Education and Training

2023 - 2024 Trainees

  • Keerthana Arjuna

    Keerthana Arjuna

    Keerthana Arjuna is a dental student at West Virginia University. She currently serves as the Vice President of WVU School of Dentistry’s American Student Dental Association. Through the LEND program, she hopes to learn how to provide more inclusive care to patients, learn more about the specific challenges that dental treatment may require, and assist in incorporating more disability education into dental training.
  • Zachariah Backus

    Zachariah Backus

    Zachariah Backus is a graduate student from Barboursville, WV studying speech-language pathology. He graduated from WVU with a BS in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in addiction studies. In undergrad, he was a Resident Assistant and Orientation Leader, and was active in undergraduate research and the Student Government Association. His goals with the LEND program are to learn more about the disability community and how to better work with them and advocate for their needs.
  • Elliana Bohan

    Elliana Bohan

    Elliana Bohan is a public health student with an area of emphasis in patient navigation at West Virginia University. She currently works as a student navigator for Regional Transition Navigator Services (RTNS) here at the CED. Through RTNS, she hopes to gain insight about mental health struggles and substance use disorders in young adults to better assist them in navigating adulthood.
  • Megan Bruce

    Megan Bruce

    Occupational Therapy
  • Cheryl Childs

    Cheryl Childs

    Cheryl Childs is the Administrative Secretary of the Family to Family and Paths for Parents programs at the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities. As a single mom with a disability, Cheryl hopes to share her life experiences in order to rid society of stereotypical mindsets and create a more inclusive future for others with disabilities.
  • Emily Cooper

    Emily Cooper

    Emily Cooper is a student in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at West Virginia University. She currently serves as a Student Navigator with the Regional Transition Navigator Services (RTNS). Through her time as a Student Navigator, she hopes to gain experience and knowledge that she can incorporate into her future career as a social worker by communicating with clients and learning about resources throughout the state.
  • Paige Degori

    Paige Degori

    Communication Sciences
  • Madison DeVaughn

    Madison DeVaughn

    Madison DeVaughn is a graduate student from Sistersville, WV studying speech-language pathology. She graduated with a BS in communication sciences and disorders with a double minor in medical health humanities and disability studies. Throughout undergrad she was an officer in National Society of Leadership and Success, Student Speech and Hearing Club, and a Country Roads peer mentor. Her goals with LEND include learning how to work, advocate and help the disability community while gaining more knowledge.
  • Maya Dosembet

    Maya Dosembet

    Clinical Psychology
  • Jenna Foster

    Jenna Foster

    Jenna Foster is a third-year medical student at West Virginia University. She just began her clinical rotations and aspires to become an internal medicine physician in the near future. She is excited to begin working with the Country Roads Peer Mentor program because she would like to return the favor after having several mentors provide valuable help throughout her own schooling journey. Through this program she hopes to learn more about the hardships faced by students with disabilities along their educational road, and to help provide a move inclusive and positive experience on campus.
  • Hannah Gain

    Hannah Gain

    Hannah Gain is an undergraduate student in the communication sciences and disorders major at West Virginia University. She is currently a member of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association and works for Adventure WV as a zipline guide. With her experiences in the LEND program, she wishes to increase her awareness of the challenges those with disabilities face to become a more empathetic and inclusive advocate, to incorporate these ideals into her care for future patients, and strengthen her skills in diagnosing and treating speech, language, and swallowing disorders.
  • Evan Jennings

    Evan Jennings

    Evan Jennings is a local West Virginian student attending his second year of the physical therapy program at West Virginia University. Evan is a member of the Army National Guard, has experience in rural health services in southern West Virginia, and has worked in acute care settings at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Evan has a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology with a minor in personal training. As part of the LEND program, he hopes to gain further knowledge about disabilities in the community, advocacy, public resources, and interdisciplinary skills to help guide his practice as a future physical therapist.
  • Miranda Kilwein

    Miranda Kilwein

    Public Health
  • Haley Kolos

    Haley Kolos

    Haley Kolos is a first-year graduate student pursuing her doctorate of audiology (AuD) degree. She previously received her Bachelor of Science degree in communication sciences and disorders and a minor certificate in psychology from West Virginia University. Haley is looking forward to broadening her knowledge of a diverse patient population and increasing interdisciplinary skills as a LEND Trainee.
  • Melissa Learish

    Melissa Learish

    Melissa Learish is a second-year Occupational Therapy Doctorate (ODT) student at West Virginia University. She has previous clinical and professional experience working with children, families and adults with varying abilities in multiple settings. Melissa has volunteered with the Buddy program and Special Olympics, is a certified water safety instructor, has completed undergraduate work and research at the University of Delaware majoring in health behavior science with a disability studies concentration, and worked as an outpatient Rehabilitation Tech. Through the LEND program, she would like to continue her journey into learning about disabilities and advocacy. She also hopes to learn more about the experiences of families of individuals with disabilities so she can become more comfortable and help advocate for and empower them.
  • Michael Loudon

    Michael Loudon

    Country Roads Alumni
  • Gianna Luisi

    Gianna Luisi

    Gianna Luisi is a first-year graduate student at West Virginia University studying speech-language pathology. In December 2022, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communication sciences and disorders from WVU. She has previous experience working as a behavioral therapist at Key Learning Autism Center, and volunteer experience at Stepping Stones and the West Virginia Assistive Technology System (WVATS) loan library. As a LEND Trainee, Gianna hopes to gain experience treating pediatric patients with feeding and swallowing disorders while working on an interprofessional team to create the best outcomes for clients!
  • Kylie Mattes

    Kylie Mattes

    Public Health
  • Laura McCray

    Laura McCray

    Occupational Therapy
  • Chloe Mikorski

    Chloe Mikorski

    Chloe Mikorski is a second-year dual degree graduate student, pursuing a MSW and MPA. Her academic journey is centered on her passion for substance use disorders, recovery and advocating for marginalized communities. As a LEND trainee, Chloe aims to cultivate advocacy and leadership skills that will amplify her ability to drive positive change throughout her future career.
  • Cecilia Napier

    Cecilia Napier

    Occupational Therapy
  • Kaleigh Papez

    Kaleigh Papez

    Occupational Therapy
  • Mackenzie Read

    Mackenzie Read

    Speech Pathology
  • Shayna Rexrode

    Shayna Rexrode

    Shayna Rexrode is an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) student at West Virginia University. She grew up in rural West Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marshall University. She has always been passionate about working with children and has previous professional experience teaching kids in elementary and middle school. During her time with LEND, Shayna aims to gain meaningful healthcare experiences working with children, families and other professionals in her home state. She hopes that her experiences with LEND will supplement her occupational therapy curriculum to prepare her to be a capable and caring practitioner and leader in the future.
  • Madisyn Reynolds

    Madisyn Reynolds

    Madisyn Reynolds is a graduate student on course to complete her doctorate degree in audiology (AuD) in 2025. She graduated from West Virginia University in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in communication science and disorders. She is a LEND Trainee who is looking forward to strengthening her skills in working with interdisciplinary teams, proving patient-centered care and advocating for those who are unable. Her time with LEND will give her more experience working with pediatric patients, which she aspires to work with one day in an Ears, Nose, and Throat setting. She is also interested in pursuing her PhD to teach audiology courses at a college level.
  • Jamie A. Riddell

    Jamie A. Riddell

    Jamie A. Riddell is a law student at West Virginia University College of Law and is expected to graduate in May 2025. Ms. Riddell currently holds a master’s degree in criminal justice and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and political science. All of her prior degrees were obtained at Fairmont State University. Ms. Riddell has several years of experience in the legal field as a paralegal and recently had the opportunity to work as a summer intern for a well-regarded plaintiff’s firm. Ms. Riddell hopes to utilize the information and practical experience the LEND program provides to its trainees to expand her knowledge about the specific needs of individuals with disabilities to better accommodate them once she becomes a practicing attorney.
  • Jackie Rosiek

    Jackie Rosiek

    Jackie Rosiek is a third-year pharmacy student at WVU. She has gained clinical experience working in the Discharge Pharmacy at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV and Black Bear Pharmacy in Beckley, WV. She is the president of the Alpha Omicron chapter of Lambda Kappa Sigma, an international professional pharmacy sorority. She is also vice president of Phi Lambda Sigma, a pharmacy honor society promoting leadership skills in future pharmacists. As a LEND Trainee, she hopes to better understand how to care for patients with disabilities and gain experience working on interprofessional healthcare teams.
  • Colton Sanders

    Colton Sanders

    Colton Sanders is a Morgantown native currently pursuing a degree in public health with an emphasis in patient navigation at West Virginia University. Colton's decision to join the Regional Transition Navigator Services (RTNS) program was motivated by a strong desire to explore multiple strategies for assisting troubled youth across the state. Through this program, he hopes to gain valuable insights into the various agencies utilized in addressing the needs of young individuals and contribute positively to their well-being.
  • Abbey Tennant

    Abbey Tennant

    Country Roads Alumni
  • Ellis Walker

    Ellis Walker

    Ellis Walker is an undergraduate student at WVU pursuing her BS in psychology with minors in disability studies and creative writing. She has previous experience with Therapy Abroad in Stolat, Bulgaria, where she observed and worked under an occupational therapist in both the geriatric and pediatric populations. Ellis hopes that her time at the CED will help her grow in the healthcare field.