Trainees

LEND Trainees

 

Mission

Preparing tomorrow's health professional leaders to serve children and youth with disabilities and the families that care for them.

 
  • Allison Amend

    Allison Amend

    Audiology
    MCH/LEND
    Allison is a graduate student at West Virginia University studying Audiology. She received her B.S. from Stockton University in New Jersey. She has gained clinical experience working in a variety of settings, including the WVU Hearing Clinic. She also has experience as a Newborn Hearing Screener and Audiology Assistant. Allison is pursuing a career in Pediatric Audiology. As a LEND student, Allison hopes to gain knowledge and experience working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Alexandra Aviles

    Alexandra Aviles

    Speech-Language Pathology
    MCH/LEND
    Alexandra Aviles is a graduate in the Speech-Language Pathology program at West Virginia University. Previously, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Science from the University of Delaware. During her time as a graduate clinician, Alexandra has gained experience evaluating and treating children and adults with a variety of communication disorders. As a LEND trainee, Alexandra hopes to gain proficiency working with children with disabilities and their families as well as feeding and swallowing clinical experiences.
  • Julia Baruffi

    Julia Baruffi

    School Counseling
    MCH/LEND
    Julia Baruffi is a first-year graduate student studying School Counseling at WVU. She received her B.S in Criminal Justice and B.S in Legal Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University. After graduation Julia spent a year in Rhode Island working with inner city students through AmeriCorps. As a LEND trainee, Julia hopes to learn how to advocate for and better serve children and families with disabilities within the school system.
  • Kalie Brimhall

    Kalie Brimhall

    Speech-Language Pathology
    MCH/LEND
    Kalie Brimhall is pursuing a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology at WVU. She is originally from the northern VA area, and received her undergraduate degree from BYU. Kalie has experience working with a variety of populations in healthcare and childcare. At WVU CED she hopes to gain experience in interdisciplinary care and a greater understanding for feeding and swallowing disorders, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and TBIs through the diverse perspectives of individuals, families, and professionals.
  • Kalie Brimhall

    Kendall Byrge

    Occupational Therapy
    MCH/LEND
    Kendall Byrge is currently in her 3rd and final year earning her Masters of Occupational Therapy at West Virginia University. She is experienced in Disability Studies with a minor earned from WVU in this program and has received her bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance. She has grown up with a brother with spastic quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, and has always had a passion for working with children with and without disabilities from a very young age. Through LEND, she hopes to gain experiences to better herself as an occupational therapist and increase her ability to advocate for and educate a diverse population.
  • Kalie Brimhall

    Damon Casseday

    Recreation and Parks Tourism Resources and Disability Studies
    MCH/LEND
    Damon is a PhD student at West Virginia University focusing on Recreation and parks Tourism Resources and Disability Studies. He completed his Bachelors focusing on Recreation and Parks and completed his Masters Degree focusing on Recreation and Disability Studies. Previous experience in disability studies at WVU include several semesters working with disabled students in the Friday program collaborating with Dr. Andrea Talliaferro and several classes with Diane Williams. Damon has life experience with autism as his son Dustin is on the spectrum and is now 9 years old. Dustin is Damon's inspiration to make the world a better place by promoting inclusion and acceptance. Damon does a lot of philanthropy work in the communities including the WVU Foundation which recently bought new equipment for the Friday program through his charitable endeavors. As his Master's project, Damon toured the state of West Virginia last summer meeting with state park management introducing a program called "Code Dustin." The program is a universal design which means it is applicable to everyone regardless of disability. The program uses a protocol and drone technology for rescue. Recently, Snowshoe Mountain Resort reached out to Damon to become the first outdoor recreation area in the country to adopt "Code Dustin" as its formal rescue protocol program. Damon is seeking to generate a strong educational background and revenue source to build a state-of-the-art autism center in Southwest Pennsylvania. The center would certainly serve Northern West Virginia as well as Southern Pennsylvania with wonderful in-patient and out-patient opportunities for services, housing, as well as abundant and worthwhile recreation opportunities.
  • Paige Currie

    Paige Currie

    Psychology
    MCH/LEND
    Paige Currie is a second-year student from Lockport, NY working towards her Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis. Her background is primarily in basic research looking at assessments of impulsivity. She is currently a member of Dr. Karen Anderson’s Behavioral Pharmacology lab and is on a practicum placement at the WVU Neurodevelopmental Center.
  • Kacey Finch

    Kacey Finch

    Psychology
    MCH/LEND
    Kacey is a 3rd year doctoral student pursuing her PhD in behavior analysis in the Psychology department at WVU. She has prior experience with applied behavior analysis treatment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related diagnoses at clinics in both Fargo, ND and Morgantown, WV. Kacey is looking forward to gaining more specialized skills related to intensive applied behavior analysis and working with a multidisciplinary team to learn other treatment approaches.
  • Jordan Goodwin

    Jordan Goodwin

    Occupational Therapy
    MCH/LEND
    Jordan Goodwin is a graduate Occupational Therapy student at West Virginia University. While at WVU, she has earned a minor in Disability Studies and has had many experiences working with children with and without disabilities. One of her favorite experiences thus far has been coaching a cheerleading team for those with special needs. Jordan hopes to expand her knowledge of disabilities and treatment through LEND and gain experience working collaboratively as an interdisciplinary team to help optimize the outcomes for the children and their families.
  • Abbigail Hall

    Abbigail Hall

    Social Work
    MCH/LEND
    Abbigail is a second year Master of Social Work Student at WVU. Her undergraduate degree was in was in Child Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Family and Youth Studies. During her time with the LEND program, Abby hopes to gain experience with a variety of disabilities and further develop her skills in working with families.
  • Olivia Johnson

    Olivia Johnson

    Speech-Language Pathology
    MCH/LEND
    Olivia Johnson is a graduate student at West Virginia University studying Speech-Language Pathology. Olivia graduated with her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from West Virginia University in May 2020. She has experience in the past assisting in the Allen Hall Clinic and working with children at an after-school program who have a wide range of disabilities. These experiences have prepared her for her responsibilities through the LEND program working with individuals who have disabilities. In the future, Olivia wants to work as an SLP, specifically with children who have developmental disabilities such as Autism.
  • Courtney Kisamore

    Courtney Kisamore

    Social Work
    MCH/LEND
    Courtney Kisamore is a graduate student in the Social Work program at West Virginia University. My academic background was attained at Fairmont State University in areas of education, exercise physiology, health, nutrition, and psychology. Providing direct service counseling, support, and advocacy with individuals and groups to help address challenges and setbacks is my passion. Most of my clinical experience has been with the mental health population, specifically adolescents and adults. With CED, I hope to offer a multidisciplinary approach to well-being for all children and families served, while also gaining a better understanding about neurodevelopmental disabilities.
  • Alexa Mohr

    Alexa Mohr

    Occupational Therapy
    MCH/LEND
    Alexa Mohr is a graduate student in the Occupational Therapy Program at West Virginia University. She has gained experience with neurodevelopmental disabilities through working with children and their families in the community at Stepping Stones and volunteering at Camp Gizmo. She is currently completing research in the area of pediatrics and disability with the goal of gaining information on developmental milestones and mobility to assist children and their families. Alexa hopes to gain more experience in behavioral health and interdisciplinary collaboration in order to provide holistic and inclusive care in her future as an occupational therapist.
  • Caroline Moore

    Caroline Moore

    Physical Therapy
    MCH/LEND
    Caroline Moore is a graduate student at West Virginia University studying Physical Therapy. Through her experience volunteering at church, Dance Marathon, and pediatric clinics, she has gained a passion for working with children. Throughout the LEND program, Caroline hopes to gain experience working as an interprofessional team and understand different resources available to best care for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, and their families. Professionally, Caroline desires to specialize in Pediatrics, raise awareness for the prevention of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and advocate for underserved children in the foster care system.
  • Karlee Raines

    Karlee Raines

    Speech-Language Pathology
    MCH/LEND
    Karlee Raines is a graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at WVU. Previously she earned a degree in Speech Pathology & Audiology from WVU. Karlee has since gained experience in the university clinic working with children and adults with a variety of communication disorders. By participating in the LEND program, Karlee hopes to gain experience in feeding and swallowing as well as interdisciplinary practice.
  • Ashley Rexrode

    Ashley Rexrode

    Social Work
    MCH/LEND
    I'm a second-year grad student obtaining my Master's Degree in Social Work. I received my Bachelor's degree from WVU in Sociology with a minor in philosophy. I have worked with individuals in many different disciplines, but this is my first time working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Through LEND I hope to further my knowledge of developmental disabilities, establish an approach to assist families with the resources they need, and gain the experience of working in the field of disabilities and behavioral health.
  • Mustafa's Profile

    Mustafa Rfat

    Social Work
    MCH/LEND
    Mustafa earned a teaching degree from the Institute of Teachers in Kirkuk, Iraq. He became unable to continue teaching due to security issues in Iraq. He came to the United States as a refugee in 2011. He graduated from WVU in December with a Bachelors of Social Work and in May 2018 with a Master’s in Social Work. At the CED Mustafa hopes to gain a deeper understanding of disability issues and find better ways to solve these issues.
  • Laura Spearman

    Laura Spearman

    Feeding Clinic
    MCH/LEND
    Laura Spearman is a graduate student at West Virginia University’s Master of Human Resource Management program. Prior to attending the program, she retained her bachelors from American University’s Justice and Law program where she focused on assisting disenfranchised communities (disabled persons, sexual assault victims/ victims of crime, and the formerly incarcerated) at both the local and federal levels. As a LEND Trainee for the CED, she hopes to expand on her knowledge of care and assistance for children and adults with disabilities in order to better support and serve employees/ family members as an HR representative. She will be assisting the Feeding Clinic and assist transition services.
  • Brooklyn Vrolyk

    Brooklyn Vrolyk

    Mental Health Counseling
    MCH/LEND
    Brooklyn Vrolyk is a second year LEND trainee and graduate student studying Mental Health Counseling. Through the LEND program, Brooklyn has been able to work with both children and their families through a variety of creative modalities including puppet shows, simulation research and clinics at the CED. She has a special interest counseling children and families with trauma histories. As a LEND trainee, Brooklyn plans to gain more experience with children with disabilities and their families by being a support, listening and learning from their stories,and advocating for their needs with an emphasis on the importance of mental health.
  • Tristan Knapp

    Tristan Knapp

    Mental Health Counseling
    MCH/LEND
    Tristan Knapp is a MOT student at West Virginia University. He has gained public health experience through lifeguarding, coaching, and now the LEND Trainee program. He wants to gain a better understanding of treating in the pediatrics population, with hopes of continuing his professional career in the pediatric field.

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Trainee Newsletters

created by Lacey Mcdonald

created by Tiana Lasporgara, LEND Trainee