Student-Instructor Partnerships in Clinical Education

Clinical Education Learning Community


During the 2022-23 academic year, the Faculty Development Center (FDC) hosted a learning community called Teaching and Learning Together (TaLT) that aimed to develop and nurture partnerships between students and faculty on EMU’s campus. This group has been very successful in exploring these partnerships and how to foster them in their own lives. For the 2023-24 academic year, the FDC, with the support of the College of Education (COE) and the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), returns with a second learning community, this one focused solely on clinical education and student-clinical educator partnerships.

We aim to bring students and educators together to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership that improve belonging in clinical education. We have begun to explore the potential impact of incivility in clinical education and the importance of belonging for the clinical learner and have included relevant literature in our annotated bibliography. Based on this research, our leaders on this initiative, Alivia English and Dr. Courtney Lewis, have written a blog post, “Belongingness in Clinical Education,” which aims to highlight the ways in which the students and clinical educators as a whole can benefit from enhancing belongingness in clinical education.

This learning community will expand on the findings of TaLT and focus on identifying mechanisms for increasing belonging in clinical education with an emphasis on the areas of receptiveness, inclusion and exclusion, legitimization of the student role, recognition and appreciation, and challenge and support. If you are interested in engaging with a group of students and educators to explore this idea further, consider applying to be a member of this learning community.

If you have any questions regarding this learning community or future involvement in related opportunities, please contact either Dr. Courtney Lewis ([email protected]), the lead faculty member, or Alivia English ([email protected]), the lead student. 

This learning community will meet on the following days from 11 AM - 12:30 PM in 109 Halle:

  • Thursday, September 7th: Clinical instructor-only focus group 
  • Thursday, September 14th: Student-only focus group
  • Thursday, September 28th: Full-group meeting
  • Thursday, October 19th: Full-group meeting
  • Thursday, November 9th: Full-group meeting 
  • Thursday, December 7th: Full-group meeting
  • Thursday, February 8th: Full-group meeting
  • Thursday, March 7th: Full-group meeting
  • Thursday, March 21st: Student-only focus group
  • Thursday, March 28th: Clinical instructor-only focus group
  • Thursday, April 11th: Full-group meeting
  • Adrienna Bartnicki Expand dropdown

    Adrienna Bartnicki

    I am Adrienna Bartnicki, a passionate, registered and licensed occupational therapist!

    Once I saw the profound impact OTs have on meaning-making and quality of life with their clients, I was sold on this career! I find occupational therapy to provide engaging, exhilarating, problem-solving opportunities that lead to a fulfilling work week. I earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees from Eastern Michigan University. In addition, I have a certification as an Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist and training in Nutritional and Integrative Medicine for Mental Health Professionals. I have experience working in outpatient pediatric clinics and many schools across Southeast Michigan from ages 18 months to 26 years. I am a part-time lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. I lead Level I fieldwork in pediatric settings in the community and at the College Supports Program on campus. In March of 2022, I started my own OT service called Interstellar Players OT, LLC.

    For fun, I help plan an inspiring and educational OT conference at EMU! I am also the President of Eastern Michigan University’s Alumni Chapter and co-leader of the Huron Valley Chapter of the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association.

  • Carly Carrasco-Wyant Expand dropdown

    Carly Carrasco-Wyant

    Carly (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in her fifth year of the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Eastern Michigan. She teaches undergraduate courses in psychology, including Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Clinical Psychology, and Psychotherapy. She is passionate about improving education on the intersection of mental and physical for students and practitioners. She is currently completing her dissertation on family and intimate relationship influences on weight concern and will be completing her internship in Health Psychology next year.
  • Alivia English Expand dropdown

    Alivia English

    Alivia is a graduate student now studying Communication Sciences and Disorders at EMU after receiving her bachelor's degree in Linguistics at Oakland University. She works as a Graduate Assistant for the Faculty Development Center on campus, and she enjoys the work that the FDC does to support strong partnerships between students and instructors. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly within clinical education.
  • Charles Graham Expand dropdown

    Charles Graham

    Dr. Graham is an associate professor in the School of Social Work. As a practicing licensed clinical social worker and psychologist , Dr. Graham has extensive clinical experience working  in private, non-nonprofit and governmental clinical settings, where he has provided and supervised psychotherapeutic interventions for adults and children. Much of his clinical work and training has focused on adolescents and young adults with  addictions and other psychological disorders and served within the criminal/ juvenile justice system  and health service institutions. 
    Dr. Graham’s past research projects have focused on juvenile delinquency,  Black male adolescent suicidality, addiction and the interactive effects of gender and race youth and young adults with mental health issues.  His aim through research is to develop culturally appropriate and appealing interventions that will lead to improved mental health service utilization.
  • Maitri Jain Expand dropdown

    Maitri Jain

    Maitri is a 2nd year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at EMU. She works in the Self-Regulation, Early Experiences, and Development (SEED) Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Jamie Lawler to study early life adversities, parent-child relationships, and children's emotion regulation. Clinically, she is interested in working with trauma-exposed young children. After graduation, she hopes to work in a university medical center, balancing her research and clinical work.
  • Jamie Lawler Expand dropdown

    Jamie Lawler

    Dr. Jamie Lawler is a clinical and developmental psychologist with expertise in early adversity, parenting, and self-regulation. Her research program is grounded in developmental psychopathology and focuses on the impact of early life stress on the socioemotional development of children. She has a particular interest in the development of self-regulation, parent-child relationship factors that promote resilience, and interventions to support positive development in high-risk children. Her teaching interests include developmental psychology, child and adolescent therapy, and developmental psychopathology.
  • Courtney Lewis Expand dropdown

    Dr. Courtney Lewis

    Courtney is an Associate Professor in the Athletic Training Program. She holds the belief that collaborating with students and giving them the tools they need to succeed is a critical part of working as a faculty member. She is driven by the idea that the goal is always growth, and together we will get there. Her research interests include how athletic training students experience their education, particularly how they integrate the didactic and clinical components of their education. She is excited for this learning community and the opportunity to broaden her research interests outside of athletic training and to clinical education at large.
  • Jaydene Morris-Wagner Expand dropdown
  • Elizabeth Neilson Expand dropdown

    Elizabeth Neilson

    Elizabeth Neilson (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the EMU Community Behavioral Health Clinic. Her research investigates the intersection of gender-based violence, substance use, and reproductive health. She integrates theories and methods from psychology, social work, and public health to identify risk and protective factors contributing to these phenomena and to develop novel treatments. She provides clinical supervision in cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure-based therapies focused on trauma and substance-related concerns. 
  • Karen Parish-Foster Expand dropdown

    Karen Parish-Foster

    Karen has been a Speech-Language Pathologist Clinical Educator at EMU’s on-campus Speech and Hearing Clinic for the past 10 years. Her undergrad and graduate degrees were both earned from EMU. Karen’s background includes working in various clinical and educational based environments assisting children and adults with improving their communication abilities. Her main areas of focus are child language, literacy development, stuttering, and apraxia. She believes that empowering graduate student clinicians through mentorship and partnering opportunities has positive, lasting effects throughout students’ future careers when interacting with clients, families, colleagues, and teams. Karen is excited to be a part of this learning community. She welcomes new experiences to build her skills in meaningful partnerships with students. Her hobbies and interests outside of the work environment include bicycling, hiking, reading, gardening, listening to live music, cooking Paleo dishes, and spending time with family.
  • Nick Pomante Expand dropdown

    Nick Pomante

    Nick Pomante is a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in Human Nutrition. Nick began his career in private practice where he provided nutrition counseling to individuals looking to manage weight, reverse diabetes and improve sports performance. Nick’s graduate studies sparked an interest in corporate wellness and upon graduation, Nick served as the Employee Wellness Coordinator and then Student Wellness Coordinator at EMU where he planned health and wellness programs and services for the EMU Community. He now serves as the Clinical Coordinator of the Dietetics program at EMU where he works with dietitians to secure internship placements for EMU Dietetic students. Nick enjoys working with preceptors from around the country to design quality educational experiences that prepare the next generation of Registered Dietitians to be the trusted voice in nutrition.
  • Jodi Schumacher Expand dropdown

    Jodi Schumacher

    Jodi has been a BOC-certified athletic trainer since 1994. She received her bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1993 and her masters from the University of Florida in 1997. She has practiced athletic training in the clinical, high school and collegiate settings. She returned as a faculty member in the athletic training program here at Eastern Michigan University in 1997, serving as the program director for many years. Jodi resides in Canton, Mich., with her family: her husband Mark and three kids; Emma, Mitchell and Ryan.
  • Rebecca Spragg Expand dropdown

    Rebecca Spragg

    Rebecca Spragg is a certified prosthetist-orthotist. She teaches in the graduate orthotics and prosthetics program where she is the program director and clinical coordinator. She also practices part-time in O&P, specializing in pediatrics. Her interest in student-instructor partnerships stems from the dual role she serves in educating both students prior to graduation and residents after graduation. She is hoping to expand her understanding of the needs of students and residents and further develop her skills as an effective instructor to better prepare individuals for lifelong careers in O&P. 
  • Rachel Tindall Expand dropdown

    Rachel Tindall

    Rachel Tindall is a Master's-level student studying Occupational Therapy at EMU. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Cornerstone University with a focus on Family Studies. She has a passion for helping people reach their full potential and enjoys spending time with her family, mentoring, swimming, gardening, and loves the challenge of a good jigsaw puzzle!