW, LICSW.

Western Kentucky University

Topic: Online program designed to assist student-athletes in career planning and development.

Researchers: Evie Oregon, Ph.D.; Lauren McCoy, J.D.; Lacee Carmon-Johnson, Ph.D.

Sonoma State University

Topic: Development of an internet-based intervention to provide mental health support for injured student-athletes.

Researchers: Julie Rudy, M.A., ATC; Carrie Cheadle, M.A., CC-AASP.

University of Southern California

Topic: Development and evaluation of a mindfulness training program to enhance student-athlete mental health.

Researchers: Robin M. Scholefield, Ph.D.; Dylan M. Firsick, Ph.D.

Members of the external review panel, which chose the grant recipients:

  • Panel chair John Morris, athletics director, Tufts University.
  • David Arnold, director of alcohol abuse prevention initiatives, NASPA.
  • Ken Chew, director of the student counseling center, Indiana State University.
  • Hannah Franklin, student-athlete, Earlham College.
  • Dominic Keilty, student-athlete, Butler University.
  • Kelley Kish, associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator, Nova Southeastern University.
  •  Nyaka Niilampti, director of player wellness, NFL Players Association.
  • Meghan Roman, head softball coach and senior woman administrator, Illinois College.
  • Michael Sagas, professor and faculty athletics representative, University of Florida.
  • Karen Shu, varsity assistant, Peak Performance, Dartmouth College.
  • Sabrina Thomas, assistant professor, Wabash College.
  • Iman Tucker, student-athlete, University of Indianapolis.