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PhD Alumni and Student Profiles

MGH Institute of Health Professions is proud to have one of the few truly interdisciplinary PhD in Rehabilitation Science programs in the country. Located at the intersection of health care and higher education in Boston, students in our program have access and the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top researchers.

Our students come from a variety of professional disciplines, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and other rehabilitation-related fields. Each brings to the IHP a unique perspective to how they want to advance the knowledge base in rehabilitation so that the lives of even more patients can be improved.

We invite you to read more about their backgrounds, research interests, mentors, and labs in which they are pursuing their work. 

Alumni

Students

 

Benjamin G. Adams, PT, DPT, OCS

Ben Adams headshot

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions:
B.S. Neuroscience, University of Rochester
Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Emory University

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name, and name of lab?
U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick MA
Mentor: Dr. Richard Westrick PT, DPT, DSc, OCS, SCS

What is your current research focused on?
My research focuses on identifying targeted screening and intervention strategies to mitigate musculoskeletal injuries in the US Army. I am currently working on a multi-year research effort where we are investigating the impact of embedded physical therapists and athletic trainers in an Army Infantry Division.

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?
I value the inter-professional collaboration within this program, and our smaller class size facilitates an outstanding support network through both the faculty and my fellow students. The connections and resources provided through the IHP across Boston are extensive and I am fortunate to have access to this system.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to join a DPT program in the Boston area as a faculty member, where I can continue my research and teach the next generation of physical therapists.


 

Savetrie Bachan

Doctoral Research Fellow

What year did you start the program?  
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions 
BS, Communication Sciences & Disorders, New York University, NY, 2005
MA, Communication Sciences & Disorders, New York University, NY, 2011

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab (if appropriate)
Mentors: Lauryn Zipse, PhD, CCC-SLP, Co-Director
Lab: Cognitive Neuroscience Group, MGH Institute of Health Professions

What is your current research focused on (please provide a brief summary statement in layman’s terms?
I am interested in high intensity treatment practices, with a focus on how this can be applied in aphasia and apraxia of speech treatment protocols. I am also interested in the use of biofeedback in therapy and want to explore how these tools can be used to improve patient outcomes with supported at home practice. 

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP? 
The opportunity to learn and collaborate within an interdisciplinary environment was very important to me. I have spent several years in the clinical world which involved regular collaboration with physical therapists, occupational therapist, social workers, physicians, psychologists, etc. I have a deep appreciation for the varied points of views that need to be considered to ensure the best treatment for our patients.  I also am excited to learn from the IHP’s accomplished faculty. Additionally, because the institute is located in Boston there is great potential to network with professionals from reputable institutions in the area.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
I chose to pursue my PhD at the MGH Institute because of the opportunity to learn in a collaborative environment with clinicians from various rehabilitation specialties. I believe in a team approach and the program is structured in a manner that will allow me to make connections with my peers on relevant research questions. Also, I was drawn to the program because of its’ unique design which enables students to learn from faculty who are experts with a variety of clinical backgrounds. 

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to work in an academic setting conducting research and teaching future Speech Language Pathologists. I would also like to continue working clinically in some capacity. 


Xue Bao

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions
M.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions
B.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab?
Mentors: Dr. Tiffany Hogan
The Speech and Language (SAiL) Literacy Lab, MGH Institute of Health Professions

What is your current research focused on (please provide a brief summary statement in layman’s terms? 
My current research interests are developmental dyslexia, developmental language disorder (DLD), bilingualism, and bridging the gap between research and clinical work.

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?   
The PhD in RS program offers me a wide variety of opportunities working with other professions and projects. The IHP has great resources in the Boston area and brings me closer to the cutting edge of my research field.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
I graduated from the IHP in 2018. To me, the IHP is more like a big family and I enjoy working and learning with my mentor, instructors, and peers in the beautiful Charlestown Navy Yard. 

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to pursue my research interests and to provide knowledge and professional advice to peers, educators, parents, and other professionals. I hope my work will spreads globally and influences more people in need.  
 


Tim DeLuca, M.S. CCC-SLP

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Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2020

List your prior degrees and institutions
BS/MS, Northeastern University
CAS, MGH IHP

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab?
Mentors: Dr. Tiffany Hogan
The Speech and Language (SAiL) Literacy Lab, MGH Institute of Health Professions

What is your current research focused on (please provide a brief summary statement in layman’s terms? 
I am studying development and disorder in oral language and literacy.

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?   
I feel like I have joined a new family. Although we span a variety of disciplines, there is a strong sense of support from my peers and professors. People want me to succeed.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
I love the interdisciplinary nature of the students and professors. Working with individuals across various disciplines and research interests has enhanced my ability to collaborate and understand research methods.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to contribute to the emerging body of research in translational and implementation sciences for oral language and literacy.
 


Norma Hancock, MEd, CAS, WDP

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2018

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?

 Keene State College, BA Sociology
Keene State College, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction
MGH IHP, CAS Language and Literacy

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab?
Mentors: Tiffany P. Hogan, PhD, CCC-SLP 
Lab: SAiL Lab

What is your current research focused on?
My research is focused on early identification of dyslexia, ADHD, and DLD; the impact of comorbidity on treatment outcomes; and, translation research and implementation science.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
What sets the IHP apart from other institutions, is the expertise of their research mentors and the unique opportunity to collaborate and train with an interdisciplinary team.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
The opportunity to work with Dr. Hogan was my primary reason for choosing IHP’s program. The SAiL lab’s dedication to the intersection of language and literacy is essential to understanding the comorbidity of related disorders.  


Melissa Feller

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions
BS – Speech-Language Pathology and Psychology, Towson University
MS – Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name, and name of lab?
Mentor: Tiffany Hogan, PhD, CCC-SLP
Lab: Speech Language (SAiL) Literacy Lab

What is your current research focused on?
I am interested in exploring relationships between oral and written language, ways to increase precision of early identification of reading and language difficulties, as well as the role of metacognition, self-regulation, and resilience in language-based learning disabilities. I am particularly interested in the area of implementation science to integrate my perspective from 15 years of clinical experience and my passion for translating research to practice.

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?    
I appreciate the strong interdisciplinary focus of the program. I believe that integrating perspectives from a range of disciplines helps promote the type of flexibility, collaboration, and innovation that is critical for leadership in rich, diverse academic and clinical settings. Also, the dedication to research mentorship by the faculty is also a significant advantage of the PhD in RS program here at IHP. 

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
The match with my research mentor and the emphasis on an apprenticeship model were significant factors in my decision to pursue the PhD here at the Institute.  Dr. Hogan’s research interests align closely with my own and her tremendous commitment to and passion for the field and her students is evident. I wanted to surround myself with enthusiasm and inspiration, and I have certainly found that here.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
“I hope to play an integral role in helping educators and clinicians effectively translate research to high quality, evidenced-based practice for improved educational outcomes, literacy success, and learner well-being in K-12 settings.”


Baothy Huynh, OTD, OTR/L

profile photo of baothy in front of some trees

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?
2020

List your prior degrees and institutions.
BS, Biology, Loyola University Chicago
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions

What is your current research setting, mentor's name, and name of lab?
Mentor: Teresa Jacobsen Kimberley, PhD, PT, FAPTA. Lab: Brain Recovery Lab

What is your current research focused on?
I'm interested in investigating how the use of data-driven technology can impact clinical decision-making and functional outcomes, specifically for individuals with neurlogical and neuromuscular disorders

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at IHP?
The IHP PhD in RS program presents an opportunity for collaboration with an incomparable network of world-renowned research institutions, labs, and universities. As clinician-researchers in training, we are able to take advantage of these connections to explore passions and projects outside of our professions.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
I was drawn to an interdisciplinary program because I believe it is the best way to bridge clinical practice and innovation within research. Students are able to attain a more complete and clinically-relevant perspective through collaboration with a diverse group of peers, instructors, and mentors.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to apply my skills in industry to conduct practical, translational, and patient-centered research that addresses the gaps between technology and implementation into clinical practice.


Lina Jallad, MA-OT, OTR/L

profile photo of Lina

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2021

List your prior degrees and institutions  
BS, Occupational Therapy, Jordan, Irbid
MA-OT, New York University, New York, NY

What is your current research setting, mentor’s name, and name of lab (if appropriate).
PhD Research Fellow in the Cognitive- Motor Behavior Lab, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Mentors: Prue Plummer, PhD, PT, BPhysio(Hons)

What is the focus of your current research?
I am interested in exploring the relationship between motor-cognitive impairments and social environment and studying their impact on community participation and quality of life for people with neurological disorders. Also, I am interested in investigating and advancing effective methods and technologies that promote functional outcomes and increase community accessibility for this population.

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?    
The multi-disciplinary team gives me the opportunity of learning from and working with other health-care professionals, and the ability to tailor my own unique research focus with adequate support. Also, the institution has connections to multiple highly reputable universities and leading healthcare hospitals worldwide, which supports research conduction and enriches my experience in the academic and clinical fields.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?   
Because after 7 years practice, I realized that in practical life, health professionals will have to work together in order to deliver an effective healthcare service for patients. Also, as an occupational therapist in an evolving profession, I believe working with other professions will assist in expanding the boundaries of this profession, increase its awareness, enrich its body-knowledge, and assist in the innovation of new effective methods and technologies for evaluation and treatment.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?  

  • To contribute to the occupational therapy education as a teaching professor.
  • To conduct research in order to develop effective evidence-based strategies and technologies that assist people with neuro-motor and cognitive disorder have better quality of life.
  • To provide consultations for patients with neuromotor-cognitive impairments, their caregivers, and related-stakeholders.
  • To advocate for increasing community accessibility for people with motor and cognitive disabilities nationally and internationally.

Tabitha Kao, MS, CCC-SLP

profile photo of tabitha kao

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2021

List your prior degrees and institutions  
MS, Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas, TX, 2015
BA, Psychology, University of North Texas, TX, 2013

What is your current research setting, mentor’s name, and name of lab (if appropriate).
Mentors: Bridget Perry, PhD, CCC-SLP & Jordan Green, PhD, CCC-SLP,FASHA
Lab: Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab

What is the focus of your current research?
Coming from a background in medical speech-language pathology, I am interested in instrumental and/or quantitative assessment of swallowing, particularly in head and neck cancer, that would produce reliable results in places that would otherwise not have access to such methodologies.

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?    
This program offers a wealth of research opportunities, high quality mentorship, and focus on interdisciplinary education and collaboration. I am excited to be working with Drs. Perry and Green on swallowing research. Their research provides very practical applications that were important to me when I was actively working as a hospital-based speech-language pathologist.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?   
One of the reasons I chose this program is precisely because of its focus on interdisciplinary education and collaboration. Based on my own experience working as a hospital-based speech-language pathologist, I know that the knowledge and skills I will further develop from this program will reflect relevant real-world values and trends. Interdisciplinary education, training, and collaboration will allow me to be more innovative as both a researcher and a clinician.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?  
I would like to conduct research in university hospitals or large healthcare facilities such as the Veterans Affairs system. I would ultimately like to continue practicing as a medical speech-language pathologist, teach, and research.


Michael Kiefer

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2019 
 
List your prior degrees and institutions  
B.S. Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont 2008 
Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Vermont 2011 
 
What is your current research setting, mentor’s name, and name of lab (if appropriate).
Mentors:  Dr. Elise Townsend 

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?    
This program provides access to world class faculty mentorship and research facilities to help students develop the skills needed to meet the needs of a rapidly advancing healthcare landscape. 

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?   
I was drawn to the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program because the opportunity to collaborate and learn with other allied healthcare professionals. The majority of my professional experience has been in interdisciplinary clinics and I feel strongly that this model can optimize patient care and research.
 
What are your goals for the future after you graduate?  
I hope to further the growing body of evidence-based practice available for patients with pediatric neurodegenerative disorders.  With so many new medical interventions on the horizon, rehabilitation science professionals will need to re-evaluate how we provide optimal care for patients with new available treatments.


 

Amber LaMarca PT, DPT

profile photo of amber

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2021

What are your prior degrees and with what institutions?
Doctorate of Physical Therapy - Northeastern University

What is your current research setting?
Neurology, Dr. Brown, MGH Paralysis Center

What is your current research focused on?
Nerve transfers and spasticity management for patients with stroke and spinal cord injury.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
The commitment to interdisciplinary learning, the connections to many top hospitals, the inclusion of both learning how to be an educator and a researcher in the curriculum.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
I believe it is incredibly important to get the perspective of other health professionals when studying an area of research. The reality of healthcare is that it is a collaborative environment, so the research should be as well.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I would love to teach and continue to pursue research that will improve outcomes for patients with neurological conditions.


 

Brenda Lovette, MS, CCC-SLP

Profile photo of brenda lovette

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2020

What are your prior degrees and with what institutions?
BS, Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
MS, Speech-Language Pathology, University of North Carolina,Chapel Hill, NC

What is your current research setting?
Mentor: Ruth Palan Lopez PhD, GNP-BC, FAAN

What is your current research focused on?
My current research focuses on rehabilitative management of post-concussion syndrome (PCS) and exploring the use of mindfulness meditation training to promote recovery and improved quality of life in individuals with brain injury and PCS.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
I have found the culture among faculty, staff, and students to be highly supportive. Everyone at the IHP seems authentically invested in each other's successes and growth.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
This program was an obvious choice for me among the many options for a doctoral degree. The interdisciplinary perspective at the Institute was a major draw, especially for my research interests, since I hope to look at rehabilitation with a holistic lens.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to continue to develop innovative and evidence based holistic interventions for people with brain injury and post-concussion syndrome and other brain based disorders.


Marc Maffei

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions
-    New York University: B.A., Linguistics
-    MGH Institute of Health Professions: M.S., Communication Sciences and Disorders 

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab?
Dr. Jordan Green, Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab 

What is your current research focused on (please provide a brief summary statement in layman’s terms? 
The development, assessment, and treatment of motor speech disorders. 

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?   
Working closely with other professionals including physical therapists and occupational therapists, as well as speech pathologists with different areas of expertise, will add important perspectives to my own work. 

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
As an alumnus of the IHP’s master’s program in Communication Sciences and Disorders (class of 2016) I was already familiar with the exciting research and supportive atmosphere available here. 

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to improve outcomes for individuals with motor speech disorders.


Amy Maguire

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions:
Bachelor’s of Music: New York University
MFA Performing Arts Management: CUNY Brooklyn College
MS Speech Language Pathology: MGH Institute of Health Professions

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab?
Current research settings: BEAM Lab at MGHIHP and MGH
Mentor: Joanna Christodoulou, EdD – BEAM Lab

What is your current research focused on? 
My current clinical and research focus is on understanding and improving cognitive outcomes and quality of life for adults with brain tumors as well as for individuals who have undergone hemispherectomy for epilepsy

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?   
One of the PhD program’s biggest draws for me is the fact that most candidates are allied health professionals who have clinical practice backgrounds. It’s a unique opportunity to intensively discuss research practice with providers across the PT, OT, and SLP disciplines. I also love that the dissertation requirement is highly functional and based around publishing actual papers rather than producing one dissertation work alone.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
In addition to my response in #6, I also chose this research program because my research area is highly interdisciplinary. Developing and executing research projects that are applicable to disciplines outside the CSD field is important to me. I believe this program especially will help me achieve a degree of clarity in my research methodology and communication skills that supports interdisciplinary collaboration. 

What are your goals for the future after you graduate? 
I hope to return to clinical practice at MGH with robust research skills that enable me to advance the care of patients with brain tumors and their caregivers and expand the clinical research component of practice within the department.


Zaina Muqbel, SLP

profile photo of zaina

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2021

List your prior degrees and institutions
Speech and Hearing Sciences, BSc - University of Jordan
 

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab (if appropriate)
Mentors:
Charles Haynes, EdD, CCC-SLP
Rawan AlHeresh, MSOT, Ph.D., OTR/L
Lab: SAil Lab - LK2 project - Maura Curran

What is your current research focused on (please provide a brief summary statement in layman’s terms? 
Literacy skills in Bilinguals (Arabic being L1, English being L2).

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?   
Its flexibility and supporting environment/ mentors.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
What really interested me in this program is that it prepares you to be a professional clinical researcher, but not alone. To get the best result from any intervention or any research project, I am willing to work with all other health professionals that aim to reach the same goal: Best care for patients. I am hoping through this interdisciplinary program to know how to work together on different clinical research projects.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
Pursuing a postdoc for more experience.

 


Kristen Nunn

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions
BPhil in Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016
MS in Speech-Language Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2018

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab (if appropriate)
Lab: Cognitive Neuroscience Group, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Mentor: Sofia Vallila-Rohter, PhD, CCC-SLP

What is your current research focused on (please provide a brief summary statement in layman’s terms? 
I am interested in understanding the cognitive, linguistic, and neurological factors that contribute to language impairment in aphasia and treatment outcomes.

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?   
The PhD in RS program is interdisciplinary and offers the unique opportunity to collaborate and learn from researchers and clinicians across rehabilitation science disciplines. Not only does this collaboration challenge my thinking but it also allows me to hone my interdisciplinary discussion skills which are essential for sharing ideas within research and clinical settings. I also value that there are dedicated teaching courses in the curriculum as teaching is an essential skill for a future in academia. 

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
I chose to come to MGH-IHP for the opportunity to work with Dr. Sofia Vallila-Rohter as she is conducting novel and exciting research that answers clinical and theoretical questions related to aphasia. I was also eager to be a part of the Cognitive Neuroscience Group which would allow me to work closely with and learn from other speech-language pathologists conducting research in the domain of cognitive neuroscience.  

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
It is my goal to obtain a faculty position at a university that will allow me to conduct research, practice clinically, and teach and mentor students. 


Kate Radville, MS, CCC-SLP

profile photo of kate radville

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?2020

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions
BS, Early Childhood Education, Boston University

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab?
Mentors: Tiffany P. Hogan, PhD, CCC-SLP
Lab: SAiL Lab

What is your current research focused on?
My research interests include oral and written language relationships and best practices for reading and writing instruction for school-aged children. I am also interested in translational and implementation science and using related frameworks to promote positive changes in school-based literacy practices.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
I am familiar with the IHP and I value its welcoming and supportive atmosphere. Dr. Tiffany Hogan's work in the Speech and Language (SAiL)Literacy Lab is very well-matched with my research interests, and I am very confident that I will receive the support and mentorship I need to become a successful researcher. It it also very important to me to learn in an interdisciplinary environment.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
I have been a clinician for many years, and I have learned so much from working with colleagues in other departments, fields and professions. In my work in the area of literacy, I firmly believe that interdisciplinary collaboration will be a central piece of effecting positive change in the areas of language and literacy.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to work in an environment where I can continue to pursue my passion for research while also teaching and being involved in initiatives related to literacy change.


Eric Roseen, DC

Photo of Eric RoseenDoctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2018

What are your prior degrees and with which institutions?
BA, Biology major and Chemistry minor, Minnesota State University Moorhead
Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), University of Western States, Portland, OR
MSc, Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health

What is your current research focused on?
My current research focuses on the epidemiology of common painful musculoskeletal conditions. Pragmatic clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic therapies for low back pain. Developing implementation strategies to improve access to evidence-based low back pain treatments in underserved primary care medical settings.

 


 

Hannah Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP

Hannah Rowe

 

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2018

What are your prior degrees and with which institutions?
BA, Psychology, Minor in Linguistics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
MA, Speech-Language Pathology, George Washington University, Washington, DC

What is your current research focused on?
My current research focuses on investigating disordered speech in patients with ALS. I am looking specifically at comparing perceptual ratings from clinical tests to physiological measurements in order to develop more valid and reliable assessment tools for motor-impaired populations.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
I think the enormous network of universities and hospitals surrounding IHP is incomparable to other institutions. Being a part of such a community is an exciting opportunity for clinician-researchers who want to contribute to clinically relevant, cutting-edge research.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
I was drawn to this program to work with Dr. Jordan Green, as he is an expert in the field of speech motor control and provides his students with quantitative tools to address motor control across domains. I am also excited about the interdisciplinary nature of this program because working with students from different sectors of rehabilitation sciences fosters invaluable learning opportunities and the potential for innovative research. This program encourages us as students to undertake our research and clinical work with a broader, more adaptable perspective.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to one day become a professor and independent clinical investigator at a research university. Throughout my career, I hope to maintain an open mind and approach my research questions using neuroimaging, kinematic techniques, computational modeling, neural stimulation, and any new methods that arise over the years. My ultimate goal is to develop advanced assessments and treatments for patients with motor speech impairments.

 


 

Paul Simeone, MA, CCC-SLP

Photo of Paul Simeone

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2018

What are your prior degrees and with what institutions? 
MA, Speech and Language Pathology, CUNY Lehman College, W. Bronx, NY

What is your current research setting, mentor’s name and name of lab?
Mentor:
Ralf W. Schlosser, PhD; Alice Schillingsburg, PhD
Research Setting: May Institute

What is your current research focused on?
Collaborative communication interventions in interdisciplinary settings for children with autism spectrum disorder.

List any publications or external presentations you have since starting the program?
You Say Mand, I Say Request—Let's Call the Whole Thing Communication: Interprofessional AAC Intervention, ASHA Annual Convention, November 2018


 

Kelly Spellman, MS

Photo of Kelly Spellman

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2018

What are your prior degrees and with what institutions? 
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Boston University, 2008
Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Studies, Boston University, 2006

What is your current research setting, mentor’s name and name of lab?
Mentor: Alan Jette, PT, PhD, MPH, FAPTA

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?
In my short time at the Institute I have been impressed by the way that the coursework directly prepares the student for the work of a research clinician. The assignments are immediately directly applicable, and the material is coordinated well across courses. In addition, I appreciate the opportunity to learn from successful researchers with varied dynamic backgrounds. 

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?I was drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of this program. I have spent the past decade working in the hospital setting, collaborating with physical therapists, speech therapists, case managers, social workers, physicians, psychologists, etc. on a daily basis.  In doing this work I have come to value the importance of looking at a problem through varied frames of reference. My classmates and my teachers here at IHP come from a variety of backgrounds, which mirrors the clinical experience. I feel that this breadth of experience is invaluable in developing and answering clinically relevant research questions.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate? “I hope to....”​
I hope to obtain a research position within an institution where I can also continue to work as a clinician. 


 

Paulo E. P. Teixeira, PT, MS

Paulo Teixiera

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2017

What are your prior degrees and with which institutions?
BA, Physical Therapy, Ribeirão Preto University, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, 2004
Orthopedic and Muscle-Skeleton PT Specialist, COHEN Institute of Orthopedics, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, São Paulo and São Marcos University, São Paulo, Brazil, 2006
MS, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in PT, University of Pittsburgh, 2008

What is your current research setting, mentor’s name and name of lab?
Mentor: Felipe Fregni, MD, PhD, MPH, 
Director of the Laboratory of Neuromodulation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School
LabLaboratory of Neuromodulation and Center for Clinical Research Learning at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
I believe the professional diversity that supports the program makes the PhD experience at the MGH Institute unique. Having different rehabilitation specialists together during classes and seminar discussions, consequently shows us different perspectives on every topic, which I believe it enriches our learning experience.  The individual attention of the faculty to our concerns and directions also are a positive aspect of this program. Not to mention that being in Boston and the MGH Institute, the amount of networking and potential opportunities to develop our academic careers are endless. 

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
I believe that working in an interdisciplinary setting, either in academics or clinical, is ultimately the setting that has the greater potential to thrive. Different backgrounds, different professions, when working together for the same ideal, can achieve greater success. The PhD program at the MGH Institute has the interdisciplinary characteristic that I always believed in. 

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to work in an academic setting that I can fully develop my potential and I hope to contribute to rehabilitation science and the education of rehabilitation specialists in a meaningful way.

 


Carla Tierney-Hendricks

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?
2015

List your prior degrees and institutions.
BA in psychology, College of the Holy Cross
MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions

What is your current research setting, mentor's name, and name of lab?
Aphasia recovery and outcomes in the acute and inpatient rehabilitation settings
Lab: Cognitive Neuroscience Group
Mentor: Dr. Sofia Vallila-Rohter

What is your current research focused on?
Currently I am collaborating with a research team in standardizing language assessment in the acute phase of stroke recovery. The goal of our work is to better understand individual patterns of language recovery and patient-specific factors that may impact therapy outcomes.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at IHP?
I value the interdisciplinary nature of the program as I strongly believe that patients have the best functional outcomes when treated from a holistic perspective.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
The Institute has strong faculty mentors. The fact that the Institute is situated in Boston allows for access to multiple, world-class hospital networks and academic institutions to foster collaboration.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to continue my research interests in the area of aphasia as well as to lead and facilitate interdisciplinary research within a hospital network. I would also like to serve as an instructor and mentor to student clinicians and researchers.


 

Victoria Tilton-Bolowsky, MS, CCC-SLP

Victoria Bolowsky

 

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program? 2018

What are your prior degrees and with which institutions?
BA in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology, Loyola University, Baltimore, MD
MS in Speech-Language Pathology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, 2014

What is your current research setting?
Lab: Cognitive Neuroscience Group, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Mentor: Sofia Vallila-Rohter, PhD, CCC-SLP

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
The opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration sets this program apart and provides an environment in which these disciplines no longer operate in silos; rather, one discipline’s findings may have profound implications for the others. Working closely with occupational therapists, physical therapists, and nurses over the past three years has allowed me to gain a well-rounded understanding of the processes of recovery and rehabilitation. Additionally, the program has affiliations with some of the best medical and rehabilitation facilities in the country (e.g., Spaulding Rehabilitation) which offer challenging and unique learning opportunities, undoubtedly yielding an enriching experience. 

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
Ultimately, my goal is to obtain a position that allows me to continue practicing clinically in some capacity, provide clinical/academic instruction to future Speech-Language Pathologists, and conduct research.


Isha Vora

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?  
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions
1.    BA in Biological Sciences-Rutgers University
2.    MS in Occupational Therapy-Boston University

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab?
Neurorehabilitation, Upper extremity rehab
Mentor: Dr. Teresa Kimberley
Lab: Brain Recovery Lab

What do you think is special about the PhD in RS program here at IHP?  
The collaboration and team approach to research, innovation, discovery, and patient impact along with access to the larger Boston medical community at large make this program unique.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?  
I was drawn to this program due to the emphasis that is placed on clinical application and the goal of transforming clinicians into clinician-researchers. For me, it was important to find a program that helped me bridge these two frames of reference 

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to venture into industry and apply my skills and expertise as both a clinician and researcher to help develop patient centered, cost effective technology for neurorehabilitation. 


Stephen Wechsler

Doctoral Student

What year did you start the program?
2019

List your prior degrees and institutions
-    BS in Clinical Sciences, Ithaca College
-    Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Ithaca College
-    Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist

What is your current research setting(s), mentor’s name and name of lab?
-    Lisa Wood, PhD, RN, FAAN - Fatigue Research Lab
-    Research interests: Cancer-related and cancer-treatment-related functional impairments, neurotoxic chemotherapies, vestibular dysfunction