SWAG Previous Live Events

The Scholar-athletes with Academic Goals (SWAG) Initiative is a pipeline program for scholar-athletes in junior high, high school, and college students interested in science and medicine. Our consortium organizes summits and symposiums to build this network, funnel our members to various programs, and create academic opportunities for them.

Participation in athletics and academics is an exciting dynamic. It requires tenacity, determination, and commitment to excellence. Student-athletes develop character traits of self-confidence, dedication to tasks, resilience, and time management skills, which are also important for success in science, technology, engineering, and math.

We are always looking to connect with schools and programs that share our vision. If you have any questions and want to join our meetings and listserv, please feel free to contact us at SWAG@mssm.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

SWAG Previous Events:

Welcome to the Human Performance Enhancement Series.

David Putrino PhD, the Director of Rehabilitation Innovation at the Mount Sinai Health System, has curated a Five-Part Series on Human Performance.  These sessions occurred on consecutively Saturdays (May 15, 22, 29, & June 5, 12) at 1:00 PM ET via Zoom platform

We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

Jenna Tosto, PT, DPT

Jenna Tosto-Mancuso, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Temple University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders and Biopsychology from William Paterson University of New Jersey. Dr. Tosto-Mancuso completed multiple clinical and research affiliations at NYU Langone Health, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and the Department of Veterans Affairs during her studies. She previously served as a physical therapist at NYU Langone Rusk Rehabilitation, where she gained experience in adult acute care and adult inpatient neurological rehabilitation. Her clinical and research interest areas include developing and translating novel technology in motor recovery following neurological injury across the lifespan and developing novel clinical approaches in neurorehabilitation.

June 12, 2021

Welcome to the Human Performance Enhancement Series.

Dr. David Putrino, the Director of Rehabilitation Innovation at the Mount Sinai Health System, has curated a Five-Part Series on Human Performance. These sessions occurred on consecutively Saturdays (May 15, 22, 29, & June 5, 12) at 1:00 PM ET via Zoom platform.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is originally from New York City, where he graduated with his bachelor's in Exercise Science (kinesiology focus) from Long Island University. Ryan still calls NYC home after joining the p360 team at Mount Sinai hospital as a strength coach/exercise physiologist in 2020. Ryan has always emphasized gaining experience in various settings that range from nursing homes to the trauma center for spinal rehabilitation, commercial health clubs, post-operative orthopedics, and sports rehabilitation and performance for athletes at all levels. Ryan has found his true passion for working with athletes of all walks of life.

June 5, 2021

Welcome to the Human Performance Enhancement Series.

Dr. David Putrino, the Director of Rehabilitation Innovation at the Mount Sinai Health System, has curated a Five-Part Series on Human Performance. These sessions occurred on consecutively Saturdays (May 15, 22, 29, and June 5, 12) at 1:00 PM ET via Zoom platform.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

David Putrino, PhD

Dr. David Putrino is a physical therapist with a PhD in Neuroscience. He worked as a clinician in Australia before moving to the United States to study computational neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, MIT, and NYU. He has served as a faculty member at Weill-Cornell Medicine and Burke Medical Research Institute. He is currently the Director of Rehabilitation Innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System and an Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai.

Dr. Putrino works to develop innovative technology solutions for individuals in need of better healthcare accessibility. He works with the Red Bull High Performance, the Brooklyn Nets, and the US Olympic team to use evidence-based technologies to improve athletic performance. He is also the “Chief Mad Scientist” of Not Impossible Labs, a group that crowd-sources accessible technological solutions for high-impact humanitarian problems.

His research has been featured on the ABC, Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, Time Magazine, TEDx, Wired, and the New York Times to name just a few. He is the author of Hacking Health: How to make money and save lives in the HealthTech world, available from Amazon and Springer-Nature. In 2019, he was named "Global Australian of the Year" for his contributions to healthcare.

May 29, 2021 (Link to PDF)

Welcome to the Human Performance Enhancement Series.

Dr. David Putrino, the Director of Rehabilitation Innovation at the Mount Sinai Health System, has curated a Five-Part Series on Human Performance. These sessions occurred on consecutively Saturdays (May 15, 22, 29, & June 5, 12) at 1:00 PM ET via Zoom platform.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events!

Adena Neglia MS, RDN, CDN

Adena is a registered dietitian and former competitive figure skater. She graduated from Long Island University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and received her Master's degree in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. She is a non-diet dietitian who helps clients to establish a healthy relationship with food and their body through mindful and intuitive eating.

Adena has worked in private practice the last eight years specializing in sports nutrition, eating disorders, and disordered eating. In addition, she created and managed a corporate wellness account for several years before becoming the senior multi-ambulatory dietitian at Mount Sinai. In 2018, she joined Mount Sinai's Performance 360 program as the Director of Nutrition to oversee their nutrition program and help athletes meet their highest potential.

She works with all types of athletes in both the individual and team setting and currently consults for the Brooklyn Nets, NY Liberty, and NJ Devils.

May 22, 2021

Welcome to the Human Performance Enhancement Series.

Dr David Putrino, the Director of Rehabilitation Innovation at the Mount Sinai Health System, has curated a five-part series on Human Performance. These sessions occurred on consecutively Saturdays (May 15, 22, 29, and June 5, 12) at 1:00 PM ET via Zoom platform.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

May 15, 2021, (Saturday) - Sports Performance Enhancement Event: Guest Speaker, Dr. Paul Groenewal – Sports Psychology

Paul Groenewal, PsyD

Dr. Paul Groenewal is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Sports Psychologist. He completed a Masters and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary School of Psychology in Pasadena, CA. His clients include teams wanting to increase cohesion and creating an environment that promotes high performance. Dr. Groenewal assists individual performers in understanding their Psychology and developing strategies that lead to elite performances. He is the Sport Psychologist for the Brooklyn Nets, where his job is to educate on, develop and implement a high-performance strategy for elite athletes. He also works with the New York Liberty, the Nets Gaming Crew and serves as a clinical consultant to the New York Jets. Dr. Groenewal is the co-owner of a group psychology practice called Inspire Wellness. His group includes more than 25 clinicians and 3 locations.

May 15, 2021

Sports Performance Enhancement Series

One of our goals at the SWAG Initiative is to provide athletic and sports performance information to our scholar-athletes. Thus, we have curated a three-part series on sports performance enhancement.

These sessions occurred on consecutively Saturdays (April 24 and May 1) at 1:00 PM ET via the Zoom platform.

May 1, 2021, (Saturday) - Sports Performance Enhancement Event: Guest Speaker, Ms. Mahalia French (Session #2 - Nutrition Session)

Ms. Mahalia French is a Transplant Dietitian at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and was a collegiate Track & Field athlete at SUNY Plattsburgh, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Nutrition Sciences. She obtained a Master's of Science in Nutrition and Food Science from the Montclair State University.

Ms. French gives a great presentation on the nutrition aspect of Sports Performance. Please feel free to contact us at SWAG@mssm.edu to join our mailing list for future events.

May 1, 2021

Sports Performance Enhancement Series

One of our goals at the SWAG Initiative is to provide athletic and sports performance information to our scholar-athletes. Thus, we have curated a three-part series on sports performance enhancement. These sessions occurred on consecutively Saturdays (April 24 and May 1) at 1:00 PM ET via the Zoom platform. April 24, 2021, (Saturday) - Sports Performance Enhancement Event: Guest Speaker, Dr. Aaron Bolds (Session #1 - Training Session)

Aaron Bolds, MD is an alumnus of Bowie State University, where he completed Biochemistry undergraduate studies in 2012. Dr. Bolds then earned a MD, MBA dual degree from Howard University in 2018 and is currently completing a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency (Class of 2022 - PGY3) at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.

Dr. Bolds was an All-state high school basketball player in North Carolina and was blessed to receive a full athletic scholarship to Lenoir-Rhyne University and won a conference championship freshmen year before transferring to Bowie State University. Due to injuries, personal and family reasons, Dr. Bolds decided to focus on medical school during his junior year. It was the love of basketball that sparked his interest in sports medicine. His love of sports led him on a journey to becoming a physician for professional and elite athletes.

Dr. Bolds plans to pursue an Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine fellowship. His passion is mentoring and helping young students matriculate into undergraduate and professional programs. Mentoring aligns with his mission to help bridge the gap in healthcare inequality and increase minority healthcare professionals. Dr. Bolds plans to open a pain and sports medicine practice and emphasize overall health, fitness, and preventative medicine.

April 24, 2021

During the month of February, the SWAG Initiative screened the Black Men in White Coats Documentary.

Less Black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978, and Black men have the lowest life expectancy in the United States. With only 2% of American doctors being Black men, this comes as no surprise. This documentary dissects the systemic barriers preventing black men from becoming medical doctors and the consequences on society.

Health care accounts for nearly 20 percent of the United States GDP, and a significant portion of that is driven by disparities in a system that lacks diverse physicians.

What if we had a medical workforce that actually reflected our patient population?

What challenges do our Black boys face?

Who are their role models?

Why is it easier to visualize a Black man in an orange jumpsuit than it is in a white coat?

What’s happening in society that more Black women are becoming doctors while Black men are stagnant?

Whose fault is it?

It’s time to end this crisis and get more Black men in white coats.