Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education

Lin Zhu

Program: Early Childhood Education
Hometown: Dalian, China
Admission Year: Spring 2016

B.A. in English (Dalian Institute of Information)
M.A. in Literacy Education (University of Kentucky)

Work Experience: I have been working as a preschool teacher at the UK Early Childhood Lab for three years. Before that, I worked at Collaborative Center for Literacy Development as graduate assistant.

Research Interests: Children and family with diverse backgrounds, ESL families, teacher/parent training.

Why did you choose to come to UK? I chose to attend UK because of the strong research component, and also supportive and diverse academic environment.

What are your academic goals while at UK? My goal is to gain more experience in teaching and research.

What are your goals after graduation? My goal is to pursue a teaching job on a college or university, and continue research as well.


Rehabilitation Counseling

Maram Alfulayyih

Program: Rehabilitation Counseling
Hometown: Saudi Arabia
Admission year: Fall 2016

B.S. in Special Education King Saud University
M.A. in Special Education The University of Texas at San Antonio

Work Experience: 

  • 2014 Lecturer at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences
  • 2013 Lecturer at Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University

Research Interests: My research interests include, but are not limited to, rehabilitation psychology, and rehabilitation counseling of individuals with disabilities.

Why did you choose to come to UK? I discovered The University of Kentucky Rehabilitation Counseling Program while researching degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling, The program objectives’ strong emphasis on engaging, consuming, and producing knowledge that is research based, culturally responsive, and allowing opportunity for candidate to explore and expand on their personal teaching philosophy and identities appealed to me greatly. I chose UK’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program with confidence that the University of Kentucky will provide me the learning experience to become an outstanding educator.

What are your academic goals while at UK?

  • Gaining foundational knowledge and content knowledge in rehabilitation counseling.
  • Opportunities of Professional engagement and collaborative ethos.
  • Developing strong research skills that will foster me into becoming one of the fields leading researchers.
  • Developing professional skills that will strengthen my ability to contribute positively to the field of special education and rehabilitation counseling. 

What are your goals after graduation? My objective is to become a leading researcher and educator in the field of rehabilitation counseling in order to contribute to assisting individuals with disabilities live full, happy, and more complete lives with tools to help them navigate current and future daily challenges.

BJ Kim

Byung Jin Kim

Program: Rehabilitation Counseling
Hometown: Cheongju, South Korea
Admission Year: 2015

B.S. in Psychology, Saint Louis University Baguio

M.S. in Counseling Psychology, Handong Global University

Work Experience: 

Associate Researcher, Student Counseling Center, Handong Global University, Pohang, South Korea (2014-2015)

Secretary, Korean Addiction Counseling Association, Seoul, South Korea (2014-2015)

Research Interests: Substance abuse, internet addiction, group counseling, therapeutic community, cultural diversity, program evaluation

Why did you choose to come to UK? I chose to come to the University of Kentucky to learn about research and teaching, and to develop an attitude toward rehabilitation.

What are your academic goals while at UK?

  1. to obtain a good education.
  2. to join research projects
  3. to develop my teaching and research skills
  4. to grow as a good counselor

What are your goals after graduation? I want to be a professional teacher and researcher in a university setting.


Shin, S. M., Ryu, S. J., Kim, B. J., Lee, D. H., & Chung, Y. J. The development and effectiveness of MI group counseling program for adolescents in internet-addiction. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Shin, S. M., Kim, B. J., Lee, D. H., & Park, M. J. (2015) The development study on the internet version of the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale (SOCRATES-I) for Korean adolescents’ internet addiction. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Harley, D.A., Kim, B.J., & Kinyanjui, B.  (in process). Substance-related and addictive disorders treatment in rural settings.  In D.A. Harley, N. Ysasi, M. Bishop & A. Fleming (Eds.), Disability and vocational rehabilitation in rural, frontier, and territory communities:  Challenges and solutions to service delivery.  Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.


Bishop, M., Rumrill, Ph.D.,  Chiu, C-Y., McDaniels, B., & Kim, B.J.  (June 3, 2016).  Optimizing multiple sclerosis health care:  Health care priorities of Americans with Multiple Sclerosis.  Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.  Nation Harbor, MD.

Poster presented at the 121th Annual Convention of the America Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.

Shin, S. M., Choi, S. A., Jung, Y. J., Ryu, S. J., Kim, J. Y., Lee, D. H., & Kim, B. J. (2013). (“Internet addiction recovery after-care program development research”)


Catherine Troop

Program: Rehabilitation Counseling  
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Admission Year: Spring 2018
M.S. Psychology, University College London, London, England
M.A. Special Education, Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY
B.S. Psychology, Danville, KY
Work Experience:
Drug and Alcohol Brief Interventionist and Prevention Coordinator, UK Healthcare, Lexington, KY
Policy Advisor, Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Frankfort, KY
Crisis Interventionist, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC
Therapist, API Associates, Washington, DC
Research Interests:
Substance abuse, program development and implementation



photo of Brittany Waletich

Brittany Waletich, MRC, CRC, CCM

Program: Rehabilitation Counseling
Hometown: Groton, South Dakota
Admission Year: Fall 2010

B.A. in Psychology University of Kentucky
MRC in Rehabilitation Counseling University of Kentucky

Work Experience: Starting my 7th year as a case manager for Kentucky Medicaid Acquired Brain Injury and Acquired Brain Injury Long Term Care waivers.

Research Interests: Behavioral interventions and therapy, video modeling to assist individuals in gaining independence following traumatic brain injuries and the role of client choice in rehabilitation outcomes.

Why did you choose to come to UK? UK and our department provide multiple opportunities for students interested in multiple research areas. UK’s faculty is willing to assist students to explore new areas for both clinical practice and research endeavor. Lexington is a thriving community to practice in clinical settings and use applied research to enrich the lives of the individuals with disabilities.

What are your academic goals while at UK? While at UK I am going to complete my Board Certified Behavior Analysis certification and will continue to publish applied research that can be implements by practicing rehabilitation counselors.

What are your goals after graduation? Continue to practice in clinical settings, as well as take on a faculty role at a higher education institution.


Bishop, M., Roessler, R.T., Rumrill, P.D., Sheppard-Jones, K., Frain, M., Waletich, B., & Umeasiegbu, V. (2013). The relationship between housing accessibility variables and employment status among adults with multiple sclerosis.  Journal of Rehabilitation, 79(4), 4-14.

Sheppard-Jones, K., Bishop, M., Kinyanjui, B., Roessler, R.T., Rumrill, P.D., Waletich, B., & Umeasiegbu, V. (2013). Specialized housing policies, resources, and services for Americans with multiple sclerosis: Priorities for a national agenda. Journal of Rehabilitation, 79(4), 15-22.

Bishop, M., Sheppard-Jones, K., Roessler, R.T., Rumrill, P.D., Waletich, B., Umeasiegbu, V. (2013). Specialized housing needs of Americans with multiple sclerosis: Descriptive results of a national analysis. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 39, 111-125.

Umeasiegbu, V., Waletich, B., Whitten, L.A., & Bishop, M. (2013). Community-based rehabilitation services needs: Perceptions of individuals with brain injury and their family. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling 19(2), 155–163.

Roessler, R.T., Bishop, M., Rumrill, P.D., Sheppard-Jones, K., Waletich, B., Umeasiegbu, V., & Bishop, L. (2013). Specialized housing and transportation needs of adults with multiple sclerosis. Work, 45, 223–235.

Bishop, M., & Waletich, B. (2012). Human growth and development. In F. Chan, M. Bishop, J. Chronister, E-J. Lee, & C-Y. Chiu (Eds.), CRC Examination Preparation: A Concise Guide to the Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling (pp. 37-56). New York: Springer.


National and International Presentations

National Council on Rehabilitation Education Spring Conference, San Francisco, CA

April 2013.  Poster presentation: “Behavioral Interventions for Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Call to Action.”

Local Presentations

Kentucky Counsel for Exceptional Children Annual Conference, November 2013. “Video Modeling to Promote Independence.”

Service Opportunities:

Horn and Associates, June 2009 – Present

Behavior Intervention Committee Chair, January 2013-Present

– Chair the behavior intervention committee to ensure proper review of positive behavior intervention plans. Ensure policies and regulation are followed to ensure the safety of clients receiving behavior interventions. Look over all data collection and behavior interventions to ensure best practice.

Behavior Intervention Committee Member, June 2009-January 2013

– Assist in review of positive behavior intervention plans. Ensure policies and regulations are followed to ensure safety of clients receiving behavior interventions

Human Rights Committee Member, June 2009- Present

– Monitor and review right’s restrictions for clients receiving services under Kentucky Medicaid Acquired Brain Injury Waiver and Acquired Brain Injury Long Term Care waiver.


Special Education

photo of Megan Jones
Megan Jones

Program:  Special Education (Learning Behavior Disorders)
Hometown: Detroit, MI//Louisville, KY
Admission Year: 2016
Education:  Certified in Elementary Education & Special Education, K-12;  Master’s in Teacher Leadership

Work Experience:  5 years teaching special education at an alternative high school in Lexington, KY

Research Interests:  The at-risk student population & high school transition.

Why did you choose to come to UK?  I taught in Lexington and I knew UK has a fantastic program and faculty.

What are your academic goals while at UK?  My goals include collaborating with professors and peers to further our goals in research, teach in higher education and become familiar with educational organization work.

What are your goals after graduation?  My goal is to obtain a job as a special education professor or create an organization that serves the at-risk population.


Jones, M. (March, 2017). Promoting Career Readiness for At-Risk Adolescents Using the Employability Operating System. Asheville, NC. Presented ways to help at-risk students in the area of transition. The audience consisted of a group of teachers and professors across the nation.

Bottge, B., Gassaway, L., Jones, M., Gravil, M. (January, 2017). AIMs Instructional Teacher Training. Lexington, KY. Presented technology usage of instructional practices for a group of middle school teachers.

Jones, M., Diamond, S. (June 2016). Persistence to Graduation Summit.  Lexington, KY.  Co-presented ways to help alternative and at-risk students become engaged and successful in their future endeavors.  

Ackerman, K. & Jones, M. (May, 2016).  Aspiring Special Educators Workshop.  University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Helped assist at an aspiring special educators workshop for high school students interested in the field.

Jones, M. (August 2015). How to read accommodations as a general educator.  The Learning Center Staff Training, Lexington, KY.

Hefling, M., Jones, M., Choo, S. Y. (November 2014). Using technology to enhance engaged learning for at-risk students. KySTE Fall Training Event: Digital Transformation, Lexington, KY.

Jones, M., Choo, S. Y. (August 2014).  Efficient collaboration for special educators in the classroom.  The Learning Center Staff Training, Lexington, KY.

Jones, M. (August 2012). Engaging Special Education Students in the Classroom. The Learning Center Staff Training, Lexington, KY.

Jones, M. (July 2011).  Guest Speaker at a student camp.  Delanco Camp, New Jersey.


John Edwin Partington and Gwendolyn Gray Partington Scholarship
Scholarship Money Awarded from: College of Education Scholarship
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

WHAS Grant
Scholarship Money Awarded from: WHAS grant
Asbury University, Wilmore, KY

Elementary Educator of the Year Award
Asbury University, Wilmore, KY

President’s Scholarship
Asbury University, Wilmore, KY

Program Development: 

Fall 2014
Development for the Dept. of Special Education – The Learning Center

Summer 2017
Developed Media Arts Curriculum – The Learning Center


Graduate Assistant, Special Education
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Department Chair, Special Education
Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington, KY
The Learning Center at Linlee

Teacher, Special Education
Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington, KY
The Learning Center at Linlee

Assistant to the Provost/President of Asbury
University Lexington, KY
Asbury University



Emily Sartini

Emily Sartini

Program: Special Education, LBD doctoral program; working toward BCBA-D
Hometown: Lexington Kentucky
Admission Year: 2009

B.A. in English Literature
M.S. in Special education (MSD and LBD)

Work Experience: 15 years teaching special education in elementary schools (both LBD and MSD).

Research Interests: Autism Spectrum Disorder; reading comprehension; academics; challenging behavior

Why did you choose to come to UK? I was drawn to UK because of the focus on ABA and evidence based practices.

What are your goals after graduation? I hope to teach in the university setting.


Knight, V., Sartini, E., & Spriggs, A. D. (2015). Evaluating visual activity schedules as evidence-based practice for individuals with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 45, 175-178.

Knight, V.F., & Sartini, E. (2014). A comprehensive literature review of comprehension strategies in core content areas for students with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, doi:10.1007/s10803-014-2280-x

Sartini, E., Knight, V., & Collins, B. C. (2013). Ten guidelines to facilitate social groups for students with low incidence disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 45(3), 54-62.

In review:

Snyder, S., Knight, V.F., Ayres, K., Mims, P., & Sartini, E. (2015). Single case design in text comprehension. Manuscript under review.

Spriggs, A.D., Allday, R.A., & Sartini, E. (2015). Behavioral momentum and autism spectrum disorder: A review of the evidence. Manuscript under review.


Knight, V.F., Mims, P., & Sartini, E. (2015, January). Comprehension Strategies for Including Students with Significant Support Needs in Core Content. DADD Annual Conference, Clearwater, FL.

Spriggs, A.D., & Sartini, E. (2013, August). Using Activity Schedules to Increase Independence for Individuals with Autism. Annual Summer Autism Institute, Lexington, Kentucky.

Knight, V.F., Spriggs, A.D., & Sartini, E. (2012, June). Using Activity Schedules to Increase Independence for Individuals with Autism [Invited Presentation]. Kentucky Autism Training Center Institute, Louisville, KY.

Sartini, E. (2011, August). Learn about Edmark reading programs [Invited Presentation]. Annual Summer Autism Institute, Lexington, KY.