Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Dr. Karen Hegland Kicks Off 23rd Annual ISARP Meeting in Seattle

Dr. Karen Hegland (right), who is currently serving a two-year term as president of the International Society for the Advancement of Respiratory Psychophysiology (ISARP), participated in the society’s 23rd annual meeting from October 7-9, in Seattle, Washington. The multidisciplinary meeting featured two distinguished keynote speakers, Dr. Jeanette Hoit from the University of Arizona (middle), and Dr. Bradley Undem from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Hegland delivered a presidential speech to kick off the conference entitled, “Breathing and other life sustaining behaviors.” The goal of the speech was to highlight the important integration of research findings and methods of the meeting’s attendees, who brought very diverse research backgrounds and interests to the society.

Ali Barikroo, PhD Candidate, Awarded Voucher by CTSI to Use HealthStreet Recruitment Services

We are pleased to announce that one of our PhD candidates, Ali Barikroo, has been awarded a $1300 voucher from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Florida to be used for the specialized recruitment services provided by HealthStreet. This award will significantly facilitate subject recruitment for his dissertation research to study the effects of optimized electrical stimulation parameters on swallowing physiology in healthy older adults. Upon completion of his PhD program, Ali hopes to continue working in the research academic environment.

HealthStreet is an innovative community engagement program at the University of Florida that links people, based on their needs and concerns, to medical and social services and opportunities to participate in research.

SLHS Faculty and Students Present Research at State-Wide Psycholinguistics Conference

Dr. Lori Altmann (left) and PhD students, Ana Rivera and Jingchen Xu, from the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences recently presented their research at the 2nd annual meeting of the Florida Psycholinguistics Society. This year’s meeting was held at Florida Atlantic University in Davie, Florida. Attendees came from universities throughout Florida, including FSU, UF, UCF, FAU, FIU, and the University of Miami. Topics covered included bilingualism, language acquisition, sentence processing, language in the brain, and cognitive effects on language production. Planning is underway for the 2017 meeting which will be held at UF and will be organized by the UF Language and Brain Interest Group steering committee. For more information about the latter group, contact Lori Altmann (laltmann@ufl.edu).


Clinical and Health Psychology

Dr. Peter Lang Receives New NIMH Grant

A new study entitled “Fear, Anxiety, and Depression: Measuring brain and body in mental disorders,” is supported by a new initiative of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that aims to increase research on the physical changes in brain and body that accompany mental distress. The principal investigator, Peter J. Lang, PhD, is a graduate research professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, and director of the Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention (CSEA) and its affiliated Fear and Anxiety Disorders Clinic. Congratulations to Dr. Lang! Read more

 Augmenting Cognitive Training (ACT) In Older Adults

A few weeks ago, the National Institute on Aging announced that it would fund a UF grant proposal that would test the efficacy of certain methods designed to slow the process of age-associated memory loss and potentially prevent onset of dementia. This five-year, $5.7 million grant is titled, Augmenting Clinical Training in Older Adults: The “ACT Study.” The lead principal investigator is Adam Woods, PhD, who recently joined the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology as an assistant professor and as assistant director of the Cognitive Aging and Memory Clinical Translational Research Program, known as CAM-CTRP. He is joined by two other PIs:  Michael Marsiske, PhD (left), an associate professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, and Ronald Cohen, PhD, the Evelyn F. McKnight chair for clinical translational research in cognitive aging and director of the CAM-CTRP.


Dean's Office

George Hack Appointed Assistant Dean for Instructional Design and Educational Technology

George Hack, PhD, has been named the Assistant Dean for Instructional Design and Educational Technology. He will hold the rank of clinical associate professor with an academic home in the Department of Occupational Therapy. For the past three years, Dr. Hack served as a college level instructional designer. In his new role, Dr. Hack will participate in the creation and implementation of a strategic vision for instructional design and educational technology in support of teaching excellence in the college. Prior to joining the college, Dr. Hack worked for many years as the Assistant Director of Instruction and Information Systems for the UF Health Science Center Library System. Dr. Hack brings longstanding expertise in instructional design in the health center environment to this position.

Cindy Prins Appointed Assistant Dean for Educational Affairs and Director of the Master of Public Health Program

Cindy Prins, PhD, MPH, CIC, CPH, has been named the Assistant Dean for Educational Affairs and Director of the Master of Public Health program. Dr. Prins received her PhD in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology from the Penn State University. She is an alumna of the UF MPH program, with a concentration in Epidemiology. Dr. Prins has been a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology since 2010 and has served as the department’s PhD program director. Dr. Prins brings a wealth of experience in public health and educational leadership to this position.

HPNP’s UFCC Fundraiser

This year’s UF Campaign for Charities fundraiser hosted by the Colleges of Public Health and Health Professions, Nursing, and Pharmacy was a huge success!

Over 100 people joined us for lunch and enjoyed some fun in the HPNP courtyard as we played alligator ring toss, kicked an oversized football, competed in a mystery fitness challenge, and participated in a corn hole mini tournament. We were fortunate to have several sponsors this year including Domino’s Pizza, KISS 105.3, and Gainesville Health & Fitness.

Our Field Day and Penny Wars raised a total of just over $1100 (approximately $367 per college), a growth of nearly $300 from last year. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s event!


Environmental and Global Health

Dr. Eric Nelson Brings New Research and Technology to EGH

Eric Nelson, MD, PhD, is a newly appointed assistant professor in the Departments of Environmental and Global Health and Pediatrics. He is a part of a team of scientists that builds technologies to improve the health of poor communities in developing countries using a process called human centered design to define challenges and explore sustainable solutions. Currently, their primary challenge is to improve epidemiologic response to infectious disease outbreaks. The research led to the development of the Android-based Rehydration Calculator that automates WHO guidelines for diarrheal disease management which is the second leading cause of death for children less than 5 years of age. This calculator was tested in a pilot study in a Bangladesh setting prone to cholera outbreaks. It is now being expanded to a larger trial. Dr. Nelson and his team are excited to join the UF community and build connections across the campus to link up like-minded colleagues committed to improving health outcomes in remote settings. 

Dr. Joseph Bisesi, Newly Appointed SE SETAC Vice President, Hosts 14th Annual Meeting

From September 22-24, Dr. Joseph Bisesi (left) from the Department of Environmental and Global Health hosted the annual meeting for the Southeast Region of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry here at UF. On Thursday, Dr. Bisesi and several students hosted a short course on RNA extraction and quantitative PCR for meeting attendees. Friday featured a keynote talk from Dr. Martin Grosell from the University of Miami followed by 12 research talks from attendees, including a number of excellent presentations from students. Saturday featured discussions on 10 research posters that addressed a variety of topics. The meeting was attended by over 40 students and professionals from academic, government, and private sectors around Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.    



New Epidemiology PhD Program Director

Dr. Deepthi Varma (left) has been named the new PhD program director for the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Cindy Prins led the program since 2013 but was recently offered and accepted the Assistant Dean for Educational Affairs and Director of the Master of Public Health program. "I am really proud of the PhD program in our department which has grown exponentially under the leadership of Dr. Prins and Dr. Cottler. My goals are to sustain the growth trajectory of our program and work towards providing an enriching learning environment for all our PhD students," stated Dr. Varma. Dr. Varma has been with the department since January of 2014. The department is excited for the guidance Dr. Varma will provide to the program and proud of Dr. Prins and the things she will do for our college and its MPH program.

Epidemiology Students Receive Multiple Awards and Honors

Shivani Khan (left), Mirsada Serdarevic (center), and Amy Elliott (right) received conference scholarships to attend the annual conference for the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) and present their research on gambling addiction. Mirsada Serdarevic and Shivani Khan also received the Graduate School Council Travel Grant to help with travel costs to the same conference. Sadaf Milani (not pictured), second year PhD student, was accepted into Alpha Epsilon Lambda, the honor society for graduate and professional school students. The department is proud of all of the hard work our students are accomplishing in their research and studies.

Dr. Striley Part of Panel in Showing of “Breaking Points” for Community

Dr. Catherine Striley, an assistant professor and director of the Master of Science in Epidemiology (MSE) program in the Department of Epidemiology, was part of a panel held at the new “Hall of Heroes” in the Gainesville Police Department headquarters held on September 15, 2016. A showing of “Breaking Points”, a film highlighting dangers of prescription stimulant misuse among high performing teens and the performance stresses that drive such misuse was shared. After the showing, Dr. Striley presented information from the NMAPSS study that interviewed 11,000 youth in 10 U.S. urban, suburban, and rural areas. She further presented information on the dangers of diversion and perceptions of peer use as well as how parents can warn children from young ages on how to say no when others ask them to trade or sell their medication. The department is delighted with the work faculty are doing in the community and enthusiastic about opportunities to share important research with the people of Gainesville. This event was sponsored by the Health Promotion and Wellness Coalition in Alachua County. 


Health Services Research, Management and Policy

Master of Health Administration Program Holds Its Annual Open House

On November 4, 2016, the Master of Health Administration program will hold its annual Open House from 11:45am-3pm in the HPNP Atrium. This event is a great opportunity for interested students to get more information about the application process and the program itself. Current students, faculty, and alumni will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the different aspects of this great program! Please register in advance - http://hsrmp.phhp.ufl.edu/mha-open-house/

Master of Health Administration Program Holds Reception at Annual FHA Meeting

The Master of Health Administration program held a reception of alumni and friends at the Annual Florida Hospital Association meeting on Thursday, October 20th. The program had 43 students attend the conference and the reception was well attended by alumni and industry partners. Attendees of the conference had an opportunity to hear distinguished speakers such as Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and New York Times bestselling-author Ron Fournier.


Occupational Therapy

Two Faculty Members Receive the AOTA Roster of Fellows Award

The Department of Occupational Therapy is proud to announce that two of its faculty members have been chosen to receive the AOTA Roster of Fellows award. Joanne J. Foss, PhD, OTR/L (left), is recognized as an “Exemplary Leader in Pediatric and Professional Practice” and Emily S. Pugh, MA, OTR/L (right), is acknowledged for “Exemplary Leadership, Education, and Facilitating Client Safety.” The Roster of Fellows recognizes American Occupational Therapy Association members, who with their knowledge and expertise, have made a significant contribution to the continuing education and professional development of its members. The awards will be conferred during the AOTA Centennial celebrations at the Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA.


Physical Therapy

Faculty Present Innovative Research at the 16th World Congress on Pain

Research Assistant Professor Meryl Alappattu, DPT, PhD (top right), Associate Professor Mark Bishop, PT, PhD (bottom left), and PhD in Rehabilitation Science Program alumni Dr. Chaz Gay (top left) and Dr. Fredy Solis (bottom right) presented their innovative pain research at the 16th World Congress on Pain in Yokohama, Japan in early October. The World Congress on Pain is the premier global congress bringing together international expertise devoted to the research and management of pain. On October 14th, Dr. Alappattu, along with her co-author, Dr. Georgine Lamvu, of the Orlando VA Medical Center, also presented at the International Pelvic Pain Society meeting held in Chicago. Dr. Kim Dunleavy presented in October as well with her abstract entitled "Interprofessional peer teaching: Teaching dental students to transfer patients" at the 2016 Jefferson Center for InterProfessional Education in Philadelphia, PA.

Elam Appointed Nominating Committee Chair-Elect for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Student Assembly Board of Directors

Second year Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) student, Josh Elam, has been slated for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Student Assembly Board of Directors as the Nominating Committee Chair–Elect. Voting will take place later this month at the APTA National Student Conclave in Miami on October 27-29. Josh will join a contingency of fellow UF DPT students who will attend the annual conclave to network with leaders of the APTA, fellow physical therapy students, and gain insight into their profession through educational programming.

VanEtten Receives 2015 Outstanding Physical Therapist Award

Congratulations to UF DPT alumnus, Dr. Lucas VanEtten, PT, DPT, OCS, (right) who was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Physical Therapist Award given by the Ohio Physical Therapy Association. This award is given to a Physical Therapist who has made significant contributions to the profession of physical therapy in the state of Ohio in one or more areas of: clinical service, education, research, administration, public service, and organizational contributions to the Ohio Physical Therapy Association.