Alumni updates

Manuela Corti, doctorate in rehabilitation science ’12, has received a $750,000 grant from GoFAR to conduct a comprehensive gene therapy program to address the underlying cause of Friedreich’s ataxia, which causes progressive loss of neuromuscular function and physical coordination. She is an assistant scientist in the UF College of Medicine’s department of pediatrics.

Leila Friis Darress, bachelor’s in physical therapy ’74, retired from Indian River State College as program director of the physical therapist assistant program in 2013. During her 17 years there she led the program from development to accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. “My dedication to student learning always reflected my Gator education and my role models who I had as faculty at UF,” she writes. “Thank you Barbara White, Fred Rutan, Marty Roe, Claudette Finley, Billie Fisher and Thelma Holmes … hope I made you proud!” 

Kaitlin Shriver Donner, doctorate in physical therapy ’14, has been inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame and qualified for the USA Triathlon National Team.

Alison Weininger Herman, bachelor’s in occupational therapy ’99, and master’s in public health ’08, is an assistant professor of occupational therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale. She helped develop an Interprofessional Diabetes Education and Awareness initiative to address community needs related to diabetes awareness and education through an interprofessional partnership between health profession programs. She was invited to present about the initiative at an educational session at the 2016 American Public Health Association national conference.

Alexandra Hill, doctorate in physical therapy ’14, was elected to the board of directors for the American Physical Therapy Association’s Section on Women’s Health. She serves as the director of financial development. She currently works in women’s health and oncology rehabilitation at Duke Health.

Felix Lorenzo, doctorate in public health (social behavioral sciences concentration) ’16, accepted an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellowship in the Office of Minority Health in Rockville, Maryland. He works on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs that address disease prevention, health promotion, risk reduction and barriers to health care for racial and ethnic minorities.

Leslie Morey, doctorate in clinical psychology ’81, received the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology Award for 2016. He is the George T. and Gladys H. Abell Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University.

Michael Prietula, master’s in public health ’14, a professor at Goizueta Business School at Emory University, received a joint grant with the University of Notre Dame to model the organizational and informational components of emergency response in the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center. The grant is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Information and Intelligent Systems. In addition, he co-authored an article entitled, “Taking mHealth Forward: Examining the Core Characteristics” that was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research: mHealth and uHealth.

Jeremy Sibiski, master’s in health administration/master’s in business administration ’01, has been appointed executive director of finance and administration for the UF College of Medicine, a newly created position. He previously served as the director of budget and financial analysis for the college’s financial services.

Milap Sandhu, doctorate in rehabilitation science ’10, received a Mary Switzer Research Fellowship from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. He is a research scientist in the Sensory Motor Performance Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Corey Simon, doctorate in rehabilitation science ’14, accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Duke University’s department of orthopaedic surgery.

Barbara Smith, doctorate in rehabilitation science ’10, received the Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member from the American Physical Therapy Association. She is a research assistant professor in PHHP’s department of physical therapy.

Lucas VanEtten, doctorate in physical therapy ’09, received the 2015 Most Outstanding Physical Therapist award from the Ohio Physical Therapy Association.

Michael von Fricken, doctorate in public health (environmental and global health) ’14, joined the faculty of George Mason University as an assistant professor in the department of global and community health.

Joseph Watson, master’s in public health ’11, graduated last spring with a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from Kent State University and started a residency at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, Fla.

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