Virtual Trainee


With AUCD member programs in every state and territory, our trainees have an incredibly powerful collective reach. The Virtual Trainee works remotely from his/her home Center or Program for one academic year to build and enhance a network among trainees across all 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) and 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs.

This is an exciting opportunity for a current trainee to develop their leadership and communication skills, promote the meaningful exchange of information about issues related to people with disabilities and special health needs, and become more familiar with the broader AUCD network while having a national impact on the disability field. Learn about former Virtual Trainees and their experiences below. 

Current Virtual Trainee
LaKesha Pettigrew

LaKesha Pettigrew
2017-2018 Virtual Trainee

LaKesha Pettigrew is a parent of a young child with autism from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has her sights set on transforming her local community by increasing early identification of developmental delays and autism in underserved children.

With the support from her LEND program at the Waisman Center, LaKesha has recently transitioned from a career in health insurance to the disabilities field and currently works as Wisconsin's first Autism Family Navigator for quality improvement efforts outlined by a grant from HRSA. LaKesha is the 2017-2018 Virtual Trainee for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Network, where she works to enhance communication and community across the network's 3,000+ nation-wide trainees.

LaKesha holds a Bachelor's of Science in Marketing and Finance and is a 2nd year LEND Family Advocate trainee at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center. LaKesha recently completed Georgetown University's National Center for Cultural Competence Leadership Academy. This training, which has an emphasis on increasing leadership for cultural diversity and cultural and linguistic competence in networks that support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has inspired her to gain more expertise in this field.


Recent AUCD Virtual Trainees

LaKesha Pettigrew
2017-2018 Virtual Trainee

Brett Enneking, PsyD
2018 Assistant Virtual Trainee

Elizabeth (Liz) Koss
2016-2017 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Sheida Khamsi, M.Ed.
2017 Assistant Virtual Trainee

Brandon Eddy, MA, CF-SLP
2016 Assistant Virtual Trainee

Alysa Vos, MS, BCBA
2015-2016 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Laurel Geist, MA
2014-2015 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Zipporah Levi-Shackleford, MA
2015 Assistant AUCD Virtual Trainee

Elaine Eisenbaum, MSW
2013-2014 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Stephanie Weber, PsyD
2012-2013 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Jody Pirtle, PhD
2011-2012 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Suzanne Engel
2010-2011 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Lisa Jacola
2009-2010 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Liz Terelle
2008-2009 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Terri Abrams
2007-2008 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Rene Jamison
2006-2007 AUCD Virtual Trainee