Rhyanne McDade is the diversity fellow for the University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UC UCEDD). Rhyanne is also a recent graduate, and obtained her doctoral degree in Health Education from the University of Cincinnati in Spring 2016. Dr. McDade's research interests include the examination of social-cultural and economic influences impacting minority youth involvement in risky behaviors. As a diversity fellow, Dr. McDade is expanding her knowledge base via examination of social-cultural and economic barriers impacting families and individuals with developmental disabilities.

Currently, Dr. McDade is working on several projects: The Cultural and Linguistic Competency Assessment for Disability Organizations (CLCADO), key informant interviews, and a diversity fellow capstone. The CLCADO examines a wide array of constructs related to disability organizations' core functions. Subtopics include: Our World View, Who We Are, What We Do and How We Work. The assessment was administered to all UC UCEDD staff to identify strengths and potential areas of growth for the organization. Analysis is underway to identify action steps to implement in response to findings. UC UCEDD also sought to gain perspective from key community members from minority populations. In-person, in-depth interviews were conducted to identify ways in which UC UCEDD could expand Center's visibility and expand program reach. Dr. McDade is also compiling a scholarly review of the literature around dual diagnosis, the co-occurrence of psychiatric and developmental disabilities in minority populations. This capstone will serve as a teaching tool for UCEDD faculty and staff to further their cultural competence in this area. Dr. McDade looks forward to attending her first AUCD conference in December in hopes to present her work and connect with other diversity fellows.

"Serving as a diversity fellow at UC UCEDD has provided me with such a wealth of information and respect for disability culture and research. I have such an admiration for the disability movement and the obstacles that individuals have overcome to make a brighter future for those today. And I am proud to be a part of those efforts."