CHHS Spotlight: Get To Know Our Graduate Assistants!

Category: Alumni & Friends | Author:

At the College of Health and Human Services, we strive to develop students who are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and acquisition of skills related to their intended careers. Our graduate assistants exemplify this dedication to lifelong learning. Becoming a graduate assistant is an opportunity to work directly with faculty and staff members allowing students to further their education while gaining invaluable work and research experience. We’d like to acknowledge these students who have served with distinction in our Graduate Assistant Spotlight!

School of Nursing:

Rachelle Gray, DNP, RN, MBA, FNP-BC – Nursing
Rachelle Gray is the School of Nursing’s spotlight student and has been a graduate student in the School of Nursing since 2014. She is working towards her Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in nursing education. She has been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Currently, her research interest is Health Literacy and Clinical Simulation in Nursing Education.

School of Health Promotion and Human Performance:

Erika Garant – Health Education

Erika is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Health Education and is the School of Health Promotion and Human Performance’s spotlight student. She is a graduate assistant for the Office of Health Promotion, which is an extension of the Health Education program. Her research interest is in tobacco cessation. Erika earned a Bachelors degree in Athletic Training in 2016. Erika will take the CHES exam to become a Certified Health Education Specialist once she completes her graduate degree. She plans to work at a clinic that assists athletes and work in the community as a Health Educator.

Leeann Belland – Health Education

Leeann is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Health Education. Her research interests include sexual health and sexual violence advocacy.

Michael Parker – Exercise Physiology

Michael is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. His research interests include examining the components of running biomechanics that contribute to running economy and thereby performance. As well as, examining whether data can be applied by a broad spectrum of runners to provide training feedback and modifications. Specifically the Stryd running foot pod/power meter to examine the data it collects and compare it with metabolic data captured in the lab.

Alexandra Martin – Exercise Physiology

Alexandra is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. She is investigating the use of accelerometry to quantify daily training load of on-ice practices and games of National Team Development Program ice hockey teams, and the implementation of a mathematical performance modeling approach to ice hockey to provide insight on training loads and relative on-ice performance.

Andrew Pearson – Exercise Physiology

Andrew is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. He is evaluating the predictability of VO2 max using a Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS sports watch. Comparing estimated VO2 max based on a 15 minute outdoor run to a directly measured VO2 max using a maximal GXT protocol. Interests primarily include the combined role of exercise and nutrition as preventable medicine.

Davor Stojanov – Exercise Physiology

Davor is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. He is observing player safety in youth hockey teams along with many aspects of player performance monitoring such as fatigue and work output in the U17-18 Men’s USA National Team Development Program.

Luke McCormick – Exercise Physiology

Luke is pursing his Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. His current research interest includes diabetes, obesity and clinical exercise physiology with the Hispanic population.

Sean Ryan – Sports Management

Sean is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Sport Management. His interest is in sport tourism.

Robbie Bennett – Orthotics and Prosthetics

Robbie is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Born and raised in Durban, South Africa, he moved to the United States to play soccer at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. His research interests include testing strength of prosthetic socket laminates to provide quantifiable data that will allow for more informed clinical decisions. Robbie will graduate in April 2017.

Geoff Smith – Orthotics and Prosthetics

Geoff is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics. He earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Ball State University. His research interests include application procedures, material science, and coalescing newer technologies with conventional methods. Clinically he is interested in research that produces reliable patient outcomes while promotion a holistic perspective to patient care. Geoff will graduate in April 2017. He will move back to Oregon to begin his orthotics residency.

Elizabeth Law – Orthotics and Prosthetics

Elizabeth Law is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Previously a student in physics and mathematics at Muhlenberg College, she quickly realized her passion for building interpersonal relationships, problem solving, and helping others. Her area of interest is in pediatrics. Elizabeth will graduate in April 2017.

Makenzie Best – Orthotics and Prosthetics

Makenzie is pursing her Master of Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics. She studied Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, and took a capstone class introducing her to the field of Orthotics & Prosthetics. She then decided to pursue this career, as it blended her interests in mechanical design while helping others personally. She is interested in introducing new technology to the field and is currently in the early stages of developing a smartphone application to guide the decision-making processes of coding and billing. Makenzie will graduate in April 2018.

School of Health Sciences:

Amy Hart – Occupational Therapy

Amy is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and is the
School of Health Sciences’ spotlight student. Her interest in research stemmed from her involvement with a research program in her hometown Cleveland, OH (the Cleveland FES Center). She also had an opportunity to observe the prosthetics department at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. On a broader level, she is interested in researching how OTs can partner with related health fields in order to increase quality of life for clients. “I currently have an interest in the field of prosthetics and researching how OTs can help improve functional use for prosthetic limb users.”

Charity Mack – Occupational Therapy

Charity is pursuing her Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. A native of Ypsilanti, she is a graduate assistant of the Aging Studies Program. She plans to use her OT degree and her Certificates in Gerontology and Dementia to join the military working with soldiers and their families who serve our country. Her interest in research stems from the belief that not only should she challenge herself, but also others, to think beyond what we already know. Throughout her assistantship she’s been able to broaden her research interest to incorporate studies that focus on increasing student academic achievement, improving graduate education, and successful methods for assessing student learning.

Camilla Meade – Human Nutrition

Camilla is pursuing her Masters of Science degree in Human Nutrition. Her goals are to own her own private practice and teach. Her research interests center around weight loss. In particular, developing a program that integrates a mind, body, spirit approach to weight loss with traditional nutrition approaches, cognitive behavior therapy and a faith based element. She would also like to explore the effectiveness of group weight loss programs that incorporate an accountability factor along with the support of a group/community. Camilla is a native of Ypsilanti.

Muneez Patel – Clinical Research Administration

Muneez is pursuing his Masters of Science degree in Clinical Research Administration. A native of Karachi, Pakistan, Muneez’s research focus is on stress management in foreign students pursing a college education in the United States. He is particularly interested in analyzing how different kinds of strategies influence international students’ well-being, behavior, and their ability to cope with stress.

Zakery Northrop – Clinical Research Administration

Zakery is pursuing his Masters of Science degree in Clinical Research Administration. His position as a graduate assistant has provided him a wealth of knowledge, professional references and experience that will propel him into a successful career in Clinical Research. He is excited about participating in research that will help discover potential solutions for debilitating diseases and ailments the impact people around the globe.

Ajay Solomon – Clinical Lab Sciences

Ajay is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Molecular/Cellular Biology. He is a graduate student in the Clinical Lab Sciences program. He enjoys learning about cell signaling pathways, therefore the area of immune cell activation, specifically monocytes and how they interact with effector cells are of great interest.

Allante Burnell – Health Administration

Allante is pursuing a Clinical Behavioral Masters of Science degree in Psychology. She is a graduate assistant in the Health Administration program. Allante’s interests include conducting research in the African American population in addressing the issue of Colorism intra-racially with the judicial system. Allante is from Ann Arbor.

School of Social Work:

Ashley TenHaken

Ashley is the School of Social Work’s spotlight student. She is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Social Work. She is currently enjoying her internship experience at Forest School in Ypsilanti where she works with young people with behavioral disorders. Ashley meets individually with students to work on their goals and plan for future behavior change always motivating them to do their best with her energy, enthusiasm and great ideas. She has also taken leadership roles in planning various community action events, including the “Day of Social Justice” sponsored by the School of Social Work. Ashley will graduate in August 2017.

Michael Turner

Michael is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Social Work. He is working on better supporting undergraduates on achieving success in math. After graduation in April 2018, Michael would like to lead clinical therapy sessions with groups, families and youth, as well as develop policies that will have a large community impact.

Haley Moraniec

Haley is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Social Work. Her graduate assistantship involves working in the Swoop’s Student Food Pantry, an initiative Haley created when an undergraduate student in EMU’s Social Work program. Her research interest involves food insecurity, specifically among college students. Haley expects to graduate in April 2018.

Christopher Singer

Chris is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Social Work. He is part of a School of Social Work team that is developing data on homelessness and housing instability among EMU students. He has also worked with faculty at the Autism Collaborative to develop research on behavioral interventions with young people with autism. Chris will graduate in April 2017.

Brittany Thomas

Brittany is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Social Work. Brittany assists the faculty team that collects and analyzes data assessing the outcomes of the social work program. She plays a role in conducting focus groups with all graduating student cohorts. Brittany worked at Washtenaw County Juvenile Detention Center for three years, were she developed a passion for adjudicated youth and youth living with mental illness. She hopes to one day start and run her own organization serving youth and their families. Brittany expects to graduate in April 2018.

We are proud to have these talented students working alongside CHHS faculty and staff members. If you or someone you know is interested in a GA position, please contact the appropriate School office here.

Discuss this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.