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The Team Behind the Screen

The following graduate and undergraduate students at East Carolina University worked together with Dr. Heather Panczykowski in the Department of Occupational Therapy to generate a comprehensive and locally inspired resource page. This website was created to assist families of children with special needs, their friends, and their allies. This toolbox stemmed from the pilot study they are conducting in partnership with Sanctuary Farm LLC. and Moonbeams and Miracles Therapeutic Horsemanship Center in Greenville, NC. The research study focuses on the psychosocial benefits of equine-facilitated psychosocial therapy when provided to caregivers of children with special needs. The support group sessions include a special focus on promoting and implementing daily self-care.

Teresa Hupp

Undergrad Research Student

A sophomore Nursing major in the Honors College at East Carolina University. Teresa's favorite part about working on this project is the positive impact this work is having on families' lives. She is passionate about helping improve the wellbeing of others. 

Peyton Thomas

Undergrad Research Student

A sophomore Social Work major in the Honors College at East Carolina University. Peyton's favorite part of the project was seeing how one person's idea can start a chain reaction of real change in other's lives. She's passionate about access to mental health services in rural areas.

Kristina Whitley

Undergrad Research Student

A junior History Education major in the Honors College at East Carolina University. Kristina is passionate about advocating for populations in rural areas of the state who are underrepresented. She desires to build mutually beneficial, community-based relationships.

Kristin Heyward 

Graduate Assistant 

A second year Occupational Therapy student at East Carolina University. Kristin is passionate about working with both the young and young at heart to promote independence, accessibility, and quality of life. Her favorite part of this project has been interacting with and learning from the families participating in the weekly parent support group sessions.

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