Student Profiles, Class of 2022
Francesca Albani is originally from Mays Landing, New Jersey and graduated from Liberty University with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science (pre-professional). She chose JU’s OT program because it is both comprehensive and thorough in exploring individual fields of study. Also, JU’s OT professors have extensive experience in the areas she’s interested in researching. Francesca was originally exposed to OT through watching the difference it made in the life of her brother, who has autism. Now, she wants to make the same difference in the lives of others. As an undergraduate, she volunteered with Autism outreach in the community and mentored young adults with special needs. After graduation, she plans to work with special needs individuals of every age and research the lifelong impact of OT.
Sarah Bohlen is from Rochester, Minnesota. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. She desires to be an OT after shadowing at Mayo Clinic, assisted living facilities and geriatric memory care. She’s currently working at Mayo Clinic and she desires to work specifically in stroke rehabilitation and continue her education pursuing a PhD.
Michaela Borsa is from Gainesville, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Health Education and Behavior. She chose JU because of the potential she believes this OT program has and for its smaller class sizes and amazing facilities. Michaela aspires to help people return to their daily lives (after injury) as well as restore their confidence in their daily activities. As an undergraduate, Michaela was involved in community outreach such as but not limited to minority health, physical health, and healthy behavioral practices for college students on campus. She hopes to spend one year after graduation as a travel OT and specialize in the pediatric population.
Catherine Carri is originally from Memphis, TN. She graduated from Shorter University in Rome, Georgia with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Chemistry. She chose JU due to its emphasis on community outreach, research, and intra-professional curriculum design. Prior to joining the OTD program, Catherine worked at a regional hospital in North Carolina and was exposed to the acute setting of injuries. She hopes this helps her to have a holistic view to aid rehabilitating injuries in an occupational therapy setting. She desires to be an OT to make an impact on the daily lives of others and aid in building their confidence to achieve the goals they have set. After graduation and licensure into the field, she wishes to practice OT in the outpatient pediatric setting.
Caitlyn Chambers received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at Idaho State University. She chose JU because of its small class sizes; beautiful campus; well-educated and diverse staff and its association with Brooks Rehabilitation. As a young child, she watched her mother (who’s also an OT) treat patients in a holistic manner and focused heavily on her patient’s overall quality of life and incorporated their hobbies and interests into their treatment plans. Caitlyn has been involved within her community pulling together fundraisers; blood drives and working with her local food bank. After graduation, she plans to become a licensed traveling OT for a few years and specialize in geriatrics. She also wants to work with the geriatric population within the home health setting.
Maggie Daniels joins us from Merry Hill, North Carolina. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from North Carolina State University. She chose JU’s OTD program because of its facilities, specifically the NORTH Center, home to JU’s OTD program. She previously works with a home health care agency as a habilitation technician, working with Down Syndrome clients. Additionally, she was awarded the opportunity at NC State to participate in a 5-day medical brigade. Her team provided medical services in Napo, Ecuador, an area with little to no access to healthcare. After graduation, Maggie wishes to work with the geriatric population in an outpatient rehabilitation setting or a skilled nursing facility.
Mary Dartez is originally from Greenville, South Carolina. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and chose JU because of its location in Florida. She has internship experience working at a pediatric clinic and has been involved in outreach programs with the homeless population. After graduation, she would like to work with the pediatric population combining behavior therapy and occupational therapy.
Sydney Dopson graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education and Behavior, while also specializing in Disabilities. She chose the field of Occupational Therapy to assist in helping individuals regain their independence within life. In her spare time, Sydney works as a baton coach at All Starts Twirling Academy (ATA). Sydney completed a 480-hour internship program educating new mothers of the benefits of breast feeding. In addition to achieving her OT licensure upon graduation, she also would like to become a certified lactation consultant and work within the NICU.
Josie Dupont graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Behavior. She selected JU due to the program’s small cohort size, clinical opportunities and the Doctorate level curriculum. She has internship experience within the pediatric population and has been involved in community efforts such as Walk to End Alzheimer’s and Hippotherapy. After graduation, Josie wants to get involved with Global Health and Travel Therapy.
Jacqueline Engelbrecht is originally from Joplin, Missouri and received her Bachelors of Arts in Kinesiology (emphasis in Exercise Physiology) from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. She chose JU because of its esteemed faculty, strong curriculum, expanse variety of fieldwork opportunities and to be closer to her family. Her grandfather’s OT inspired her as she watched her make a positive impact on his ability to function and his quality of life after his stroke. She’s currently working at VIPKid and has been fortunate enough to work and volunteer in a variety of different settings where she loves to help and serve people. After graduation, Jacqueline plans to pursue a career working in mental health or with the geriatric population. She also wants to continue researching the positive effects physical activity has on Autism and other developmental/psychological disorders.
Britton Eugene received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Adrian College in Michigan. Britton has seen the difference an OT can make in the lives of others due to his personal rehabilitation experience. Overall, OT has shown him not only the importance of muscular rehabilitation but also cognitive awareness. Britton has spent an extensive amount of time in outreach activities working in rehabilitation facilities, with Alzheimer patients, athletic personal trainers, hand specialists and mentoring Lower SES children in the community. After graduation he plans to pursue a PhD in order to pursue his passion of teaching future generations.
Tara Ferlanie received her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Auburn University. Following undergrad, Tara worked as an Elementary Special Education Teacher within the public school system for four years. She also held leadership positions in community programs such as Special Olympics and Best Buddies. She selected JU because of the inviting and passionate staff, impressive learning environment, and clinical placements. After graduation, she plans to advocate for early intervention for children with Autism and work within pediatric therapy.
Adriana Foster is originally from Mobile, Alabama. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Services with a concentration in addictions from Alabama State University. Adriana chose JU’s program due to its location, the advanced technology, and the learning opportunities available through program facilities. In the past, she has helped with community development by participating in First Love Yourself (FLY) mentoring program by helping others soar beyond expectations. Upon graduation, she desires to work with the pediatric population either in the school system or outpatient clinic.
Victoria Gonzalez received her Bachelor’s degree, from University of North Florida, in Biology/Biomedical Sciences and minored in Public Health. She chose JU because it’s located in her community and the Occupational Therapy program offers a course on mental health. Also, Equestrian OT is close by. She’s currently employed at L’Arche Jacksonville (ALT for older persons with disabilities) and enjoy having the ability to devote one-on-one time with patients. After graduation, Victoria wants to work in Mental Health OT/Home-Health for one to five years. Thereafter, she wants to open a farm with multiple forms of therapy.
Robyn Harding is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Health Services from Queens University of Charlotte. She chose JU because the program is fairly new and offers small class sizes which allows her the opportunity to develop personal and close relationships with faculty and staff. After babysitting a child who benefited from OT sessions and shadowing in OT practice areas that serve older adults, she chose to become an OT. She has been fortunate enough to work and volunteer in a variety of different settings where she organized student events and worked in an OT program. After graduation, Robyn wants to provide affordable OT services and equipment to older adults and individuals from low income families.
Elizabeth Krista is originally from Dothan, Alabama and received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University. She chose JU due to its affiliations with the local hospitals and schools in the surrounding area. Elizabeth has five years of experience volunteering with a cheer squad for women with disabilities and also coaches at cheer camps with Universal Cheer Association (UCA). After graduation, she desires to pursue a job working within a hospital setting working with the pediatric population and/or NICU.
Megan Lane is originally from Clearwater, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She selected JU’s program due to the diverse background of faculty experience. Megan is currently working at Davita Medical Group and wishes to start her own private practice.
Logan Luke received her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology. She chose JU because she wants to pursue an entry-level doctorate program, likes the location and was impressed with the curriculum. While serving as a caregiver for her grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease, Logan’s curiosities and passion for productive aging and improving patient’s quality of life while living with this disease increased. She participates in and volunteers for community held races and events that promotes health and wellness, as well as raise profits for organizations in need. After graduation, she hopes to work as an OT in a home health/assisted and/or modified setting. Also, traveling practice is a potential interest.
Scarlet (Angel) Michaels is originally from Thomasville, Georgia and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Valdosta State University. She selected JU because of "its strong mission and commitment from the faculty and staff to mold professional, successful, and well-rounded therapist”. After working with elementary school special needs students as an Assistant Teacher, Scarlet decided to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. Additionally, after college she started her own special needs dance program working with pediatric children ranging from pre-school age to high school seniors. In her spare time, she serves as a group certified fitness instructor and a competitive studio dance teacher. Upon graduation, she wishes to work in a clinical or acute setting serving the pediatric population, as well as continue teaching and advocating for adaptive dance therapy.
Shavonne Orr is from Atlanta, GA where she received a B.A. in Psychology from Agnes Scott College. She chose JU because she likes the welcoming professors, small school environment, and proximity to her hometown. Upon completion of her Bachelor's degree, she served as an elementary school teacher where she witnessed the benefits of OT with her students. She also worked with children with developmental disabilities in a Pediatric Occupational and Speech Therapy clinic, which solidified her passion for Occupational Therapy. Shavonne is excited to explore OT’s many possibilities and looks forward to impacting lives through Occupational Therapy.
Barrett Pope joins us from Panama City, Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from The University of North Florida. She was drawn to JU because of its affiliation with Brooks Rehabilitation and the program’s state of the art technology. She enjoys coming up with creative solutions within OT and has volunteered in the field of Adaptive Sports and Recreation. After graduation, she wants to specialize in Hand Therapy.
Megan Riggen, originally from Saint Marys, Georgia, graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. Megan selected JU due to its ‘advanced technology, as it is very beneficial to learning and achieving personal goals of becoming an OT.’ She previously worked as a specialist within the school system, assisting special needs children in after school care. She has four years of volunteer experience at Stirrup Some Fun, a therapeutic horseback riding facility. Upon graduation, she wishes to work in the pediatric hospital setting.
Pauline Rinthara is from Columbus, Ohio. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Science from The Ohio State University. She chose JU’s OTD program not only because of their reputation, location and growing community but also for the small class sizes and experienced staff on board. Pauline has been coaching young athletes in gymnastics for many years and would like to take her OT career into pediatrics.
Katherine (Katie) Stallings is a Jacksonville native and graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. After reviewing the OTD’s curriculum, visiting on-site and meeting the faculty, she knew she wanted to be a part of this program. Katie desires to work within Occupational Therapy as she appreciates the holistic approach to improving quality of life. She was previously employed at Brooks YMCA as a Personal Trainer and Brooks Rehabilitation as a Rehabilitative Coordinator. She also volunteered at Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute, local hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. After graduation she would like to work with the Geriatric population specializing in cognition and neuro-behavior.
Kameron Starling joins us from Keystone Heights, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physiology & Kinesiology. She selected JU due to the location, impressive faculty and collaboration with Brooks Rehabilitation. Kameron found interest in the area of OT when her family member needed rehabilitation to get their life back after injury. In her spare time, Kameron has volunteered with Best Buddies and adaptive sports leagues. After graduation, she desires to work with the adult population within inpatient faculties, specializing in traumatic brain injuries and strokes.
Tayler Thompson graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Transylvania University in Lexington Kentucky. She selected JU’s program due to the small cohort size and faculty experience. Taylor chose the field of Occupational Therapy after personally discovering how an OT helped her grandfather after being diagnosed with Polio at the age of two. Previously, she was a substitute teacher and softball coach at Fairview Independence schools in Ashland Kentucky.
Bryan Wagner is native to Jacksonville and received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida in Athletic Training. Bryan desires to assist people in their recovery and currently educate local agencies on injury prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation. In his spare time, he works with disabled veterans and desires to pursue a career in Veteran Affairs upon graduation.
Shantal Wright was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. After graduating high school she migrated to the United States and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Science Pre-Clinical from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. She selected JU’s OTD program due to its mission and the core values that are executed by both faculty and current students. Shantal currently works at Advent Health and view the field of OT as an opportunity to positively change the lives of others and to make an impact in the local community. In her spare time, she has volunteered by conducting fundraisers for the Heart Walk, and enjoy serving as a mentor and working with the Youth and Young Adult ministry with the local church.