Leah Benjamin, Speech/Language Pathology
My name is Leah Benjamin and I am a second year student in UC’s MA SLP program. I’m 24 years old and I grew up in Dublin, OH. My undergraduate career was completed at The Ohio State University—I am a HUGE Ohio State football fan! I’ve always been passionate about working with and advocating for people with autism and other developmental disabilities. I’m excited for the opportunities LEND will provide in order to learn and grow, as both a future clinician and advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Erin Butler, Physical Therapy
Erin Butler earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences from Northern Illinois University in 2013 and Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2016. Erin grew up in the St. Louis metro area and worked in pediatric physical therapy in Indianapolis for almost two years before moving to Cincinnati to complete the pediatric PT residency. She hopes to use what she learns in LEND to help increase community participation of children with developmental disabilities.
Sadiqa Cash, Psychology
Sadiqa is a native of Cincinnati. She received her BA in psychology from Spelman College in 2010 and her PhD in clinical psychology from Howard University in 2018. Sadiqa’s clinical interests are in the assessment and early diagnosis of developmental disorders. Her research interests include disparities in the diagnosis of autism in African American children. She hopes to further develop her skills and knowledge in effective community engagement and public policy impacting children and families with developmental disabilities.
Christine Cheung, Family Specialist
Christine is a stay-at-home parent to two boys, the older one diagnosed with autism in 2005 at age 4. She is an avid volunteer in the community and has been a member of the DDBP Family Advisory Council and the ATN QI and Family Advisory Committees. Christine is excited to share her experiences and expand her understanding of and advocacy for other developmental disabilities through LEND. A former finance and accounting professional, Christine graduated from UCLA in 1992 and is bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese.
Jade Clark, Speech/Language Pathology
I am Jade K. Clark and am a 2nd year Master’s Student studying Speech-Language Pathology. I am interested in ALL that our field has to offer, but as of now, am most interested in developmental pediatric disorders that affect language and acquired cognitive disorders following brain injury. Outside of studies, my hobbies include listening to music, singing, shopping, and trying new recipes! I am looking forward to the LEND traineeship and hope to gain more experience with working on interdisciplinary teams, as well as, learning the best methods to evaluate, treat, and support and advocate for children with disabilities.
Caitlin Couch, Graduate Nursing
My name is Caitlin Couch and I am a registered nurse that has spent my entire career in neurology/neurosurgery department at CCHMC. I am happily married and have a four-year-old daughter along with two rescue dogs. I am passionate about nursing, education, dogs, all things Disney, eating out and traveling (within the US mostly). I am studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. I hope to be able to bridge the gap between pediatrics and adult care for those with neurodevelopmental diagnoses. I would like to gain the knowledge and experience to be able to do so upon graduation.
Brandi Cox, Speech/Language Pathology
I’m a graduate student at UC studying speech-language pathology. I’ve had the privilege of growing up with a brother with autism spectrum disorder and look forward to combining my passion and knowledge I’ve gained from this intrinsically rewarding experience with the knowledge I will gain from the LEND program to become a skilled and culturally competent leader in my field. I hope to educate other healthcare professionals so individuals like my brother and their families will have the most compassionate and evidence-based care as possible. Outside of academics, I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, and enjoying everything Cincinnati has to offer!
Sarah Delaney, Audiology
My name is Sarah Delaney. I am a third year audiology doctoral student. I am passionate about working with children and their families. As a LEND student, I am excited to for the opportunity to grow in family-centered care and broadening my cultural competency skills while engaging with families of diverse and unique backgrounds. Outside of class time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and son, reading, running, and knitting.
Hannah Dinnen, Psychology
Hannah is a clinical psychology graduate student at Miami University. Before going back to school to pursue a PhD, Hannah worked as a special education teacher, and her research and career interests include school-based mental health promotion. She is excited to learn from and collaborate with others in the LEND program to build her knowledge and skills regarding needs, resources, and best practices for working with children with developmental disabilities and their families.
Ann Donnelly, Occupational Therapy
I am currently completing my Pediatric Occupational Therapy Fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. A special interest of mine is occupational transitions — particularly the transition for young people with developmental disabilities from adolescence to young adulthood. I look forward to participating in this unique program filled with opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, leadership development and community based projects. While I hope to influence practices and policies in the future, I recognize the need to begin with the growth of my own skills, so that I may be a well-informed advocate for this population.
Viji Grant, Family Specialist
I have a bachelors in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. I was pursuing a masters in counseling when my son was diagnosed with a severe type of MPS 2 Hunters syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. I put my education on hold and focused entirely on his care as well as his twin brother who is not afflicted with the disease. After some medical stabilization and the decision to do something completely different, I was able to get a Real Estate Brokers License. I opened a brokerage and discovered a love for designing homes and development/construction. I still do this along with managing an intensive in home ABA program for my son. I am very excited to now venture into the LEND program and work with an extremely dedicated interdisciplinary team. I am looking forward to not only learning what I need to help improve healthcare for children with developmental disabilities, but also to learn more about family centered care which is an issue that I am passionate about.
April Johnson, Graduate Nursing
April believes in the evidence-based, culturally competent, and family-centered interdisciplinary approach of the LEND training program. Thus, it will enhance her education and professional practice. She recently completed the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Cincinnati which conferred a Master of Science degree. She plans to complete a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner post-master’s program at Wright State University. April is currently working as a psychiatric nurse, caring for substance-use disorder and psychiatric patients. Some of these patients have neurodevelopmental disabilities such as Autism, so she is looking forward to completing the LEND training.
Megan Kelly, Social Work
My name is Megan Kelly, and I am from the west side of Cincinnati. I graduated from the University of Cincinnati this past April with my Bachelors in Social Work, and am currently in the Advanced Standing program at UC for my MSW. My area of interest within social work is the population of individuals who have developmental disabilities. I am eager to further that area of interest while participating in the LEND program.
Susan Koller, Self Advocate
My name is Susan Koller and I am 36 years old. I am training to be a self-advocate. I am a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and my master’s degree In Public Administration both from Wright State University. I am a public relations specialist for The Tandana Foundation. I’m hoping through my involvement in the LEND Program that I can improve the home healthcare situation through advocacy. I’m also hoping that I will learn more about the law and policy making process as it pertains to people with disabilities.
Carla Luevano, Psychology
Carla is a fourth year School Psychology doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati. She has previously worked within various school environments providing consultation and direct service related to functional behavior assessment and intervention implementation. Her passions include working with individuals that have diverse needs to develop positive behavior supports and facilitate academic or social skill acquisition. Through LEND, Carla hopes to gain a better understanding of how to serve individuals with developmental disabilities and to help families become connected with appropriate resources within schools and other community based settings.
Natasha Terrell-Ndubuisi, UCCEDD Trainee
My name is Natasha Terrell-Ndubuisi, I earned my B.S. in Psychology and M.ED. in Agency and Community Counseling from Xavier University. Currently I am in pursuit of applying to the best fitted doctoral program that will not only continue to enhance my knowledge and real-life applications within the field but that continues to promote my love and passion for working with Children and Families with Disabilities. I have been a professional in the field for over 20 years, working in the capacity of early identification, early intervention, school based services, residential treatment and services, advocacy and IDEA and 504 Rules, just to name a few. Currently, I work at ViaQuest Inc, which is an agency that helps support individuals with disabilities and mental health issues reside, work and thrive within the community. As a Quality Assurance Specialist my job is to make sure things happen. One of the things I’m looking to learn in LEND and perhaps help in fostering the process is how to build better community agencies and resources to give families the optimal care. I am so excited about this journey.
Paige Poggemeier, Genetic Counseling
Paige is working towards a Masters in Medical Genetics. She was born and raised in the St. Louis, MO area, but attended Centre College in Danville, KY for her undergraduate studies in Biology. Paige is passionate about patient advocacy and is thrilled to learn through the LEND program how to best serve her clients as a Genetic Counselor. In her little spare time, she likes to listen to true crime podcasts, read fiction novels, and hang out with her Boston Terrier, Oscar.
Kendall Ramsay, Audiology
Kendall is currently a doctoral audiology student at University of Cincinnati. Her undergraduate studies were at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. Since graduating undergrad she has moved back to the Lexington, Kentucky area to be closer to her family and her husband’s family. Kendall enjoys audiology, audiobooks, and cats immensely. Her goal is to work with an interdisciplinary team when leaving school, and looks forward to learning more about other disciplines through LEND.
Valerie Rice, Psychology
Valerie is a clinical psychology fellow in the Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, where she provides psychological assessment for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities as well as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Originally from Michigan, Valerie completed her Ph.D. in School Psychology at Ball State University and her pre-doctoral internship at the Florida State University Multidisciplinary Center. As a LEND trainee, she is excited to learn from her colleagues across disciplines and increase her leadership and advocacy skills as they relate to neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.
Emily Shultz, Psychology
Emily is a third year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in biology, from Xavier University. Prior to attending graduate school, Emily was a research coordinator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Currently, Emily is working with Dr. Rebekah Ridgeway at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to assess children for autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays. Emily’s research interests include developing family-based interventions to improve parenting and family functioning in the context of developmental and acquired disabilities (e.g., traumatic brain injury). Through the LEND program, Emily is hoping to expand her knowledge of developmental disabilities and working on a multidisciplinary team.
Lydia Wall, Social Work
Lydia currently works as a social work fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She earned her BA in social work and later her Master of Social Work degree from Northern Kentucky University. Previously, she was a clinical social work intern at CCHMC in the multi-service department. She is interested in gaining skills and knowledge to better serve those with neurodevelopmental disabilities through the LEND Program.