Claudia Abbiati, M.S., CCC-SLP, University of Vermont

Claudia Abbiati

Claudia is a licensed speech-language pathologist. Her research focuses on understanding the nature, development, and use of speech and manual gestures in populations who are neurodiverse and genetically diverse. She uses a variety of approaches in her research, including phonetic/ phonological transcription, behavior coding, acoustics, and motion tracking techniques. She values collaborative research and works with the populations she studies to design and inform her research. Outside of the lab, Claudia trains in karate and enjoys the Vermont outdoors with her husband their three dogs. Email:


Swapna Balakrishnan PT, D.P.T, NCS, Evidence in Motion Institute of Health Professions

Swapna Balakrishnan

Swapna is a licensed physical therapist and worked full-time as a clinician at a skilled nursing/long-term-care facility before joining the Ph.D. program at UVM. Her research interests include integrating wearable technology in neurorehabilitation, neuroplasticity, Precision medicine in neurorehabilitation, primary prevention, health promotion and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in physical therapy practice. She currently serves as an Assembly representative at the APTA-MA Central district and serves on the Digital-Communication-Committee (DCC) of the Academy of Neurologic PT. Fun Fact: Swapna is an avid swimmer and a trained Indian classical dancer. Email:

Myeongjin Bae, M.S., Department of Sport Science, University of Seoul

Myeongjin Bae

Myeongjin's current research interest focuses on (1) developing individualized exercise-based fall prevention programs for individuals with multiple sclerosis, (2) identifying underlying mechanisms between exercise and cognition of people with neurological disorders, and (3) finding strategies to promote and maintain physical activity levels in people with disabilities and chronic conditions. His areas of expertise include physical activity and health promotion in people with disabilities, exercise and cognition, and postural control and fall risk in people with multiple sclerosis. Email:

Thomas A. Bloch, D.P.T., University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Thomas Bloch

Thomas is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with his clinical focus in geriatrics. His specific research interests are in geriatric exercise prescription. He believes this is important due to the aging population and typical under-dosing of exercise that occurs in older patients. Email:

Katie Crouch, CCC-SLP, M.S., Utah State University

Katie Crouch

Katie is a Speech-Language Pathologist with eight years of clinical experience. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Interprofessional Health Sciences, focused on the cognitive and emotional impacts of stuttering. Email:

Katie Ekström Grenon, CCC-SLP, M.S., Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Vermont

Katie Grenon

Katie's areas of research interest include measurement of discourse level communication and disorder, interpersonal aspects of conversation behavior: entrainment, turn-taking, and conversational repair, and communication strategies to improve participation and outcomes in healthcare treatment. Her current research involves establishing norms and developing tools for clinical evaluation of cognitive-communication impairments. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). Email:

Marc Hickok, M.S., Exercise Science, University of South Florida

Marc Hickok

Marc’s research interests include investigating inter-limb asymmetries and unilateral vs. bilateral training as it pertains to athletic performance and injury prevention. Marc is also the director of Athletic Performance at the UVM. In this role he is responsible for the oversight of all Vermont athletic programs as well as directly responsible for implementing the athletic performance programs for men's basketball and men’s lacrosse. Marc is a Certified Strength and Conditioning specialist (CSCS) through NSCA as well as a certified Functional Movement Specialist (FMS). Email:

Sophie Knox, M.S., CCC-SLP

Sophie Knox

Sophie is a licensed speech-language pathologist pursuing a Ph.D. in the Interprofessional Health Sciences program at the University of Vermont. During her doctoral studies, she plans to explore areas including underlying differences in social cognition and episodic memory in various clinical populations. Her specific research interests include developing interventions to support autobiographical memory and communication in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. Email:

Anita Martin, M.S., Physical Activity and Wellness Science, University of Vermont

Anita Martin

Anita Martin is a Graduate Research Assistant and doctoral student in the University of Vermont Interprofessional Health Science Ph.D. program. Since joining the IHS program in 2020, she has worked with Dr. Connie Tompkins and other researchers from education and psychology on the school-based physical activity intervention, Kiddie CATs on the Move. Anita's current research focuses on the assessment of physical activity and influences among preschool-aged children. Her areas of expertise include pediatric obesity prevention and physical activity promotion. Email:

Stasha Medeiros, M.S., Neuroscience, Teachers College, Columbia University

Stasha Medeiros

Stasha has a masters of neuroscience. In her doctoral research, Stasha is interested in using brain imaging to study language, specifically in the areas of acquisition and comprehension. In the future, she plans to explore language learning across the lifespan to advance our understanding of how the brain changes or adapts with age. Email:


Alyssa Smith, M.S., OTR/L, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Alyssa Smith

Alyssa is an occupational therapist with a research interest in program development for rural transition-age adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their caregivers. Her intended focus involves the impacts on mental health and wellness in rural and underserved communities. Before entering the program, Alyssa obtained clinical experience in community outpatient and acute care settings for occupational therapy as well as inpatient/outpatient mental health where she discovered the importance of bridging the clinical and research gaps to improve the lives of individuals with IDD who may be facing mental health crises. Email:

Lucas Van Horn, M.S., Exercise Science, West Chester University

Lucas Van Horn

Lucas Van Horn earned his master’s from West Chester University studying Exercise Science with a concentration in Exercise Physiology. He also has a Certificate in Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. His research focuses on the fields of neurophysiology and neurotraumatic injuries, which collectively explores the transition from when the brain sustains an injury, through the recovery process, and how physical and cognitive changes occur with that injury. He has studied postural stability and gait coordination using force plate and EMG outcomes within various neurologic specific subgroups, along with using EEGs/cognitive assessments to gauge possible changes in executive functioning. Email:

Michael Van Nostrand, M.S. Clinical Exercise Science, Liberty University

Michael Van Nostrand

Michael is interested in cognitive-motor interference, fall risk, and exercise interventions for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Since joining the program in 2019, Michael has focused on understanding the underlying impacts of dual-tasking on mobility and cognitive performance, as well as prefrontal cortex activation. His current research focuses on developing novel clinical assessments for earlier fall risk detection. Email:

Adam Virgile, M.S., Nutrition and Human Performance, Logan University

Adam Virgile

In his role as Performance Information Engineer/Sport Science for the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, Adam is responsible for coordinating the collection, interpretation, visualization, and applied integration of physiological data. Prior, Adam was the Sports Science Coordinator for UVM, which was preceded by 6 years (2013-2019) as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach/Sport Scientist for the New York Rangers ice hockey team. Email: