LEND Fellows Complete a Transformative Year
On May 5, 17 MN LEND Fellows received their Certificate of Completion from Training Director, Amy Hewitt, recognizing the culmination of their year-long appointment with the Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MN LEND) Program of ICI. The MN LEND Fellow class of 2015-16 included (front row, left to right): Barite Gemada, Katie Holt, Stephanie Abbas, Kim Kang, Michele Olson, (back row, left to right): Ashwak Hassan, Emma Jackson, Jessica Simacek, Stephanie Benson, Kara Schoeffel, Hiba Sharif, Mary Hawkes, Oluwatosin Alabi, and Sunday Francis. Not pictured are Mia Donley, Nicole Huelsman, and Kristen Kessler.
Each year the MN LEND, which is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, selects a small group of outstanding graduate/postgraduate students and community members to become LEND Fellows. In partnership with other academic departments at the University, the LEND offers Fellows a unique interdisciplinary training experience that prepares them for leadership in serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, other neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, and their families in health care, education, human services, and policy settings.
When asked what they gained from their MN LEND experience, there were many favorable responses from this year’s cohort, including: “I have gained so much from my LEND training experience. If I were to try to write down all the ways it has deepened my understanding this would turn into a very, very long response ... LEND has burst me out of my silo ... I feel very grateful to have met such passionate, dedicated people who inspire me every day.”