Photo of Mary Comis.

Trainee Spotlight: Mary Comis

by Bill Mazzoleni

Mary Comis is from Raleigh, North Carolina. She was attending Duquesne University for undergrad work in Pittsburgh; however, she is now attending UK. Her area of study is School Psychology.

Her current work at HDI is trainee for certificate program for developmental disability. She is interested in doing work at HDI because it’s related to her field of study. She will be interacting with people with all ranges of disabilities. It is important for her to understand certain circumstances they may experience.

When it comes to her ice cream flavor, she can be found devouring strawberry. As far as books are concerned, she doesn’t read much for fun, but she does have a preference for Pride and Prejudice. Her favorite hobby is cooking. She has a dog named Nala, who is part pit-bull and part Border collie.

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Research Assistant Spotlight: Rongxiu Wu

by Bill Mazzoleni

Rongxiu Wu is from Anhui Province, China. Two years ago, she chose to study at UK as a doctoral student. She formerly studied at Shanghai University in China and her major was Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. She currently studies Quantitative and Psychometric Methods in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky.

Working at HDI, Rongxiu assists Christina Espinosa with an online course as her teaching assistant. She does some revising, transcribing and captioning. She also helps Megan Jasperson with HDI’s Health and Wellness Program by doing some data analysis for it. She enjoys working in such an inclusive environment. She wants to apply what she learns from data analysis to the research of disability areas.

She enjoys doing yoga when she has the time. She also enjoys drinking Green Tea Frappuccino at Starbucks. She has traveled around the U.S. and the world. She has half of a year exchange experience at University College Cork in Ireland as a graduate student from China.  It was the first time she got to know other people with disabilities, and she saw a big difference in how people with disabilities are treated.

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Remote Staff Spotlight: Stephanie Meredith

By Bill Mazzoleni

Stephanie Meredith is HDI’s Information Services Director. She has worked at HDI for five years. What brought her to HDI is her and Harold Kleinert’s work on resources about Down syndrome for new and expectant parents. They met in 2007 at a conference about setting the research agenda for Down syndrome at the CDC, and he started reviewing material that Meredith created about Down syndrome. He was also working on the Brighter Tomorrow’s website. In 2012, they decided to come together and put their projects as one National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources at HDI. Stephanie also works on the KentuckyWorks Grant employment project. This focuses on youth with significant intellectual disabilities transitioning from high school to work or post-secondary education. Continue reading

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Research Assistant Spotlight: Bradley McDaniels

by Bill Mazzoleni

Bradley McDaniels is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. However, he has been in Kentucky since 1989. He is currently working on his PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling.

He received his BS in biology and chemistry from Eastern Kentucky University in 1992. He is working for Dr. Bishop as a Research Assistant on a national project funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). This project is aimed at assisting people with disabilities from underserved communities who achieve independent living and vocational goals. He chose to work at HDI specifically to be able to continue to work with Dr. Bishop who has been instrumental in his development both as a student and an aspiring professional.

Bradley’s favorite ice cream flavor is Rocky Road. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is his favorite book. After completing his doctorate, he hopes to obtain a position at a research institution where he can implement what he has learned while a student at UK and RA at HDI. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the outstanding work being done at HDI.