Past Students

Jianne Apostol, BS

Jianne Award

May 2017 – 2021
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.

Gerard Garvan, BS

Spring 2017 – 2021
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.

Mackenzi Slamka, BS

Fall 2016 – Fall 2021
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.

Emily Duenas 

February 2021 – 2021
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

March 2021 – 2021
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.

Haley Benner

Haley Benner Photo

August 2018 – May 2020
Haley recently graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor in Health Sciences and Spanish. She studies at FGCU to get her Master’s of Occupational Therapy. Outside of classes, she enjoys practicing yoga, knitting, and engaging in outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking.

Sanja Dizdarevic

Sanja Dizdarevic Photo

November 2018 – Present
Sanja is finishing her undergraduate studies in Health Science. She enjoys volunteering with children at TOPScoccer and Balance180 Gymnastics Adaptive Program. Her research interests includes exploring the relationship between gastrointestinal health and social behaviors amongst youth with developmental neuropsychological conditions.

Kasey Focazio

Kasey Focazio

Fall 2018 – Present
Kasey is a fourth year Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a minor in Disabilities in Society. She hopes to continue her education in graduate school majoring in speech language pathology. Kasey enjoys learning about how temporal experiences of college students impact their mental health. In her free time, Kasey likes to go to the beach, read, and travel.

Claudia Luna, BS

Claudia Luna photo

January 2016 – Present
Claudia graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and minors in Disabilities in Society and Disability Science. She is a Master’s of Occupational Therapy student and will be graduating in December of 2019. Her research interests include identity, advocacy, and social supports. In her spare time, Claudia likes to read, watch animal documentaries, and listen to podcasts.

Kenna Prins

Kenna Prins Photo

July 2018 – May 2019
Kenna collaborated with several research assistants to help with moving their projects forward. After her involvement in several projects, she desired to utilize critical thinking and analytical skills to lead a project on her own. Kenna is currently at  the University of Florida , pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing  and will graduate in 2021. she serves as an Overall Director in March of Dimes Collegiate Council and a member on the Executive Board for March of Dimes National Youth Council. She likes to spend time at the beach, pet every cat she sees, and eat pineapple. Kenna hopes to become a nurse practitioner and live in a big city with lots of cats!

Yoo Hyeon Park

Yoo Hyeon Park photo

March 2017 – May 2019
Yoo Hyeon is a final year Marketing student at the University of Florida. She managed the website for Dr. Kreider’s lab; she would add new content and enhance the layout of the website. During the summer (2019) , she did an internship at A’vie Events, an event planning company in Gainesville, Florida and gained experience with different events.Yoo will going for an exchange program in the Fall(2019) and will be taking business courses at the University of Manchester. She encourages students from different fields of study to take a role in the lab. In her spare time, Yoo Hyeon likes to try new food, interact with international students, and watch movies.

Stephanie Judycki

Stephanie Judycki photo

April 2018 – May 2019
Stephanie graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Health Science  and a minor in Disabilities in Society. Her honors thesis involved exploring stigma and campus integration of undergraduates with developmental neuropsychiatric disorders of learning. She was involved in assisting other members in the laboratory with the completion of tasks and eagerly contributed to the creation of CS3LD. She is currently attending Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine and is on track to get her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.



Emily Prins

Emily Prins photo

April 2018 – May 2019
Emily graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Health Science. Her involvement in the lab included analyzing the development of identity in college students with various learning disabilities and completing general lab tasks to help the team further our research. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine. She will graduate in August 2022.



Hannah Koedam

Hannah Koedam photp

April 2018 – May 2019
Hannah graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Health Science. She joined the research team after being accepted into the Bachelor of Health Science Honors Program. Her research area and honors thesis focused on mentorship intervention process for students with learning disabilities. She is now at Florida Gulf Coast University pursuing a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She expects to graduate in May 2021



Daniella Abdin, BA, MEd

Daniella Abdin Headshot

April 2017 – May 2019
Daniella recently completed a Master of Education degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education here at the University of Florida. She joined the lab during her time interning with the Disability Resource Center and collaborating on the CS3LD project. She plans to work in college disability affairs and then pursue a career in occupational therapy. In her free time, Daniella enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and playing with pups.

Nicky Harrington

Nicky Harrington Photo

Fall 2015 – Spring 2017
Nicky graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s of Health Science with the Ronald J. Spitznagel Service Fellowship in Health Sciences and Alice C Jantzen Scholarship awards. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida, and graduated in December 2018. In his spare time, Nicky plays intramural softball and flag football, hosts trivia at a local Gainesville restaurant, and goes back to Jacksonville for the beach when it is warm on weekends.

Zari Whittaker

Zari Whittaker Photo

February 2015 – April 2017
Since her time in our lab, Zari has graduated with her Master of Occupational Therapy degree and is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. She currently works full-time as an occupational therapist in Gainesville, FL, specializing in Lymphedema. She spends 5-6 days a week doing Cross Fit, enjoys going to the beach, and spending time with her fiancé and dog.


Erika Unger

Erika Unger photo

September 2014 – December 2016
In December 2016, Erika graduated from University of Florida with Master of Occupational Therapy degree and then became a licensed occupational therapist in February 2017. Currently, she is working a full-time position in inpatient rehab in Delray Beach, Florida. She enjoys driving her new car as she commutes to and from her workplace. On her vacation, she visits her friends who are living outside of Florida. This year, she hopes to travel abroad and to pursue obtaining a Vestibular Rehab Certification.

Sarah Sidhom

Sarah Sidhom Photo

January 2014 – June 2016
In May 2016, Sarah graduated from University of Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Nutritional Sciences. For roughly one year, she worked as a Medical Assistant and was able to learn a new aspect of health care. Combining her knowledge from Occupational Therapy and Medicine, she was guided to her passion in an entirely different field of healthcare. Learning the importance of teamwork and how vital every aspect of one’s life is to their overall health, she realized how attached she can become to those she is in contact with. Sarah is now beginning the next chapter of her life at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine. Aside from working part time office as a dental office aid, she is traveling as much as possible before starting dental school. New York, Massachusetts, and Georgia have been checked off and her next adventures include Chicago and Washington D.C.

Tess Affholder

Tess Affholder photo

May 2015 – April 2016
Tess graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education. Currently, she is enrolled in Master’s of Occupational Therapy program at the University of St.Augustine for Health Sciences and will be graduating December 2018! She is preparing to begin level two fieldwork with first one in inpatient rehab in Greenville, Texas and second in outpatient hands at UF’s Health Orthopedic and Sports Medicine in Gainesville, Florida.

Nerissa Rampersad

Nerissa Rampersad Photo

January 2015 – April 2016
Nerissa graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s of Health Science in May of 2016 and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Healthcare Administration program at the University of Central Florida. She now works in Orlando, FL at Adventist Health System Headquarters. Her hobbies include trying new restaurants, travel, and yoga.

Allie Kellison

Allie Kellison Photo

Spring 2013 – Fall 2015
Since her involvement in the lab, Allie has graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors Degree in Health Education and Behavior in the Spring of 2016. She is currently in the Master’s of Occupational Therapy class of 2018 at the University of Florida. She has presented at the Florida Occupational Therapy Association Conference with our lab and with her MOT program. Allie spends most of her time in Gainesville, but when she has the chance to get away, she spends her time reading books by the ocean at the beach.

Carrie Comstock

Carrie Comstock Photo

Dec 2013 – Dec 2015
Carrie graduated from the University of Florida with a Master’s of Occupational Therapy degree and now works in Austin, Texas as a pediatric occupational therapist. She spends her free time hiking, paddle boarding, baking, and enjoying everything Austin has to offer.