Physical Therapy

Connolly and Parrish Named PHHP 2018 Outstanding Alumni

Barbara H. Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, C/NDT, FAPTA, and Ali Parrish, PT, DPT, received PHHP Outstanding Alumni Awards for 2018 and were honored at a ceremony during the college’s alumni reunion on September 8.

Connolly, bachelor’s in physical therapy ’70, is a professor emeritus at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center where she served as chair of the physical therapy department for 24 years and interim dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences for two years.

Parrish, doctorate in physical therapy ’15, is an outpatient pediatric physical therapist practicing at Orlando Health. 

(pictured: Dr. Barbara Connolly, left center, and Dr. Ali Parrish, right center, with PHHP Dean Michael Perri and DPT Program Director Dr. Bill McGehee)

DPT Student Gives Keynote Speech at Disability Advocacy Assembly

On September 6, Erin Waterman, a second-year doctor of physical therapy student, gave the keynote speech at the inaugural Disability Advocacy Assembly hosted by the University of Florida Disability Resource Center. With about 75 guests in attendance, the assembly provided insight and information about disability to students. Waterman’s speech, Mountain Leg, addressed those topics and explained how disability is a form of diversity.

“My speech was an extended metaphor on what living with a disability is like and how people with disabilities are equal contributors to the community,” Waterman said. “Their diverse experiences bring diverse viewpoints, all of which strengthen ours and the university’s abilities to meet today’s challenges.” Waterman’s research on students with disabilities and her advocacy in the community gave her the right perspective to give this keynote speech, as well as another speech in 2016 at the Equity and Diversity Conference.

(pictured: Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2018 Shavaughn Barnes with DPT students, Brandi Black and keynote speaker Erin Waterman)


Rehabilitation Science

Rodriguez Named PHHP 2018 Outstanding Alumni

Dr. Amy Rodriguez received a PHHP Outstanding Alumni Award for 2018 and was honored at a ceremony during the college’s alumni reunion on September 8.

Rodriguez, doctorate in rehabilitation science ’10, is a research health scientist in the Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Her research focuses on the development of neuroplasticity-based interventions to improve language function in aging and aphasia. She is currently investigating the potential for using physical exercise and non-invasive brain stimulation as treatment adjuvants.

(pictured: Dr. Amy Rodriguez, center, with PHHP Dean Michael Perri and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Chair Dr. Susan Nittrouer) 

RSD Graduate Publishes in Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal

Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, a recent summer rehabilitation science program graduate, was published in the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal, alongside Department of Physical Therapy faculty, Drs. Danny Martin and Barbara Smith. The article, “Inspiratory Muscle Training in Patients with Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation: Narrative Review,” discusses the negative effects of prolonged mechanical ventilation and how inspiratory muscle strength training can be used as a promising strategy to promote ventilator weaning. Read more

(pictured: Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, right, with his mentor Dr. Danny Martin, left, at graduation)


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

SLHS Honors Outstanding Alumni

On September 7, SLHS hosted their two PHHP 2018 Outstanding Alumni, Dr. Stacie Raymer and Dr. Amy Rodriguez, for an invited talk and dinner. Raymer is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Disorders and Special Education at Old Dominion University. Rodriguez is a Research Scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Both are well-known aphasiologists. They presented a well-attended talk together, entitled “Principles of Neuroplasticity in Aphasia Rehabilitation.” About 50 faculty and students attended from various disciplines across campus, including Spanish, Linguistics, Psychology, and Neurology. In an interesting twist, Raymer had been a committee member on Rodriguez’s dissertation.

SLHS PhD Candidate Awarded Travel Stipend by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Brian Orr’s abstract for ASHA, entitled “Is verbal fluency a language measure?” was the highest scoring abstract in the category of Speech Science. In recognition of this, Orr was awarded free registration for the November conference and a travel stipend to attend the conference. Orr is looking at the relationships between verbal fluency performance and cognitive and language ability in older adults using 10 cognitive measurers plus sentence and discourse production tasks. Working memory and cognitive speed were associated with both letter and semantic fluency while age played a role in letter fluency only. Importantly, verbal fluency was not associated with any component of language production.



Dean Awarded NIH NIAID R01 Grant

The Department of Biostatistics wishes to congratulate Dr. Natalie Dean on her recent award from NIH/NIAID. The project “Design and Analysis of Vaccine Trials for Emerging Infectious Disease Threats,” is a five-year study that will be led by Dean with collaborators from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Northeastern University. The purpose of this grant is to develop innovative study designs and analytical methods to estimate vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. The research focuses on emerging infectious diseases, such as Ebola, Lassa fever, MERS, and pandemic influenza.

Wu Receives U.S. Patent

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent (#10013569) to Dr. Samuel S. Wu from the Department of Biostatistics and Dr. Shigang Chen from the Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering. The patent entitled “Privacy-preserving data collection, publication, and analysis,” invented technologies for masking sensitive data while maintaining research usability. The technologies enable that nobody (other than data owner) sees the actual data, but standard statistical analysis can still be performed with the same results for masked data as for the original data. These technologies may greatly increase people’s willingness to reveal or institutions to share sensitive information in medical and social studies.


Clinical and Health Psychology

CHP Alumna Wins 2018 NAN Outstanding Dissertation Award

2017 graduate, Dr. Aliyah Snyder, has won the 2018 National Academy of Neuropsychology Outstanding Dissertation Award for “The Effect of Exercise on Neurorecovery following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Pilot Study.”  Dr. Snyder will receive her award at the NAN convention in New Orleans on October 19 where she will receive a plaque and $500.

Smith Receives Society for Clinical Neuropsychology Presidential Citation

The Society for Clinical Neuropsychology, Division 40 of the American Psychological Association, recognized CHP Department Chair and Elizabeth Faulk Professor, Glenn Smith, PhD, ABPP/CN, with the Presidential Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession and the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association.


Dean's Office

Dean’s Citation Paper and Scholarship of Teaching Publication Awards

At the State of the College Meeting on August 31, faculty members were recognized by Dean Michael Perri with a Dean’s Citation Paper Award acknowledging their innovation and excellence in research. Each department selected one faculty member to receive this award. A new categorical award, Scholarship of Teaching Publication, was created this year and was given to two faculty members to acknowledge innovation in teaching. Congratulations to faculty who received these awards.

Dean’s Citation Paper Awards, top row, left to right

Dr. Afsar Ali, Department of Environmental and Global Health
Dr. Jeff Boissoneault, Department of Clinical and Health Psychology
Dr. Ianessa Humbert, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Dr. Nicole Marlow, Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy

Dean’s Citation Paper Awards, middle row, left to right

Dr. Christine Myers, Department of Occupational Therapy
Dr. Dorian Rose, Department of Physical Therapy
Dr. Samuel Wu, Department of Biostatistics
Dr. Jinying Zhao, Department of Epidemiology

Scholarship of Teaching Publication Awards, bottom row, left to right

Dr. Kim Dunleavy, Department of Physical Therapy
Dr. Chip Mainous, Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy


Environmental and Global Health

EGH Postdoctoral Associate Presents at European Society of Virology

The European Society of Virology is conducting a workshop in Sardinia on Innovative Approaches for the Identification of Antiviral Agents. Dr. Maha Elbadry, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Environmental and Global Health, has been invited to present a seminar, titled “Neglected Arboviruses in Haiti: Are we missing the elephant in the room?” Her participation has been sponsored completely through a travel grant awarded by Gilead Pharmaceuticals.

EGH Faculty Invited to Join the World Health Organization

Dr. Song Liang, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Global Health, has been invited to join the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines Development Group (GDG) as an expert adviser. The GDG is in the process of developing guidelines on the implementation of control and elimination of schistosomiasis, which is a tropical disease affecting almost 240 million people in 78 countries. Liang is leading efforts on one of eight components in the development of the guidelines – assessing reliability of methods in the detection of Schistosoma infections in non-human animals. Together with 29 other experts from around the world, Liang will participate in the WHO GDG meeting on November 26 - 29 in Geneva, Switzerland.



Epidemiology New Student Orientation

On August 17, the Department of Epidemiology hosted the largest (and most fun) new student orientation ever with 93 attendees. Faculty, staff, and current students all welcomed the nine new PhD, six MSE, and 27 MPH students. The department is excited to welcome this new cohort and looks forward to the next round of applicants.

Epidemiology Faculty Receives Prestigious K01 Award

Dr. Catalina Lopez-Quintero, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, has received a K01 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to investigate drug use-related disparities among Hispanics by exploring the complex interactions between sociocultural, neurocognitive, and drug use-related factors and potential mechanisms explaining drug use trajectories and outcomes. K awards are extremely competitive and provide financial support to the recipient for five years. This award will allow Lopez-Quintero to devote time to research while advancing her training. Overseeing her progress is a collection of mentors with specializations ranging from addiction neuroscience to cross-cultural research and drug use disparities to modeling longitudinal data. The K01 award will help Lopez-Quintero make a successful transition as an independent scientist and achieve her long-term goals of reducing drug use-related disparities and fostering new insights regarding the etiology of drug use.


Occupational Therapy

OT Celebrates a “Triple Hitter” at Recent Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) Conference in Richmond, Virginia

The Institute for Mobility, Activity, and Participation delivered an eight-hour pre-conference workshop at ADED. ADED supports professionals within the field of driver education, driver training, and transportation equipment modifications for individuals with disabilities. The workshop, entitled “Autonomous vehicles (AV) and medically at-risk-drivers through the lifespan: Role, function, and future directives for the Driving Rehabilitation Specialists,” introduced AV taxonomy and terminology; addressed levels of AV; presented findings of a recent scoping review on AV for older drivers; provided a synopsis of current perspectives for occupational therapists and (certified) driving rehabilitation specialists on AV; and articulated potential benefits and risks with AV. Participants were exposed to clinical, ethical, policy, and risk management considerations, and reported the workshop to be “informative” and “eye-opening.” Selected content from the pre-conference workshop was presented as a general conference session. Additionally, Dr. Classen received ADED’s Scholarship Award for her outstanding scientific and leadership contributions to the field.

(left to right: Dr. Luther King, Dr. Sherrilene Classen, Mary Jeghers, and Dr. Sandra Winter)

Department of Occupational Therapy Welcomes First OTD Class

On August 21, the Department of Occupational Therapy welcomed the first class to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. Students participated in an orientation, including a tour of the Health Science Center and an afternoon reception where they met with faculty. The 46 first-year students will spend 10 semesters in the OTD program, including coursework at UF, fieldwork at practice sites across Florida and the nation, and a culminating capstone experience in which they will receive in-depth training in an area of practice.

The OTD program is the first and only entry-level doctorate in occupational therapy in the Florida State University System. The program was approved by the Board of Governors last year and will graduate the first class in 2021. The program will facilitate students’ clinical knowledge and skills, professional development, leadership and advocacy skills, and advanced knowledge base to inform high-quality, evidence-informed practice in occupational therapy.

OT Students in Ecuador

Occupational therapy students Claressa Midgette and Sarah Siebrandt are completing fieldwork at the Centro de Rehabilitación, Educación, Capacitación, Estudios y Recursos in Ibarra, Ecuador. They report that occupational therapy in Ecuador is not a whole lot different than in the States. Tasks may include helping children develop their social, emotional and cognitive skills; educating older patients on the importance of hygiene and the development of a hygiene routine; and collaborating with other students and professionals from around the world. They have been learning how to make the best recommendations for families, as well as participating in cultural festivals and events to help them better understand those they serve.

At a day center for the indigenous population, Siebrandt works to develop and implement a bathing routine and program. Midgette is stationed at a local day center for teens and young adults with developmental disabilities. Both are supervised by UF occupational therapy alumna Elaine Kaine.