The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) is excited to sponsor seven wonderful trainees this spring.
Olivia Bowley is a senior in the Honors College at Towson University, earning her bachelor’s degree in health education and promotion. Olivia discovered her interest in working with the disability community through observing occupational therapists in high school. She developed a passion for disability justice through this profession. During her internship at the MCDD, she hopes to gain valuable experiences with disability-centered research and health education in order to advocate for the needs of the disability community. She looks forward to strengthening her research skills and supporting individuals with disabilities through two main projects that center around anti-ableism and sexual health education. After completing her undergraduate degree, Olivia plans to attend graduate school for occupational therapy in order to continue supporting the disability community through clinical work and research.
Rebecca Cumberbatch is a second-year law student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She graduated from Taylor University in 2014 and taught middle school English in rural Illinois. After finishing her Master of Educational Administration degree in 2019, Rebecca decided to become an education attorney so she could directly represent parents and children to seek the best educational outcomes possible. She is interested in all kinds of public interest law, but working with children with disabilities is her true passion.
Madeline Dwivedi is a second-year law student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and has been practicing as a nurse while attending law school. Madeline has worked in emergency department and, more recently, pediatric intensive care unit settings. Her passion for advocating for the underrepresented is the focus of her future career goals. During her time as a nurse, Madeline realized the difficulties families struggle with to receive appropriate medical, legal and educational services to best support their children. As a Project HEAL trainee, Madeline hopes to advocate for and assist families in any aspect of care they may need—medical or educational—and provide families with the necessary information and resources to reach their goals.
Holly Long is a third-year occupational therapy doctoral student at Towson University. She earned her bachelor's degree in health education and promotion from Towson University in 2018. She has a long-standing interest in working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Holly was also a Project HEAL trainee in 2018, and has since returned to Project HEAL to complete her doctoral capstone research project, “Special Education Law and Interprofessional Collaboration: Viewing Education through an Occupational Lens.” During her time at Kennedy Krieger Institute, she is looking forward to designing an education program for service providers and families detailing school-based occupational therapy services and advocating for equitable service provision for all students. After graduation, she plans to remain in Baltimore to enter clinical practice, providing empathetic care to communities in need.
Ashley Turcios is a senior at Towson University majoring in health education and promotion, with a concentration in community health. Ashley developed an interest in working with individuals with disabilities through her experience in activity-related programs for youth with disabilities and through her health education-related research. She hopes to continue to develop her knowledge related to individuals with developmental disabilities through her internship at the MCDD. She is looking forward to learning effective strategies for mental health professionals to use when supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Ashley plans to develop a research project that targets specific ways to help those in the developmental disability community to improve their mental health wellness. After completing her undergraduate degree, Ashley plans to attend graduate school to study child life, administration and family collaboration at Towson University, and to continue to help individuals with disabilities.
Lindsey Turlik is a senior at Towson University majoring in health education and promotion, and will be graduating this spring. Lindsey developed an interest in serving people with disabilities during an experience in which she shadowed a school-based occupational therapist and worked with children with autism and other developmental disabilities. That shadowing experience sparked her passion for advocating for people with disabilities and helping them achieve their goals. Through her internship at the MCDD, she hopes to gain experience in advocating for people with disabilities, and to identify her areas of interest for research. Lindsey also hopes to increase her knowledge in health education by integrating her prior knowledge with real-world scenarios, as she interacts with programs at the MCDD such as People On the Go Maryland and Project HEAL. This summer, after graduation, she will enter the doctoral program in occupational therapy at Towson University, where she plans to continue to guide and advocate for people with disabilities.
Dr. Twanesha Wilcox received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Seton Hall University. She then received her Master of Arts in psychology in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She went on to receive her Master of Arts degree and doctorate of psychology in clinical psychology from La Salle University. Her dissertation explored the effects of stigma aimed at children with autism and affiliate stigma (aimed at parents) on parental stress in fathers of children with autism, along with whether a father’s level of social support impacted these relationships. Dr. Wilcox completed an APA-accredited predoctoral internship at Foundations Behavioral Health, providing behavioral health treatment for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lurie Center for Autism, providing neuropsychology evaluations and social skills groups for children and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Her current clinical interests include conducting psychological evaluations on, and providing individual and group therapy to, children and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Wilcox will complete a minor rotation with Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law) for approximately four hours per week from March through August. During the minor rotation, Dr. Wilcox hopes to learn about educational advocacy and how to better inform or advise her clinical patients and their families regarding the educational rights of students with disabilities.