Photo of Jessica Gregory in a ballerina pose. She has brown hair and glasses.

Research Assistant Spotlight: Jessica Gregory

Article by: Bill Mazzoleni

Jessica Gregory is a PhD student at the University of Kentucky. She is in her second semester studying school Psychology. She is originally from Kansas City, Missouri; however, she has been living in San Antonio, Texas for the past 8 years. Jessica moved to Kentucky for the PhD program at UK.

Jessica is currently at HDI working on the Quality of Life survey with Laura Butler. She obtains data regarding individuals who transitioned from Personal Care Homes. Jessica is interested in working with individuals whom have developmental disabilities. She did not receive any training about the special needs population during her Master’s Degree. Working at HDI gives her the opportunity to further her education.

Jessica stated, “I am really excited to be able to advocate for individuals who may not be able to advocate for themselves.”  She also added,” the more she works, the more she sees that there’s an extreme need for it.”

Jessica’s favorite flavor of ice-cream is chocolate chip cookie dough. Her favorite book would have to be one of the many books from the Star Wars series.

Photo of Lisa Dunkley

Research Assistant Spotlight: Lisa Dunkley

Article by Bill Mazzoleni. Photo by Kari Jones.

Lisa Dunkley was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She has a BSC in Psychology and a MA in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is pursuing the doctoral program in Rehabilitation Counseling in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation.

Her research interest is focusing on the offender population inclusive of juvenile offenders. She is currently working at HDI as a Research Assistant with Jill Griffiths on the College and Career Readiness Project. She is also pursuing the graduate certificate in Developmental Disabilities and the AUCD Trainee Liaison.

I’m interested in working at HDI because it offers me an excellent overview of intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. It has given me a great opportunity to learn more about working with the childhood and adolescent population as opposed to adults.

Ms. Dunkley’s long term goal is to become a Dean of an institute and employ what she has learned to create a more inclusive and accessible environment for individuals with disabilities in higher education.

Research Assistant Spotlight: Stephen Craker

Article by Bill Mazzoleni. Photo by Kari Jones.

HDI Research Assistant, Stephen Craker, was born in Indiana where he graduated with a degree in Psychology. He is specializing in school Psychology. Currently, he is working with Christina Espinosa. He helps Ms. Espinosa with capturing and transcribing presentations. He also assists her with rehab data entry. Along with Ms. Espinosa, Mr. Craker also works with Walt Bower with marketing at seminars. Mr. Craker’s favorite flavor of ice cream is coffee, and his favorite book is The Great Divorce.

Mr. Craker is interested and excited to learn and develop his knowledge while studying and assisting current research. His ultimate goal is to bring awareness and understanding at all levels to the schools he will work in. He would like to bring awareness to administration, faculty, students, etc. He would like to be able to bring knowledge through research and practical experiences to be able to live alongside students who are living with disabilities.