Elbin to Receive Early Career Award for Research on Sport-related Concussion

R. J. Elbin
Photo by University Relations

R. J. Elbin

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – R.J. Elbin, a University of Arkansas faculty member who studies sport-related concussion, will receive the first Early Career Award given by the Sports Neuropsychology Society.

The award recognizes the significant impact Elbin has made in the area of sport-concussion research within 10 years of receiving his doctorate. Elbin studies the neurocognitive, physical and psychosocial effects of sport-related concussion in youth and college-age athletes. His research focuses on identifying factors that influence concussion risk and recovery outcomes as well as the chronic effects of concussion in young athletes.

Elbin said he was honored to receive the award.

“I believe that we have learned so much about sport-related concussion in the past eight years, which spans better education, assessment and management, to new cutting-edge treatments for the injury,” Elbin said. “The research that I am doing here at Arkansas is making a difference in the clinical care for concussion, and it is also providing valuable learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.”

Elbin, associate professor of exercise science, joined the faculty of the College of Education and Health Professions in the fall of 2013. The society will present the award to him during its sixth annual Symposium on Concussion in Washington on May 3-5.

Elbin earned a doctorate in kinesiology from Michigan State University, and he held a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program. The Pittsburgh program was the first of its kind when it was started in 2000. It remains the largest such program and is considered an international leader in concussion research.

In 2014, Elbin created the Office for Sport Concussion Research to teach people involved in youth sports how to recognize concussions and to enable him to work with medical personnel to collect data about young athletes’ recovery from concussions. The office hosted researchers from several universities at a research summit on the U of A campus, and, in 2015, Elbin served on a panel of 35 of the nation’s leading concussion clinicians and researchers to write a report on best treatments for concussion.

Elbin and his students, both graduate and undergraduate, have published research in collaboration with other colleagues in the journal Pediatrics, the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, the Brain Injury journal, and the Applied Neuropsychology: Child journal, among others.

“This is an incredible recognition for Dr. Elbin, and one that is very much deserved,” said Michael Miller, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. “R.J. has a great following on campus and the respect of his students and peers, and this Early Career Award certainly demonstrates that this respect goes far beyond campus. He truly is an emerging national leader we are lucky to have with us.”

About the College of Education and Health Professions: The College of Education and Health Professions offers advanced academic degrees as well as professional development opportunities and learning communities in service to the education and health systems of Arkansas and beyond. The college provides the education and experiences for a range of professional roles, ranging from community mental health counselors to schoolteachers and leaders. Programs in adult and higher education, along with educational technology, sport management, and human resource and workforce development, offer a broad range of options. In addition to education-related opportunities, the college prepares nurses, speech-language pathologists, health educators and administrators, recreation professionals, rehabilitation counselors and human performance researchers.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


R. J. Elbin, Associate Professor of Exercise Science
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-2857, rjelbin@uark.edu

Heidi Wells, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, heidisw@uark.edu


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