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Mary Beth Russell image

Mary E. Russell, EDITOR

If 2021 needed to one-up 2020, it has certainly started off on full throttle! I am honored to be a part of the BI-ISIG executive committee as the Communications Chair.  I have a great team working with me who are able to help get Moving Ahead off the ground.  ACRM has been such a great group to be involved with and in my experience as a member since 2015, people have been so helpful and accommodating. I am excited to work with the BI-ISIG and the Executive Committee in this capacity.

I am excited to have a great team working with me:


Ghazala Saleem imageGhazala T. Saleem, EdD, MS, OTR/L

Dr. Saleem is an assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science at University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She received her research doctorate in movement sciences from Teachers College, Columbia University. Following her doctorate, she completed a year-long fellowship in clinical research at Harvard Medical School. She simultaneously completed a two-and-a-half-year postdoctoral fellowship in the area of pediatric brain injury and physical rehabilitation from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Kennedy Krieger Institute. She earned her Master’s in occupational therapy from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. She is a trained/licensed occupational therapist with extensive clinical experience in pediatrics and neurological disorders. Her research interests include understanding the mechanism of human motor control/learning and neuromodulation via behavioral and neuroimaging techniques in children with acquired brain injury. She is also interested in using motor learning and neuromodulatory interventions to optimize function and recovery in pediatric brain injury. Her current research focuses on studying postural control and related motor disorders in children with mild traumatic brain injury. Another focus of her research is in identifying biomarkers and employing noninvasive brain stimulation approaches in pediatric moderate to severe brain injury, including disorders of consciousness.


Nicole KuhlNicci Kuhl, OTD, OTR/L, CBIS

Dr. Kuhl is an assistant professor at Drake University in Des Moines, IA and teaches in the occupational therapy doctorate program. She received her Master’s degree and post-professional Doctorate in occupational therapy from the University of South Dakota. She continues to practice in adult inpatient rehabilitation with a focus on brain injury and wheelchair seating and positioning. She is the chair of the Research and Education Committee for the Iowa Occupational Therapy Association. Her current research interests include investigation of the Quality Indicators assessment and developing normative data for the “Jacket test.” She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and a member of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, American Occupational Therapy Association, Iowa Occupational Therapy Association, American Congress of Rehabilitative Medicine, and Neuro-developmental Treatment Association.


Michelle SmithMichelle Smith, MPH

Michelle Smith is an assistant research scientist in the Rusk Rehabilitation Department of Research, where she manages the day-to-day activities of various neuro-rehabilitation studies including the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems database. Her professional background and interests are in health communications with the goal to provide vital information to patients in order to help improve their health, in particular, in increasing health literacy. She received her Master’s in Public Health with a focus on health promotion, utilizing health behavior theory to develop health-related programming that appreciates the various barriers and facilitators to good health. She is currently co-Investigator on a mixed-methods research study to understand the experiences of living with Traumatic Brain Injury as a chronic condition from persons living with TBI and their caregivers.


Monique R. PappadisMonique R. Pappadis, MEd, PhD

Dr. Pappadis is an assistant professor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and an Investigator at the Brain Injury Research Center of TIRR Memorial Hermann. Her research aims to address improving rehabilitation outcomes and decreasing ethnic minority health disparities, particularly among persons with TBI or stroke. Her recent research focuses on care transitions and continuity of care following acute and post-acute care among older adults with TBI. She has a continued interest in minority aging, gender/sex disparities in rehabilitation, health literacy of patients and caregivers, and psychosocial adjustment to disability. She is a member of the ACBIS Board of Governors of the Brain Injury Association of America.