Trainee Liaisons




Become a Trainee Liaison


Trainee liaisons are volunteer trainees at LENDs, UCEDDs, and DBP programs who identify strategies to improve trainee networking and linkage within the AUCD network, and improve the exchange of information among trainees across the network using available technologies.  Trainee Liaisons provide the Emerging Leader Interns and AUCD staff with direct access to trainee opinions, information about how to improve trainee networking communication, and link trainees with the AUCD network. Trainee liaisons are expected to communicate network information and opportunities with their local program's trainees, and encourage their active involvement in the AUCD network.


  • Enhance your leadership skills
  • Form relationships with diverse trainees across the country
  • Provide input in the direction of AUCD trainee activities and initiatives


  • Communicate regularly with the Emerging Leader Interns
  • Carry network messages to trainees at your program
  • Engage your program's trainees in activities of the AUCD network
  • Initiate network-wide discussions with your local trainees
  • Utilize social media and available technology to increase trainee collaboration and communication
  • Contribute to trainee projects and initiatives as they arise
  • Participate on quarterly conference calls with the Trainee Liaisons to provide input and feedback on trainee activities, opportunities, and networking initiatives
  • Time: 2 hours per month (approx)
  • Duration: One academic year

How to Apply

One Trainee Liaison is encouraged per network program.  After reading the above description, discuss this voluntary leadership opportunity with your Training Director or Program Director.  Directors are asked to email the Emerging Leader Intern with one Trainee Liaison nomination per Center/Program.


Contact the Emerging Leader Interns with questions about the Trainee Liaison program.


Meet the Current Trainee Liaisons

AUCD Trainee liaisons are volunteer trainees at LENDs, UCEDDs, and DBP programs who identify strategies to improve trainee networking and linkage within the AUCD network, and improve the exchange of information among trainees across the network using available technologies. Meet the 2016-2017 AUCD Trainee Liaisons below, and scroll down to see how to become a Liaison at your Center or Program!



Colleen ButcherI am currently a psychology postdoctoral fellow at the Medical University of South Carolina, and a trainee in the South Carolina Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (SCLEND). I am passionate about assessment and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disabilities, and social skill assessment and intervention. 
Find me on Twitter.


Stephanie ColemanStephanie Coleman, Family Leadership Trainee, University of Kansas Medical Center LEND. My passion is advocating for my son, Matthew and others to have the full good life that is achievable and they deserve. I look forward to taking advantage of all the opportunities of networking and learning the LEND program is providing to me so that I can transfer the skills I gain into a new career field.


Maria Elena Corral

Maria Elena Corral is a first-generation Mexican-American and a first-generation college student. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Spanish in 2012 and a Master of Arts in Spanish Linguistics in 2014 from the University of New Mexico (UNM). Maria Elena will receive a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology from UNM in December of 2016. Following graduation, Maria Elena will work as a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist providing early intervention services to the birth to three populations in New Mexico. Maria Elena is passionate about helping individuals with disabilities communicate effectively and strongly advocates for the provision of linguistically appropriate speech and language therapy services for bilingual populations. She has over five years of experience participating in academic research in areas ranging from bilingual special education to NIH-funded research on healthcare interpreters. Maria Elena has served as a leader in student government as Council Chair of the UNM Graduate Student Association, and as co-founder of the Speech and Hearing Sciences Graduate Student Association at UNM. She intends to use her unique research, leadership, and educational background to be an advocate for the individuals and families she serves.


Lisa Dunkley

Lisa Dunkley is a doctoral student in rehabilitation counseling at the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include working with adult and juvenile offender populations with disabilities reintegrate in society. In addition, Ms. Dunkley has a passion for working with transition age youths with disabilities with career readiness, higher education, independent living and advocacy. Ms. Dunkley is dedicated to service directed towards improving the lives of people with disabilities across the lifespan. Ms. Dunkley is the AUCD trainee liaison for the Human Development Institute (HDI).


Sharon Dunlevy
I am Sharon Dunlevy, the parent LEND trainee from the Riley Child Development Center in Indianapolis, IN. While my past schooling has been in ministry, my passion is for helping preschools better serve children with differing needs.

Find me on Facebook Professional / Personal.

Katie Lancaster

Katie Lancaster is the Project Coordinator of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Project at the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND). Katie was a 2015-2016 Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (UR LEND) Program trainee. In 2010, she earned her Bachelor of Social Work degree with a minor in Disability Studies and in 2015 received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Wyoming. Katie is passionate about supporting the rights, opportunities, and choice in the area of sexuality in addition to upholding the voting rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Find me on Facebook or Twitter.


Elizabeth McRae

My name is Elizabeth McRae, and I am in the Medical Clinical Psychology doctoral program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I am currently working a graduate student trainee at the Civitan-Sparks Clinic where I work with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodevelopment disorders.
Find me on Facebook.


Rachel Mehringer

Rachel is in the accelerated three year program at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She completed her undergraduate studies at Indiana University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in speech and hearing sciences. During graduate school, Rachel has obtained a variety of clinical experiences in locations including educational, private practice, and Otolaryngology offices. It was in the Indianapolis Public Schools where she realized her love for pediatric audiology. She is thrilled to be completing her final year at the Mailman Center Center for Child Development and learning more about children with disabilities. Find me on Facebook.


Valerie Miller

Valerie Miller is an Occupational Therapist completing the American Occupational Therapy Association's Pediatric Residency Program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Valerie has a Master's of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Kentucky University where she completed a thesis on Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism. She has a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology from Georgetown College. Valerie is passionate about improving the lives of those affected by a disability through research, advocacy and education. Valerie currently lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and two cats. Find me on Facebook and Instagram.

Susanna Miller-Raines

Susanna Miller-Raines is the Community Support Specialist for the Center for Leadership in Disability in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. In her position her responsibilities are related inclusive postsecondary education, transition, college and career readiness, and leadership development for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is the Statewide Coordinator for the Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium and is the Project Coordinator for the Consortium's TPSID Grant. Susanna is currently studying in the Masters of Social Work Program at the University of Georgia. For part of her practicum she is participating in GaLEND as a trainee. Prior to her position at Georgia State Susanna was the Camp Director for Talisman Summer Camps where she managed program implementation for campers with Autism Spectrum Disorders and ADHD.


Natalie Loyola

Natalie Loyola is currently a Boston LEND Fellow and a 4th year Audiology Doctoral Extern at Boston Children's Hospital. She is finishing up her graduate work at A.T. Still University in Arizona. She has a passion and love for humanitarian work and on her free time, you'll find her outdoors hiking!


Sandy Mislow

My name is Sandy Mislow and I am a Family Specialist with the WIHD LEND program in Valhalla, NY. I am a passionate advocate for disability rights, particularly for children receiving special education services and 504 accommodations. Find me on Facebook


Jenn Moriuchi
Jenn Moriuchi is a LEND trainee in psychology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. Her clinical training has focused on assessment of developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, and as a researcher, she is dedicated to understanding diversity in autism.
Find me on Twitter. 


Keith Russell Murfee-Deconcini
I was born in New York City but have been a resident of Arizona since I was 7, first in Phoenix and now in Tucson. I graduated from the College of Santa Fe, majoring in creative writing and music, earned a Certificate in Disability Studies from City University of New York in 2014, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Arizona in 2016. While in Santa Fe I was active in the campaign and member of the Governor's Committee to save the college; and I served an internship in disability compliance with Santa Fe Trails, the city bus line. In New York, I served an internship with Young Adults Institute (YAI), a group of non-profit organizations providing services to the disabled; I wrote their weekly blog related to disabilities, and three of my articles were republished by the Huffington Post. In Tucson, I was active in both of Mayor Rothschild's campaigns, was appointed to the City's Commission on Disability Issues (CODI), whose members elected me Chairman. I'm interested in most types of music and theater, especially Shakespeare, and am active in Damascus Road Church on the U of A Campus. Find me on Facebook.


Alyssa Parks
My name is Danielle Parks, and I am a first year Master's of Social Work Student at The University of Southern Mississippi. I am a Graduate Assistant and a LEND Trainee with the Institute for Disability Studies at USM. There are several things I am passionate about: helping people, my Christian faith, my family, Southern Miss football (SMTTT), and Auburn football (War Eagle!). There is a specific population I am very passionate about working with in the future, and that is children with terminal illnesses. Find me on Facebook  or Twitter.


Kelsey Quest

Kelsey Quest is a Ph.D. student in School Psychology at Indiana University. She is a UCEED trainee at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community and is a graduate assistant at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism. Kelsey is passionate about improving students with autism spectrum disorders educational experiences, especially those with severe behavioral needs. Find me on Twitter.

Magda Rivera-Dillon

Magda is a LEND Trainee and a Diversity and Disability Fellow pursuing a Master of Science in Health Sciences with an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at West Virginia University (WVU). She is passionate about supporting people with Autism and she directly supports the Teens with Autism Support Group and the intensive Autism Service Delivery clinic at the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities.


Gayatri Sanku

I am a 2nd year MPH Epidemiology student with concentrations in global health and pharmacoepidemiology. My main research focus is on the human microbiome and how bacterial and viral load contribute to auto immune dysregulation. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬Find me on Facebook.

Jan Lee Santos

Jan Lee Santos, M.D. I am a 2nd Year Master's in Healthcare Administration Candidate at the Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC at Chapel Hill and current NC LEND Trainee at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, UNC School of Medicine. I am interested in increasing healthcare access, coordinating resources and empowering individuals to take control of their healthcare. Find me on Facebook.

Michelle Sexton
Hi, I am Michelle Sexton. I am currently in my last year of getting my Doctorate in Physical therapy at the University of Vermont, I am also a fellow for the Vermont LEND program and I am passionate about becoming the most competent PT I can be in order to give children with disabilities here in the U.S and around the world the best care.


James Taborda-Whitt

James Taborda-Whitt is a community fellow in the Minnesota LEND program and a youth program manager at East Side Neighborhood Services. He is committed to serving marginalized communities and helping children with neurological developmental disorders receive the medical and educational care they and their caregivers need. Find me on MNLEND Facebook  and Twitter.


Maggie Winston
Hi! My name is Maggie Winston and I live in Kenai, Alaska. I am currently enrolled in the LEND program through the Center for Human Development. I am a self advocate with a fiery passion for disability policy and advocacy, as well as a mom of twin 12-year-old boys. Find me on Facebook or Twitter .