Manan is a second-year Master of Science in Counseling (clinical mental health) student at Johns Hopkins University. He aspires to become a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in the next 4 years and has an interest in working with queer populations and on the subjects of grief and trauma. He is also interested in research at the intersection of mental health politics and identity. Manan is working under the supervision of Dr. Ofonedu at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He is involved projects related to meaningful inclusion for children with disabilities in faith communities. Manan can see himself working towards getting a Ph.D. in Clinical psychology. This internship equips him with relevant training in order to start working towards that goal.
Lauren is a junior psychology major; legal studies minor and on a premed track at University of San Francisco. Lauren is a scholar in the Maternal Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Research Network (MCH-LEARN) and working under the supervision of Dr. Ofonedu at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She is involved in the Faith, Disability, and Inclusive Practice project that looks at how to better foster inclusive faith support in Maryland faith communities and equip faith community leaders with inclusive practice tools to better support persons with disabilities and their families. Lauren has an interest in going to medical school to study psychiatry after she receives her Bachelor’s. Lauren wants to become a psychiatrist and working in public health to focus on mental health resources in low-income areas in Baltimore City and beyond.
Fan Wu is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of Mental Health where she is working to earn her Master of Health Science (MHS) degree. She earned her undergraduate degree in nutritional science and clinical psychology from the Ohio State University. Fan’s research interests include dietary intervention on mental health issue and people with developmental disabilities. She hopes to gain a well-rounded exposure and learning opportunities during her internship at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities by participating in different projects including support for parent with intellectual disabilities. She is looking forward to learning how to translate scientific evidence into practice and effectively advocate for people with disabilities and their families while building on her knowledge of health education.
Valeria Tskhay is a Public Health Science major, undergraduate student, at the University of Maryland with a strong interest in Genetic Counseling. She began learning more about people with disabilities while navigating the field of genetics which peaked her interest in wanting to better serve her community. Valeria hopes to expand her knowledge and skills by being a trainee at the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Center (MCDD) and getting to work on projects such as creating more inclusive spaces for people with disabilities in faith communities. She is passionate about learning how to be a better advocate for people with disabilities and their families and a better listener. After completing her undergraduate degree, Valeria plans to attend graduate school for Genetic Counseling where she can continue to work with and advocate for people with disabilities and their families.
Roseline Onwukwe is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland majoring in Public Health Science. She developed in interest in people with disabilities from her previous work experiences with children with disabilities. As a trainee at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, she hopes to gain a more in-depth understanding of topics impacting the lives of people with disabilities and strengthen her ability to ask questions and problem solve. She aspires to engage in training and research data collection, evaluation, and dissemination of results. After completing her undergraduate degree, Roseline plans to attend graduate school to become a Physician Assistant and further work with and represent people with disabilities and their families.
WKC trainee, Spring 2023
Melanie is a graduate student completing her Master of Health Science (MHS) and a Wendy Klag Center (WKC) scholar in the department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Melanie earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor before undertaking research work at the National University of Singapore. Melanie has a keen interest in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Upon the completion of her program, Melanie hopes to pursue a PhD program after taking another year to further her research experience. Melanie is currently involved in the Faith, Disability and Inclusive Practice project at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD), looking at how to better foster inclusive faith support in Maryland faith communities and equip faith community leaders with inclusive practice tools to better-support persons with disabilities and their families.
Martina is a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and currently pursuing her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a focus on Maternal/Child/Adolescent Health. Prior to the MPH, she was involved for a year in high school special education, where she developed an interest in working with adolescents and focusing on mental health. She was a Special Olympics basketball coach for 8 years through high school and college and helped to coordinate disability inclusion lectures and self-advocate panels for her medical school’s health equity curriculum thread. Martina is currently involved in a research project that examines factors impacting health and well-being of children and adults with IDD and their families from a caregiver’s perspective at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities. After completion of her MPH, she will return for her final year of medical school at the University of California, San Diego and plans to go into Family Medicine. Her clinical and research interests include maternal/child/adolescent health, mental health, improving health outcomes for children and adults with IDD, and community-focused research.
Cindy Ibarra, a senior at Towson University majoring in Public Health, has developed a strong interest in advocating for people with disabilities. She is passionate about helping and supporting diverse communities, especially those often misrepresented or misunderstood. To further her understanding and gain valuable experience, Cindy has secured an internship at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) to work under the mentorship and supervision of Dr. Mirian Ofonedu, MCDD Training Director. She is excited about the opportunity to participate in various projects at MCDD, including the Community and Professional Development Training program. Through this program, she hopes to enhance her skills in translating scientific evidence into practical applications and effectively advocating for individuals with disabilities. Cindy is eager to build on her knowledge of health education and develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and their families. With her passion, dedication, and the experiences gained during her internship, Cindy is determined to make a positive impact in the field of Public Health and contribute towards creating an inclusive society for all people.