Berkstresser Earns 2013 Dean's Distinction Award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard Head Athletic Trainer Brant Berkstresser has been named one of the recipients of the 2013 Dean's Distinction Award.

Berkstresser was one of 35 recipients to receive the honor, which is given to the highest-achieving members of the Faculty of Arts & Science's (FAS) staff members, whose critical contributions and skillful collaboration have delivered outstanding results for the FAS in 2012.  

Now in his fifth year at Harvard, Berkstresser serves the University on a number of fronts. As head athletic trainer since 2008, he oversees three consulting physicians and 10 athletic trainers and leads the team in the overall medical care and support of over 1,100 student-athletes. He works directly with the football, sailing and golf teams, and Berkstresser has also collaborated with Dr. Frank Wang (UHS) to create a state-of-the-art concussion management plan. His program includes an educational component to make student-athletes and coaches aware of all aspects of concussion injury.
The work by Berkstresser and Dr. Wang made Harvard a leader in the concussion management long before the subject reached its current level of public attention. Due to his expertise in the area, Berkstresser has been appointed to the Ivy Presidents' commissioned Concussion Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Competitive Safeguards Committee. He is also a member of the Ivy Leauge/Big Ten Committee to study head injuries, which has allowed Harvard to participate in a unique, collaborative longitudinal study.
He has extended his reach outside of Harvard, giving presentations for College and University Sports Medicine Foundation. He was the co-author of "Traumatic Injuries of the Cervical Spine" and the co-author of an abstract presented at the 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Symposium "Physiological and Perceived Psychological Responses of Collegiate Football Athletes to Ventilated Shoulder Pads During a Scrimmage." Currently, he is working on two studies, the effects of training on the heart and an injury rate study.
Prior to joining Harvard, Berkstresser spent five years as the head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director for sports medicine at Georgia Southern. He also spent time with Maryland, Kansas State and the New York Jets.
He graduated from West Virginia with a bachelor's degree in education with an emphasis towards athletic training, and he received his master's degree in kinesiology from Kansas State.
Berkstresser is the fourth member of the athletic department to receive the honor in the last three years. Clinical director of rehabilitation, Dr. Gary Geissler, garnered the award in 2012, while director of strength and conditioning James Frazier and senior associate athletic director Jeremy Gibson both received the honor in 2011.