The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC
The Carolina Institute includes:

Current Trainees

The NC-LEND currently has 32 long-term trainees/fellows across the disciplines of Audiology, Child Psychiatry, Family, Genetic Counseling, Genetics, Health Policy and Management, Neuropsychology, Nursing, Nutrition, Occupational Therapy, Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatrics, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Self-Advocacy, Social Work, Special Education, and Speech-Language Pathology.

We have an impressive cohort of trainees for the 2020-2021 year. Each trainee is listed below, along with a brief introduction to each.

Greg Boheler is an autistic self-advocate trainee and a graduate student at UNC's Division of Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy. Greg's interests include highlighting the voices and unique thinking styles of neurodivergent individuals and reframing the social discourses surrounding disability.
Megan Brandberg is a second-year MS student in occupational therapy. Her research and clinical interests include barriers to community integration and participation for children with I/DD, and OT's role in supportive family-based education and interventions.
Meredith Braza is a third-year Clinical Doctor of Audiology student at UNC and is advised by Dr. Jackson Roush. Meredith seeks to pursue a career in research to improve the early hearing detection and intervention of infants born preterm and/or with neurodevelopment conditions.
Claire Burns is a Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow at the CIDD. Her training has focused on assessment and treatment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with a particular emphasis on autism spectrum disorder. Her research interests include reducing disparities in care for children and adults with autism and improving access to services for underserved populations.
Riley Dahiya is a second-year graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Social Work. This year her field placement is located at TEACCH where she will be working on the diagnostic team and observing therapy sessions with clients. Riley is also working towards getting her school social worker licensure with hopes to one day work as a school social worker or with individuals with developmental disabilities in a clinical setting.
Jenna Duerr is a third-year doctor of audiology student. She is interested in the outcomes of children with developmental disabilities who have received cochlear implants. She also teaches the UNC School of Medicine LEND introduction to American Sign Language course for health care professionals.
Kathryn "Brooks" Gillerlain is a second-year student in the Master of Public Health/Registered Dietitian (RD) Program in Gillings School of Public Health. She is specifically interested in a career in Sports Nutrition and working with athletes who have an intellectual developmental disability.
Jacklyn Googins is a second-year master's student studying occupational therapy, and the founder of a local non-profit, B3 Coffee. Jacklyn's work is dedicated to advancing a neurodiversity paradigm through community-based initiatives. She is particularly interested in addressing occupational injustices experienced by emerging adults on the autism spectrum.
Ryan Grimes is a Family Fellow and parent of a child born premature, resulting in global developmental delay. Professionally, she is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, she works in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Where she performs developmental assessments and evaluations including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule(ADOS-2) to assist with proper diagnosis and care coordination.
Anne Harris is a pre-doctoral psychology intern at the CIDD. Her clinical and research interests include access to care and interdisciplinary identification, assessment and treatment of psychiatric and medical symptoms co-occurring with neurodevelopmental disabilities such as ASD.
Lisa Harrison is a PMHNP student at UNC, and has worked as a neuroscience nurse throughout her nursing career, first in the Neuroscience ICU and recently as a clinical research nurse for ALS patients. Her interest in and affection for individuals and families living with disabilities is lifelong, and for the last 8 years her family has lived in an intentional community of people with and without disabilities in downtown Durham.
Emily Howe is a LEND Trainee and a second-year master's of Public Health Student at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, concentrating in Maternal, Child, and Family Health. She has coached Special Olympics for many years and hopes to create safer and more caring communities for all through community and policy interventions. Her LEND mentor is Jean Mankowski, PhD.
Rachel Jones is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Her clinical experience includes working with children and adolescents in inpatient psychiatry at UNC Medical Center, where she became interested in child development and impact of neurodevelopmental disorders on behavior and social-emotional functioning.
Delia Kan is a second-year doctoral student in the Applied Developmental Sciences and Special Education program at UNC. Her research interests include examining and improving the post school transition process and outcomes of adolescents with special educational needs, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities, as well as educational neuroscience.
Dianne Kim is a public health practitioner, social innovator, and strategist with an extensive background in human-centered design, education, and digital health. Dianne is a former Peace Corps volunteer and has a MPH/MBA from Johns Hopkins University. As a LEND fellow, her research interests include learning more about developmental disabilities from experts in the field and how to bring more inclusiveness into designing services and spaces for those with ID/DD.
Siatta Mansaray is a second-year master’s student in speech language pathology. Her research and clinical interests include early intervention, developmental disabilities, dementia, cognition and advocacy in local and international communities. She hopes to serve as an advocate for children and families living with developmental disabilities in multicultural and low-income communities locally and internationally.
Katelyn McNamara is a graduate of the University of Kentucky Doctor of Physical Therapy program in 2016. She is also a graduate from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Sciences in Spanish and Neuroscience and currently the UNC Pediatric Physical Therapy Resident. She has worked both as a pediatric physical therapist and research assistant at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Her desire to pursue physical therapy and research as a profession stemmed from a desire to work with children with special needs. During PT school she was part of the PREPaRE Program (which supported additional courses in pediatrics), served as clinic coordinator in the student-run, pro-bono PT clinic called Samaritan’s Touch as well as an interpreter for clinicians during medical brigades to Ecuador. Since graduation from the UK DPT program she has practiced in North Carolina (Asheville) and Kentucky (Lexington and Louisville), working predominantly in outpatient pediatrics and early intervention. Additionally, she worked with Dr. Andrea Behrman as a pediatric physical therapist in the Kosair Charities Pediatric NeuroRecovery Network. Regarding research interests and foci, she has experience in translational, quantitative studies in neurotrauma and physiology. These studies focused on improving screening and treatment for human patients in the areas of traumatic brain injury and pain; focusing on developing an animal model and studying the impact of therapeutic interventions to better understand potential avenues for human intervention. Additionally, she has qualitative research experience focusing on pediatric patient and family perspectives of rehabilitation following spinal cord injury and studying the perspectives of health and wellness amongst vulnerable populations in rural Ecuador. She is excited to be UNC’s 2020-2021 Pediatric Resident.
Taylor Odem is a first-year genetic counseling student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Upon graduation, Taylor hopes to continue her work with the intellectual and developmental disabilities community as a pediatric genetic counselor.
Meagan Padro is a doctoral student in the UNC School Psychology program. She has earned a M.A. in Psychology from UNC Charlotte, and graduate certificates in Cognitive Science and Quantitative Analysis. Meagan is interested in holistic and evidence-based approaches to intervention and serving children, families, and schools. She aims to apply research on mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally, and wants to work toward creating safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for children of diverse backgrounds.
Cari Pittleman is a third-year doctoral student in school psychology. Cari's research and clinical interests include school-based mental health supports, collaboration between schools, families, and clinicians, access and intervention for culturally and linguistically diverse clients, pediatric neuropsychology, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and social justice.
Emily Prince is a psychology intern at the CIDD this year. She completed her training at the University of Miami and specializes in the assessment of developmental disorders.
Tremaine Riley, MSW, LCSW-A, is a LEND family fellow. Tremaine is a strong advocate for children with disabilities and their families. Her creative muse and motivation is her family and her passion for autism awareness, early intervention, and inclusion allow her to advocate every second of every day.
Wilma G. Rivera has more than 20 years in community health outreach and education. She is interested in leading parents, specifically in the Hispanic community, in their roles as advocates for children with special needs.
Madison Rock is a first-year audiology student at UNC-Chapel Hill and is interested in working with the pediatric population. Her interests include developmental disabilities, cochlear implants, and overall pediatric audiological management.
Courtney Schlachter is a third-year Doctor of Audiology student. She is interested in pediatric cochlear implants, with an emphasis on children with developmental disabilities and complex needs. Her current research includes cochlear implantation in children with one or more developmental disabilities.
Amy Spicer is a third-year Audiology Doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill. She earned a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is interested in early intervention and working with children with cochlear implants and multiple disabilities.
Erika Sudbrink is second-year graduate student in the speech-language pathology master’s program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her clinical interests include pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders that often co-occur with individuals on the autism spectrum disorder and transitional services/vocational opportunities for young adults with varying developmental disabilities.
Madison Swisher is a first-year student in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at UNC School of Medicine. Her research interests include sex and cultural differences in the early presenting symptoms of children with ASD and equal access to diagnostic and treatment programs. In the future, Madison would like to earn her PhD in Clinical Psychology to work with infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities.
Allen Thomas attended Appalachian State University where he majored in journalism. His current discipline is self-advocacy. He works in food services in the cafeteria and was an Education Peer Ambassador, in addition to a desk clerk. Allen is interested in learning about different ways to self-advocate for people with disabilities and to help educate others.
Mahala Turner holds a M.Ed. in special education with 12 years of experience as an educator. She is also the parent of a child with Down syndrome. Mahala's special interests include advocacy for meaningful inclusion for individuals with different abilities, family support and mentoring at time of diagnosis, and medical outreach to provide evidence based recommendations on how to best deliver a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis to families.
Fiona Winoto is a third-year PhD student in the UNC School Psychology Program and a CIDD extern. She has a background in working with diverse populations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Her interests include multicultural issues in autism, early identification and intervention, systems change, and virtual reality therapy for ASD. She hopes to serve as an advocate for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities in ethnic minorities and underserved communities.
Bailey Woodruff is a full-time Master's of Social Work student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Bailey's professional interests include disability justice advocacy, connecting families with children with disabilities to supportive resources, and developing therapeutic communities with people with disabilities throughout the lifespan to foster empowerment, self-advocacy, and meaningful relationships.
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