The College of Health and Human Services held its annual Spring Recognition Ceremony on Monday, April 9. One hundred and thirty students, family members, friends, faculty members, and college administrators were in attendance. The outstanding students honored during the event were nominated by the faculty. These students represent the best and brightest. Their accomplishments to date are extraordinary.
School of Health Sciences
Health Sciences students
Julie Lahtonen (Aging Studies Minor)
A psychology major, Julie is a member of EMU’s Honors College, the Honors Fraternity Phi Kappa Phi, and the Aging Studies Program Student Organization. She has collaborated with Dr. David Thomas (Therapeutic Recreation) and Dr. Jennifer Avery (Nursing) on research that focused on the coping and uncertainty among older adults with mild cognitive impairment. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in General Psychology.
Nicholas Hill (M.S. in Clinical Research Administration)
Nick earned an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Central Michigan University before joining the Clinical Research Administration program in 2016. Since beginning the program, he completed an internship with AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company in Wilmington, Delaware. He is now working as a clinical research coordinator for Henry Ford Health System. Nick exemplifies the type of student every graduate program would like to have. He is self-driven and motivated.
Jessie Coburn (M.S. in Dietetics)
Jessie earned an undergraduate degree in Nutritional Science from Brigham Young University. She is an active member of the EMU Student Dietetic Association. Jessie is on track to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist later this year. Her career interests include weight management, bariatric surgery, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Elizabeth McEvoy (B.S. in Dietetics)
In addition to earning a 3.93 GPA, Elizabeth has served as the Vice President of the Student Dietetic Association, and as an executive board member with Circle K International, a service organization on campus. She has worked with Gleaners Food Bank delivering meals and nutrition education to children in Detroit and participated in research with Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels. Elizabeth plans to pursue a Master of Public Health degree.
Anna Barikmo (Graduate Certificate in Gerontology)
Anna received her Bachelor of Social Work from EMU and will be completing her Master of Social Work this month. Her research interests include advocating for accessible and affordable housing for seniors. Anna has been a caregiver for elders for six years. She will begin a new position as a social worker at Kindred Hospice where she will provide resources, support and education to families and patients who are going through the hospice experience.
Taylor Paige (Master of Health Administration)
Taylor is a registered dietitian who has worked at Mott Children’s Hospital for three years. She also volunteers at food pantries around southeastern Michigan and mentors girls through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She is a dedicated, hard-working student, who will use her passion for nutrition and administrative skills to improve the health of patients, clinicians, and caregivers in the future.
Shelby Darrell (B.S. in Health Administration)
An engaged and enthusiastic learner, Shelby has excelled in the classroom earning all A’s in her major. Beyond the classroom, Shelby has been an active member of her sorority and served in a number of leadership roles in EMU’s Chapter of Delta Zeta. She currently serves as the Executive Vice President for the EMU Panhellenic Council where she has responsibility for developing, implementing, and expanding risk management and wellness programming for all sororities on campus.
Manjinder Mavi (B.S. in Public Health)
Manny has demonstrated strong academic performance in all of his courses and has particularly excelled in the health administration track of the public health major. He is currently an Associate Supervisor for Patient Food and Nutrition Services at Michigan Medicine where he and his team serve a large number of patients and customers. Manny’s thoughtful and energetic approach to learning will continue to serve as one of is strongest assets as he moves into the next stages of his professional development.
Anthony Giordano (M.S. in Human Nutrition)
In addition to excelling in the classroom (4.0 GPA), Tony has worked as a personal trainer, a manager for a corporate fitness company, a high school weightlifting coach, and at a community college wellness center. Tony’s great interest in sports nutrition developed from his personal experience as an athlete and witnessing the impact that healthy eating had on his muscle strength and performance. After graduation, Tony plans to teach at a community college to share the skills and knowledge gained from his EMU education.
Rachel Wehrly (Master of Occupational Therapy)
Rachel earned an undergraduate degree in Biopsychology and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. She is the president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association, and taught OCTH 201: Exploring Occupational Performance in the Community during the Winter 2018 semester. This experience has further developed her understanding of the foundations of occupation and created professional relationships with community agencies.
Monica Moyet (B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation)
Before enrolling in the Therapeutic Recreation program, Monica worked for five years at an independent retirement home where she realized her passion for therapeutic recreation. She received excellent evaluations in two practicums at Henry Ford Hospital and the Gilbert Residence. Monica is driven by her own standards of performance which served to separate her from her peers.
School of Health Promotion and Human Performance
Health Promotion and Human Performance students
Sarah Holt (Bachelor of Athletic Training)
Sarah’s passion for participating in sports fueled her desire to become an athletic trainer. Her career goals are to obtain a position as a hockey Athletic Trainer. Long term she would like to return to school and become a physician assistant working with sports medicine and orthopedics.
Luke McCormick (M.S. in Exercise Physiology)
Luke earned a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Michigan State. For the past two years, he has been a graduate assistant in the Exercise Physiology program. He has taught labs and assisted in the exercise testing and techniques courses. Luke’s thesis focused on VO2 max and current wearable technology. He presented his research at local, regional and national conferences.
Dakota Burke (B.S. in Exercise Science)
Dakota has excelled in the classroom completing all of his major requirements, as well as pre-admission courses for medical school with a 3.97 GPA. While doing so, he contributed to Dr. Steve McGregor’s research on acceleration profiles and training loads in national-level hockey players. Dakota has presented at statewide and national American College of Sports Medicine conferences.
Mesha Terrell (M.S. in Health Education)
Mesha has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in and out of the classroom. In addition to her job in Worksite Wellness Education where she manages corporate fitness and health behavior programs, she is also a fitness coordinator and instructor at a dance studio and two community recreation centers. Her commitment to community health is evidence by her service as a community care and Health & Wellness Coordinator at Pineview church. Mesha is currently completing her internship at IHA and plans to work as a Diabetes Prevention Coordinator.
Courtney Smith (Health Education)
Courtney, a Public Health major in the Community Health Education track, will graduate Magna Cum Laude this spring. Her passion is working for the primary prevention of disease and injury while being an advocate for individuals who cannot advocate for themselves. Courtney serves as Chapter President of Eta Sigma Gamma, the National Health Education Honor Society.
Samantha Stauffer (Orthotics and Prosthetics)
A graduate of EMU’s Exercise Science program, Samantha has excelled in the O&P program. She volunteers for many events on campus, particularly those for persons with disabilities. Her positive attitude and willingness to help others has made her an invaluable member of the program. Samantha will complete her residency at the University of California in San Francisco.
Taylor Scarantino (Physical Education)
Taylor is an example of what the future of education should be – she is caring, compassionate, and has shown she can handle all challenges that come her way. Taylor will complete her student teaching in Physical Education during the Fall semester. She is passionate about making Physical Education a daily part of a child’s school day.
Devin O’Neill (M.S. in Sport Management)
Devin is an outstanding student who has excelled in and out of the classroom. He currently works at USA Hockey, and serves as the media contact for the Czech Republic for the 5-Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor. He also works at the Saline Recreation Center as a building supervisor, camp counselor, and staff trainer. Devin excels at being a team leader.
Jonathan Evans (B.S. in Sport Management)
Jonathan has excelled in the classroom with a 4.0 GPA during his time at EMU. In addition to his educational pursuits, he serves as a baseball coach at Garden City High School and the Michigan Sports Academy. Jonathan plans to pursue a graduate degree in Sports Psychology. His career goals are to be a college head baseball coach, or to own his own baseball and softball training facility.
Makayla Boyink (B.S. in Sport Management)
Makayla has double majored in Sport Management and Communication while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She completed internships at Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority and Ann Arbor YMCA and is currently completing her final internship requirement with Canton Leisure Services at Summit on the Park. She is excited to start her career in community recreation in Auburn Hills.
School of Nursing
Israa Berro (M.S. in Nursing)
Israa is an MSN student in the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program. She has been a surgical RN at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn. Israa strives to be a conduit for patient empowerment, while working in conjunction with patients toward a share vision of wellness and quality of life.
Peter Brinson (B.S. in Nursing)
Peter earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Purdue University before enrolling in EMU’s 2nd Degree program. He has accepted a job at the Cleveland Clinic on the Cardiothoracic Surgery Stepdown unit after graduation. His decision to become a nurse is driven by his experience as a kidney transplant recipient, which strengthens his resolve to provide the best care possible.
Hussein Dakhlallah (RN to BSN)
Hussein began his nursing career after graduating from Henry Ford Community College. He works as an RN at St. John Providence Hospital and has been a nurse for eight years. He began his career working on a pulmonary specialty unit and has since been working in the intensive care unit. Hussein plans to pursue a master’s degree with aspirations to becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist.
Social Work students
Aleyah Kelly (Master of Social Work)
Aleyah is a graduate of EMU’s BSW program and is currently excelling in the MSW program. She is doing her field placement with Making Youth Matter Mentoring Program and is a Graduate Assistant at Ypsilanti Community High School. Aleyah worked with two other MSW students to collaborate with community agencies and local businesses in creating a calendar of events for participants of Making Youth Matter. She also served as an invaluable member of the School of Social Work Activism and Advocacy Day planning committee.
Zainab Bashir (Bachelor of Social Work)
Zainab confidently uses her voice and writings to challenge and dismantle white supremacy and racism. She has written several hundred Twitter posts where she speaks about standing and witnessing for her African American brothers and sisters; speaking truth to power; and commenting on how we must learn from truth even though it hurts. Zainab teaches, inspires, and stands as an example of a social workers commitment to the fight for social justice.
Marshall Awards for Faculty Excellence
In addition to honoring our outstanding students, two faculty members received the Everett L. Marshall Award for Faculty Excellence. The recipients demonstrated their exceptional achievements in their chosen category, with emphasis on outcomes and impact upon students, the college, the university, the community, and/or the profession.
Dr. Sarah Shea
Dr. Sarah Shea (School of Social Work)
Dr. Sarah Shea from the School of Social Work received the Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activity Award. Dr. Shea’s research focuses on the professional development of Infant Mental Health (IMH) providers in under-resourced communities. She has co-authored four successful grants to fund her work. Sarah’s research career at EMU is linked to her rich contributions to an interdisciplinary community of scholars in the area of infant mental health. Sarah is a member of research workgroups including the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health Research Group, the IMH Endorsement Evaluation Group, the IMH Home Visiting Evaluation Research Advisory Board, and the IMH Home Visiting Evaluation Reflective Supervision Group. The significance of Sarah’s contributions to the field of IMH were recognized by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health with the 2017 Hiram Fitzgerald Emerging Scholar Research Award, awarded to one researcher every two years who advances study promoting the healthy development of vulnerable young children and their families.
Professor Courtney Lewis
Prof. Courtney Lewis (Athletic Training Program)
Professor Courtney Lewis from the Athletic Training program in the School of Health Promotion and Human Performance received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Courtney has been a tremendous asset to the Athletic Training program and its students. Her colleagues directly correlate the improvement in their students’ pass rate on the Board of Certification Exam to her abilities as an instructor. In addition to her work in the classroom, Courtney developed a mini-conference as a forum for Athletic Training students to present their research and has played an important role in the development of two new Athletic Training programs. As one of her students wrote, “Courtney is a tremendous professor and someone I consider a true role model in my life. She is passionate for her work, her students, and the profession as a whole.”