Trinity and Brain Injury Alliance Host Healthy Living Retreat

Organizers and Participants Hope Retreat Will Be Annual Event at the College

Singer-songwriter Kate Callahan and
retreat participant Mike Vitelli
Hartford, CT, June 4, 2015 – The Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut (BIAC) and Trinity College joined in hosting the BIAC Healthy Living Retreat for People with Brain Injury on Friday, May 29. A free day of relaxation, friendship, and fun, the event provided an opportunity for survivors of brain injury to spend a day participating in workshops in tai chi, art and music therapy, yoga, massage, and diet and nutrition, as well as enjoying a musical performance by award-winning singer-songwriter Kate Callahan.

“We were so pleased to be able to put together a fun, social, and relaxing day for people with brain injury,” said Sarah Raskin, professor of psychology and neuroscience, who was instrumental in organizing the event. “​When I first mentioned the idea at a support group, the members of the group were so enthusiastic. Attendees said they really enjoyed it and are asking for us to do it every year. All of the workshop presenters did an excellent job and we could not have pulled it off without the help of so many Trinity students. And to top it all off, Kate Callahan gave an amazing performance.”

Raskin, whose scholarly interests focus on investigating techniques to improve cognitive functioning after injury to the brain, recently was named the recipient of a Charles A. Dana Research Professorship for 2015-2017. Her work focuses on the ability to remember intentions and ways to both identify deficits and create rehabilitation approaches for people with traumatic brain injury, stroke, and disorders such as Parkinson's disease.
James Cescon ’16 and Meaghan Race ’18 were among Trinity students pitching in
to make the retreat a success.
About 100 brain injury survivors and their caregivers attended the BIAC Healthy Living Retreat. Several Trinity students volunteered, including Meaghan Race ’18 from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who is a member of Trinity’s Interdisciplinary Science Program and is participating in the Summer Science Research Program. Race, who intends to declare a neuroscience major and biology minor next year and is on a pre-med track, said “Professor Raskin's lab has given me great opportunities to work with patients and study prospective memory in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI).”

“I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Professor Raskin and all the individuals in the community who have suffered from a TBI,” said Race. “The retreat focused on different techniques, such as yoga or art therapy, that can be implemented in daily activities to promote a healthy lifestyle. Kate Callahan’s performance was amazing.  It was a very moving experience when she shared her story; she is a great example of someone who lives a healthy life after having suffered from a brain injury.”

Race remarked that Trinity has an excellent relationship with the Brain Injury Alliance. “We collaborate on many different events throughout the year, creating a close-knit community for individuals with brain injury,” she said. “Personally, I have developed great relationships with individuals who attend these events and many of them volunteer to participate in studies that we conduct in our research lab as well.”

Listen to a podcast of the performance by Kate Callahan.