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Common Reading program to host free September 30 screening of ‘Concussion’

ISSUED: 9 September 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Common Reading program is sponsoring a screening of the 2015 Golden Globe-nominated film “Concussion” on Monday, September 30, at 6 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

“Concussion” stars Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Albert Brooks and is based on the true story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist who first discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player. Omalu fought to make the truth known while the National Football League tried to suppress his findings.

Dr. Conor Sipe, assistant professor of biology at Shepherd, will lead a post-film discussion. Sipe previously worked at the University of Virginia collaborating on courses and laboratories, as well as teaching a UVA graduate-level core course. He has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia and an associate of research science at the College of William and Mary. Sipe has a Ph.D. in cell biology from UVA, an M.A. in biology from the College of William and Mary, and a B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary.

This year’s Common Reading is the New York Times bestseller “Concussion” by Jeanne Marie Laskas, the book the film is based on. The book serves as a focal point and provides a common academic experience for all first-year students at Shepherd.

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