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William J. Ernst, Psy.D.

William J. Ernst, Psy.D.

Bill Ernst
Associate Professor of Psychology
Founding Executive Director, Center for Concussion Education and Research
St. Joseph Hall, 4th flr., North Wing, SJ450

Dr. Ernst is a faculty member in the Doctor of Psychology Program in Clinical Psychology and is the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Concussion Education and Research of Chestnut Hill College. Dr. Ernst is a clinical neuropsychologist who led a team that was awarded funding from the NCAA-DoD Mind Matters Educational Programs Challenge to develop a novel peer concussion education program (PCEP). In addition, he was the co-principal investigator of a multi-site randomized controlled trial of the PCEP. Dr. Ernst’s research focuses on the development and evaluation of educational interventions designed to increase concussion knowledge and symptom reporting in athletes. His research interests also include sports-related concussion, neuropsychological consultation with school personnel and performance validity testing during neuropsychological assessment. Dr. Ernst completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Cooper Hospital. He maintains an independent practice in clinical neuropsychology focusing on neuropsychological assessment of children and adults with various neurodevelopmental and neurological conditions including ADHD, learning disabilities and traumatic brain injury.

Educational Background: 

Psy.D., James Madison University; M.A., The College of New Jersey; B.A., The College of New Jersey 

Courses Taught: 

Neuropsychological Assessment 
Psychological Assessment II 
Biological Bases of Behavior 
Historical Foundations of Psychology 
Dissertation Mentoring 

Scholarly Interests: 

Concussion Education

Barriers to concussion reporting and interventions to mitigate reporting barriers

Misconceptions of traumatic brain injury

Performance validity testing in neuropsychological assessment

Neuropsychological consultation with school personnel


Selected Publications: 

Ernst W.J. & Kneavel, M.E. (2022). Barriers to concussion reporting in collegiate athletes: An analysis of a peer-led worksheet activity. Journal of American College Health. DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2071621 

Kneavel, M. E., Ernst, W. J. & McCarthy, K. S. (2020). Randomized controlled trial of a novel peer concussion-education program for collegiate athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 55:5, 456-468. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-0182.19 

Ernst, W.J. & Kneavel, M. E., (2020). Development of a peer education program to improve concussion knowledge and reporting in collegiate athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 55:5, 448-455. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-212-19

Ernst, W.J., Gallo, A.B., Sellers, A.L, Mulrine, J., MacNamara, L., Abrahamson, A. & Kneavel, M. (2016). Knowledge of Traumatic Brain Injury among Educators, Exceptionality 24:2, 123-136, DOI: 10.1080/09362835.2015.1107832

Ernst, W. J., Trice, A. D. Gilbert, J. & Potts, H. (2009). Misconceptions about traumatic brain injury and recovery among nursing students. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.  24(3),213-220.

Ernst, W. J., Pelletier S., & Simpson, G. (2008). Consultation with school personnel: What clinical neuropsychologists need to know. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 22(6), 953-976.


Selected Presentations and Workshops: 

Ernst, W.J., McCarthy, K. S., Kneavel, M.E. & Gulick. S. (May, 2019). Results of a controlled trial of a peer concussion education program with collegiate football players. Poster presented at the Sports Neuropsychology Society annual meeting in Seattle, Washington.

October, 2016 - Mondelli, J., Ernst, W. J., Kneavel, M., and Lawler, K. Reliable digit span performance in older adults with known or suspected dementia. Poster presented at the National Academy of Neuropsychology Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA.

November, 2014 - Ernst W. J., Kneavel, M, Moylan, R, Gallo, A. & Brosof, A. Reliable digit span performance in children referred primarily due to academic problems. Poster presented at the National Academy of Neuropsychology Annual Meeting in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

August 2014 - Ernst, W. J. and Kneavel, M. Test of Memory Malingering performance in children and young adults referred due to academic problems. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

Relevant Experience: 

Licensed Psychologist (PA, NJ, VA) 
Member of the American Psychological Association 
Member of the National Academy of Neuropsychology

Extramural Funding:
$25,000.00 Prize for winning Phase I and $75,000.00 for being invited to enter Phase II of the joint NCAA and DOD Mind Matters Concussion Education Challenge. Proposal citation: Ernst, W.J., Kneavel, M., Fidler, E., Lockhart, N., Tubman, L., Ortale, L., Paddock, B. & Brandsma, L. The Chestnut Hill College Peer Concussion Education Program. Proposal submitted to the NCAA/DOD Mind Matters Concussion Education Challenge, February 2015.

Co-Principal Investigator. Multi-site randomized controlled trial of the Chestnut Hill College Peer Concussion Education Program. Funded by the NCAA-DoD Mind Matters Educational Programs Challenge. $207,350.00.