HDI means very much to me. I am honored to have been a part of HDI. It is a place of opportunity, where very committed and hard-working people are supported in pursuing creative and effective approaches to fulfilling a challenging and very important mission.
—Malachy Bishop, Ph.D., CRC, Norman L. and Barbara M. Berven Professor of Rehabilitation Psychology in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education at UW Madison & Past HDI Director of Research and Development
How did you come to know HDI?
Mostly through the work of Kathy Sheppard-Jones. I came to UK in 2000 as a faculty in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program. I quickly came to know HDI through shared interests with Kathy and Harold Kleinert. I had also been an MCH-LEND scholar while I was a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I became familiar with University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service.
How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
I worked with Kathy and Harold and Christina Espinosa Bard for several years on various projects before I became the HDI Director of Research and Development in 2014. I was in that role through 2018 when I took my current position with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am very happy to still be working with HDI on some projects.
During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
I was always proud to be associated with HDI. It is an exceptional organization, with staff who are deeply committed to the HDI mission, and who do their work with passion. In my role as Director of Research I particularly enjoyed the opportunities to involve students from diverse academic backgrounds with the work and mission of HDI and see how they informed and expanded the work with their own contributions.
Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI?
There are so many wonderful people at HDI who I fondly remember. I particularly miss research meetings with Kathy, and her amazing ability to find creative, cooperative solutions to difficult research problems; hearing Harold’s laugh; and meeting with our community partners around the state with Christina.
What do you think the future holds for HDI?
HDI is in great hands. The tradition of exceptional leadership continues and the amazing people at HDI will continue to do their great work in promoting the inclusion, independence, and contributions of people with disabilities and their families throughout the lifespan, across Kentucky and the nation.