Symposium Schedule and Presenters

Schedule for  Sept. 15, 2023 

Time Activity Speakers In Person Locations  Virtual Option
8:30–9 a.m. Welcome Table Open  

 Viterbo Fine Arts Center FSPA Lobby

10 a.m.

Welcome and Keynote : The Inconvenient Truth about CTE 

Ann McKee, MD

Viterbo Fine Arts Center - Main Theatre


11:05 a.m.

Panel : TBI Recovery: History, Studies and Strategies

Andrew Jagim, PhD, CSCS*D, CISSNSheldon Wagner, MS, ATC, CSCS, ITAT, moderated by Hope Kirwan

Viterbo Fine Arts Center - Main Theatre Video.
11:15 a.m.–12:10 p.m. Break and Visit Booths

Booths will be listed here.

 Viterbo Fine Arts Center FSPA Lobby


12:20–1:15 p.m. Breakout Session #1  Mary KerriganDPT, NCS, CWS, Christian FranckPhD  Viterbo Fine Arts Center FSPA Lobby

Kerrigan Recording.

Franck Recording.

1:25–2:20 p.m. Breakout Session #2 


 Viterbo Fine Arts Center FSPA Lobby

Gende Recording.

2:30–3:00 p.m. Closing reception Feel free to come and chat with others about the symposium. Viterbo Fine Arts Center FSPA Lobby

The closing will be in-person only.


Keynote Speaker

Ann McKee, MD

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Ann McKee, MD, is William Fairfield Warren distinguished professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University and director of neuropathology for VA Boston. Dr. McKee is a neurologist and neuropathologist whose career focuses on Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Her groundbreaking work on the long-term effects of repetitive head impacts, concussion, and blast injury in contact sports athletes and military veterans revolutionized scientific thought regarding head trauma; she demonstrated that repetitive head trauma can trigger CTE, a devastating neurodegenerative disease. Dr. McKee directs the BU Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and CTE Center. She created the UNITE brain bank, the world’s largest repository of brains from individuals exposed to traumatic brain injuries (over 1350). She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. McKee was named Bostonian of the Year 2017 by the Boston Globe, one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and one of the 50 Most Influential People in Healthcare by Time magazine. She received the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research by the Alzheimer’s Association and Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammie), Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to federal service. 

Panel Speakers

Andrew Jagim, PhD, CSCS*D, CISSN


Andrew Jagim is currently the Director of Sport Medicine Research for the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and an Associate Professor of Family Medicine. Dr. Jagim completed his PhD in kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise physiology at Texas A&M University. Andrew is also a certified strength & conditioning specialist with distinction through the National Strength & Conditioning Association and a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

His primary research area focuses on how various nutrition and exercise-related strategies influence the performance and health of athletes. Dr. Jagim’s research is also focused on the physiological demands of various sports and tactical professions and how they pertain to injury, recovery status, and performance. This work has led to several publications in peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at national conference events. In addition to his time spent in academia, Andrew has worked as a personal trainer and sports nutrition consultant for a variety of clients and athletes.

Sheldon Wagner, MS, ATC, CSCS, ITAT


Sheldon Wagner is an associate teaching professor in the College of Science and Health at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He teaches undergraduate Exercise Science courses and in the Master of Science in Athletic Training graduate program.

Wagner served as a staff athletic trainer and lecturer at UWL from 2014-21. Prior to joining UWL, he was employed by Gundersen Lutheran Sports Medicine and was the head athletic trainer at Tomah High School (1996-1999) and Viterbo University (1999-2014). A 2004 recipient of the Viterbo University Servant Leader Award, Wagner earned the honor in recognition of demonstrable servant leader qualities and characteristics in interpersonal relationships, performance, and achievement. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) in 1994 and his Master of Science degree in Human Performance from UWL in 1995. Wagner also holds credentials as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and an ImPACT-Trained Athletic Trainer.

He resides in La Crosse with his wife, Faith, and their three children.

Breakout Session Speakers



Alecia Gende served as a Nurse Corps Officer in the U.S. Navy prior to entering medical school. She practices emergency medicine and Sports Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, WI.  Dr. Gende completed her Emergency Medicine training at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  She remained at the University of Iowa for her sports medicine fellowship and has worked as a team physician for football, women's basketball, field hockey, and wrestling squads at the NCAA Division 1 level. She is currently the head team physician for Saint Mary's University in Winona and serving as a team physician for US Ski and Snowboarding Sports Medicine. 



Mary Kerrigan, DPT, NCS, CWS

Mary Kerrigan

Mary Kerrigan DPT, NCS, CWS is a practicing Neurologic -Vestibular PT at Gundersen Health System for the past 42 years. She is an ABPTS (American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist) Board certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist since 1997 and has both Basic and Advanced Certification in Vestibular Rehabilitation (Herdman and Emory) since 2001. She has been an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, teaching Neurology, Vestibular assessment and treatment, and Integument. She is the recipient of the APTA Wisconsin Clinical Excellence Award in 1999 and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2000. She and colleagues published “Prevalence of BPPV in the Young Adult Population”. PM R 2013; 5:778-785 and they have ongoing research “Prevalence of BPPV in the Young adult population after mTBI” in process. Her passion is excellence in patient care to identify the root cause and treatment of central vs peripheral vestibular disorders.

Christian Franck, PhD


Franck is an expert on cellular biomechanics and Traumatic Brain Injury. His lab investigates critical injury thresholds and molecular root causes of brain injury. He is also the acting director of the Panther program, a multi-institutional consortium aimed at traumatic brain injury prevention and detection.





Hope Kirwan

Wisconsin Public Radio

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Hope Kirwan has been Wisconsin Public Radio’s La Crosse reporter since 2015. Her stories can be heard almost daily on WPR’s newscasts, covering agriculture issues and southwestern Wisconsin. Before joining WPR, Kirwan was a reporter for public radio station KBIA in Columbia, Mo., where she earned several awards, including a National Edward R. Murrow Award. Kirwan received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Mo.