Five concussions and a cause

Name: Alison Switzer
Major: Pharmacy
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Indianapolis

ATTACKing on all fronts: Five concussions ended Alison’s high school basketball career, but began her cause. She founded ATTACK, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about the dangers of sports-related concussions. It stands for Athletic Teens Take Action Against Concussions that can Kill.

Life’s lemons into lemonade: She had her fifth concussion as a sophomore, and her neurologist nixed contact sports. She threw all her point-guard energy into her schoolwork and became valedictorian — even with some short-term memory loss from her injuries. “Basketball was pretty much my life, but I have always been an academic person too,” Alison says.

Refereeing the refs: Alison is making a full-court press with the Indiana High School Athletic Association to get refs involved in keeping players safe. Her stance: “If referees see a head injury, they should be required to take players out of the game.”

Hands-on pharmacy: Alison shadowed a clinical pharmacist at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. “He had two patients and was in charge of all their medicines; that’s what I want to be.”

Her mantra: “In whatever I do, I want to make an impact in people’s lives. Whether it’s in concussion awareness, either through medicine or the world of pharmacy, being a role model and just being a good person who does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do—not because it’s popular.”

By Amy Raley