Fulbright Semi-Finalist – Linnea Bacon(’19)

March 3, 2021

Linnea Bacon(’19)

Linnea Bacon graduated from Clemson in December 2019 with a dual degree in Psychology and Sports Communication. While at Clemson Linnea worked for Clemson football in recruiter and player development which piqued her interest in the sports side of research and academia. Her work with Clemson football as well as a talk she attended given by Dr. Mazer on research in the Social Media Listening Center are what lead her to add a Sports Communication major. In the department, Linnea developed close relationships with her professors due to theirintentionality and the small class sizes. Her classes were very discussion based which allowed her to further develop her critical thinking, material application and verbal communication skills. In particular, Dr. Cramner had a great influence on Linnea and made her realize that there were more opportunities to work in sports besides the traditional on the field and reporting jobs.

While at Clemson, Linnea produced a thesis about Mental Health and Student-Athletes who had recovered from concussions. She surveyed over 100 Student-Athletes at the high school and college level. Linnea found that athletes with a history of concussion were more likely to have anxiety, depression, and sport anxiety as well as lower perceived social support. Dr. Cramner was instrumental as a member of her thesis committee and was able to draw from his previous research on concussions. Linnea’s Psychology advisor, Dr. Kowalski, also served on her thesis committee and had great influence on her success at Clemson.

Linnea got involved with Fulbright through a fellowship information session in the Office of Major Fellowships. She found that Fulbright had a Health Science and Sport fellowship at the University of Sterling in the UK and immediately applied.  If she is granted this fellowship, Linnea will live in the UK for a year, conducting research on mental health and athletes. At the conclusion of the year, she would graduate with a Master’s of Science in Sports Psychology.

Currently, Linnea is working at the University of Michigan as a research assistant in the Department of Psychiatry. She is researching how social media can be used to deliver psychological interventions for young adults who may be at risk for substance abuse.

Linnea aspires to work as a clinical or sports psychologist. She wants to work with athletes that struggle with mental health since she understands that athletes are under intense pressure, much more than normal students, and often do not get the support they need. She also plans to research athlete pressures and culture and how to mitigate some of the risks that athletes take and the consequences of said risks.

Linnea suggests that current Communication students get to know their professors. Students can utilize professors and their research and experience to help and support them on their path. Later on, students can also use the relationships for recommendations, thesis help and research assistance and guidance. Linnea also advises students to get involved on campus so they can apply the experiences that they are learning in classroom. Finally, Linnea recommends developing public speaking, Interviewing, relationship building and research skills.

Best of luck to Linnea on her Fulbright journey!



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