Current Students

Sharon Medina, MOT, OTR/L

Sharon Medina photo

November 2013 – Present
Sharon graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Health Education in May 2015 and a Master’s in Occupational Therapy in December 2017.  She is an entering student in the Rehabilitation Science Doctoral program at the University of Florida. She intends to investigate the impacts of cognitive impairments on a young person’s ability to assume his or her anticipated adult roles. In her spare time, Sharon enjoys dancing, reading, and watching funny movies.

Email: sharonmedina@phhp.ufl.edu


Sharon Mburu (Shazz), PT, MS

Shazz

August 2019 – Present
Shazz is a PhD student in the Rehabilitation Science Doctoral program at the University of Florida. Her research interest is in the development and testing of programmatic interventions for young people with disabilities. Shazz is a Physical Therapist who has practiced in Kenya and Uganda. She has her Masters in Adapted Physical Activity (APA) whereby she worked in and created programs for fostering the societal functioning and participation of youth with disabilities.

 


Gerard Garvan, BS

Gerard Garvan photo

Spring 2017 – Present
Gerard has spent most of his life in Gainesville. He earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and is currently working on a Master’s degree in biostatistics at the University of Florida. His areas of expertise utilized in the lab include data management and statistical analysis. He is very passionate about research, and always welcomes challenging problems.


Jianne Apostol, BS

Jianne Apostol

May 2017 – Present
Jianne graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science in May 2018 and is  currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida. She became part of the research team when she became an honors student in Health Science. She will continue her involvement in the lab by helping to analyze data geared towards the development of self-efficacy and group process.


Mackenzi Slamka, BS

Mackenzi Slamka photo

Fall 2016 – Present
Mackenzi studied Bachelor’s of Health Science on the pre-occupational track and started Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Florida in August 2018. Mackenzi’s main focus in the research lab is about analysis on temporal experience for college students with learning disabilities.

 


Anushka Pandya

Anushka Picture

August 2019 – Present
Anushka is a third-year Health Sciences major, hoping to start a minor in Disabilities in Society. After completion of her undergraduate studies, she plans to apply for graduate programs in occupational therapy and have a specialization in neuro-occupational therapy. She likes to volunteer with Balance180 in her free time, with their Adaptive Gymnastics program and their E-Learning pod. As a new member, she is eager to learn and assist in various research projects. Outside of class, Anushka likes to read, knit, and listen to music.


Kelly Dillon

Kelly Dillon

January 2019 – Present
Kelly is currently a senior in the Bachelor of Health Science Program here at the University of Florida. She hopes to pursue a Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy with a focus in pediatrics. Kelly will continue her involvement in the lab by helping to analyze qualitative salient skills used by students with learning disabilities/ADHD. Outside of the lab, Kelly enjoys ballet, going to the beach, and playing with her dogs.


Kristina Kobza

Kristina

May 2019 – Present
Kristina is a third year student participating in the Occupational Therapy Accelerated Program here at the University of Florida. She plans on graduating with her bachelors in health science in May 2021 and her doctorate in occupational therapy in May 2023. The majority of her experience has been in pediatrics and geriatrics, and she is excited to expand her understanding to include how to support students with learning disabilities as they transition into adulthood. She enjoys the creative freedom and critical thinking aspects of research. Outside of the lab Kristina serves at Westside Baptist Church. She enjoys time spent trying new activities, being outdoors, and hanging out with friends and family.


Michelle Waldman

michelle headshot

May 2020 – Present
Michelle is a fourth year Psychology major with an emphasis on Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience with a minor in Disabilities in Society. She hopes to pursue a Doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy with either an emphasis on rehabilitation, neurogenetic disorders, or the expansion within mental health. Within the lab, Michelle is excited to gain research skills and knowledge to help herself grow so she can develop into a integral contributor variety of projects. Outside of lab, Michelle loves playing in the Gator Band, writing, reading, promoting mental health, and volunteering.


Rebekah Schachner

Rebekah

August 2020 – Present
Rebekah was born and raised in South Florida. She is currently a second year Occupational Therapy Doctorate student at the University of Florida. In 2019 Rebekah graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her interests are in the areas of early intervention, pediatrics, and adolescence with disabilities. In the past, Rebekah worked at a school for individuals with Cerebral Palsy and as a Registered Behavioral Technician working with children with Autism. Outside of class and the lab, Rebekah likes to explore different trails, craft, and cook and try new recipes.


Anya Klumpp

Anya Klumpp

August 2020 – Present
Anya graduated in December 2018 from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in psychology and started the Doctoral Occupational Therapy program at the University of Florida in August 2019. Her areas of interest are sensory processing and learning disabilities in the pediatric population. She is looking forward to expanding her knowledge and understanding of young adults and adults with learning disabilities in order to have a complete understanding of the needs at various stages of development. In her free time Anya enjoys reading, watching stand-up comedy, and being outdoors.


Emma Ward

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October 2020 – Present
Emma is a third-year Health Sciences major with a minor in Disabilities in Society minor. After graduating with her Bachelor’s in Spring 2022, she is planning on applying to various occupational therapy programs in Florida. Emma hopes to serve the pediatric population of people with disabilities in other countries one day. Outside of school, Emma is on the executive board of UF Science Olympiad, attends North Central Baptist Church, and is involved with the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry). In her free time she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, hiking, going to the beach, listening to new music, spending time with friends, and meeting new people.


Zaria Smith

Student profile

 February 2021 – Present
Zaria is a third-year Communication Sciences and Disabilities student with minors in Spanish and Disabilities in Society. She plans on graduating in Spring 2022 and continuing her education in graduate school studying speech pathology. Zaria is interested in language acquisition and how disability affects language development. Outside of the lab, Zaria is involved with Greenhouse Church and the Florida Cicerones. In her free time, Zaria likes to knit, bake, and spend time with friends.


Emily Duenas

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February 2021 – Present
Emily is a third-year Health Education and Behavior major, and after completion of her undergraduate studies, she plans to apply to graduate programs in occupational therapy to achieve a doctorate degree. Her interest includes pediatrics and Autism, and she works as a special needs assistant with children with disabilities. Emily is excited to learn applicable skills and an understanding of past interventions in research. Outside of the lab, Emily is a University of Florida all-girl cheerleader and enjoys traveling, being outdoors, going to the beach, and spending time with family.


Ye Lu

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March 2021 – Present
Ye is a Health Science major hoping to pursue a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy after graduating from UF. She is interested in working with the pediatric population and currently volunteers at The Einstein School here in Gainesville. As a third-year student, she is excited to gain experience in the lab while working on topics she is passionate about. Outside of school, Ye likes to run, binge movies, and foodie around town