Our Team

Core Team

A photo of a girl with ling brown hair wearing a green shirt standing outside and smiling

Austin Nugent

Disability & Health Program Coordinator

Austin is the Disability & Health Program Coordinator for the Human Development Institute (HDI) at the University of Kentucky. She received her bachelor's in sociology and disability studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Administration and a graduate certificate in developmental disabilities. Over the past ten years, Austin has held many roles in the disability field advocating and implementing Universal Design and other best practices for inclusion and accessibility. She is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking. In addition to her role with HDI, Austin serves on the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council, the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities, and recently joined the Center for Accessible Living’s board of directors. She is most passionate about supporting equitable programmatic, policy, systematic, and environmental changes that understand and support the intersectionality of diverse experiences. Her passion for disability equity stems from her own lived experience with multiple mental health diagnoses and being the older sister to siblings with various support needs. This includes a biological brother with Down syndrome and two adopted brothers impacted by adverse childhood experiences. In her free time, she enjoys camping, attending concerts, and reading.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Depending on my mood either a berry, banana and spinach smoothie, or apple slices with peanut butter and unsweetened coconut flakes.

What does health/wellness mean to you?
I view health as the intersection of the various areas of our lives –mental, social, physical, environmental, vocational, and sexual. Health can be influenced by our relationships and communities, but everyone has a right to access, participate, and be self-determined in each domain.

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Danielle Augustin

Disability Education Health Coach

Danielle is the Disability Education Health Coach for the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. She serves the disability population through the channels of health coaching and education, program planning, universally designed resource development, research, evaluation, and community outreach as it relates to all areas of health.. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Mount Union along with her master’s degree in health promotion from the University of Kentucky. She is also a certified health and wellness coach through WellCoaches, a nationally recognized coaching organization. Danielle’s passions include empowering individuals to lead a holistically health lifestyle, regardless of ability or disability. As a Type 1 diabetic herself, Danielle is also extremely passionate about making diabetes education, services, and programs fully accessible and inclusive to all individuals as she understands the obstacles faced every day by individuals managing this, and other, chronic conditions.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
I love fresh fruit. As a Type 1 diabetic, I am mindful of my carb intake so I’d much rather get my carbs from fruit than candy!

What does health/wellness mean to you?
To me, health and wellness means being able to live life to its fullest, whatever that may looks like for you. Health and wellness go so far beyond just physical health; our mental, emotional, sexual, social, intellectual, and spiritual health all strongly contribute to who we are and our ability to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life. Health is weaved into all aspects of our live including relationships, jobs, hobbies, and more. To me, health and wellness are the building blocks for every other area of our life.

Ellie Fahey

Women’s Health Research Assistant

Ellie is a junior, undergraduate student at the University of Kentucky. She is majoring in Human Health Sciences, minoring in Health Promotion, and working towards obtaining a certificate in Universal Design. She hopes to one day attend Physician Assistant (PA) school and serve underserved/underrepresented populations in the healthcare field. Ellie is also on the executive board for the university’s Best Buddies organization and has been involved with the disability community both at school and in her hometown for many years. She is currently helping to open a non-profit organization called Gerry’s Café in the suburbs of Chicago. Gerry’s will be a local coffee shop that employs young adults with IDD while offering competitive wages and delicious food and drink! In her free time, Ellie likes to spend time with friends and family.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Smoothie bowls or fresh fruit!

What does health/wellness mean to you?
To me, a healthy life leads to a happy life. When we fuel our bodies the right way, we are able to sleep better, move better, feel better, and essentially BE better! In order to be the best version of ourselves, it is so important to focus on all the aspects of health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc. Working on your personal health and wellness is an investment in yourself and YOU are worth it!

 

Kari Jones

Graphic Media & Production Manager

Kari is the Graphic Media & Production Manager. She has degrees in Graphic Design and Media Arts, as well as a certificate in Universal Design from the University of Kentucky. She has been with the Human Development Institute since 2013, working closely with Health & Wellness and Child Care Aware.
Kari’s job is to create videos and resources while keeping to Universal Design standards to ensure that all our products are accessible for everyone.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Carrot sticks and hummus! I think I could munch on those every single day!

What does health/wellness mean to you?
A big part of being healthy is paying attention to what you eat and getting plenty of exercise, but another part is your mental and emotional health. If your mind and heart aren’t healthy, that will affect your life daily. I always

Lindsey Catherine Mullis

Program Director

Lindsey is the Inclusive Health & Wellness Director for the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky and partners with the Kentucky Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities and Centers for Disease Control Disability and Health to promote healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities and the communities that serve them across the state of Kentucky. She holds her bachelors in both psychology and exercise science along with her masters in health promotion and a certificate in developmental disabilities. She is currently in the process of pursuing her PhD in Health Education Sciences with a research focus on sexual health and sexuality of individuals with disabilities and serves on the University of Kentucky Sexual Health Promotion Lab and Co-Chairs the Sexual Health Special Interest Group for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Lindsey has worked with the HealthMatters team at the University of Illinois at Chicago to become an Advanced Certified Instructor for the HealthMatters Program. Lindsey is also a certified Health Promotion Clinical Director for the Special Olympics and serves on the Special Olympics Inclusive Health Advisory Board. In her free time she enjoys dance parties with her two daughters, Marcella and Caroline, and two sweet pitbull pups Nala and Kenobi.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
I am given a hard time for eating healthy pretty much all the time so a better question would be what are my favorite sweet treat snacks and the answer is caramel apples and rice crispy treats. Which in reality, aren’t that unhealthy. I deserve the hard time I am given.

What does health/wellness mean to you?
Health is Happiness. When this health program first started, I created the tag line “Eat Well. Move More. Live Happy!” In the basic sense being healthy is exactly that. What we eat and the fuel we put in our bodies should be good so that we feel good. Movement and activity are essential to the health of our mind, body, and spirit. Living happy means to be mindful and present in the moment. Place value on our relationships, the memories we make, and our emotional and mental well-being. My mother used to say “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff.”

Morgan Turner

Program Education Assistant

Morgan Turner is a Program Education Assistant at the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. Mr. Turner is a strong self-advocate who has both cognitive and physical disabilities. He is an influential leader, expert peer educator, and the host of Morgan’s Musings, a video series dedicated to supporting individuals to become leaders and self-advocates in their own unique way. He works full-time across multiple HDI projects focused on health, advocacy, leadership, and inclusive higher education and employment for people with disabilities. Morgan has co-facilitated several inclusive health promotion programs and over 75 trainings on Universal Design in health and disability inclusion for professionals, self-advocates, and community members. He is a graduate of Tates Creek High School and an athlete and athlete ambassador with Special Olympics. Mr. Turner was invited to participate in the national Special Olympics Inclusive Health Work Group.  In recognition of his hard work and leadership, Morgan was recently appointed to Kentucky’s Employment First Council by Governor Beshear.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Carrots, grapes

What does health/wellness mean to you?
Being someone with a disability its important for me to be healthy and active and I'm happy I have a job that is related to that

Sydney Tye

Women's Health Research Assistant

Sydney is a research assistant with Disability & Women's Health project at the Kentucky Inclusive Health Collaborative. Sydney is a senior, undergraduate student at Transylvania University where she studies African American Religions and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. After undergraduate, Sydney plans to attend graduate school in an effort to obtain a Ph.D. in American Religious Studies with a focus on African American religions as well as gender and sexuality. In addition to her studies and personal confrontations with mental illnesses, she is extremely passionate about making resources accessible to others within her community. When she is not studying or napping, Sydney loves to spend her free time sitting outside drinking some tea, playing with animals, hiking in the woods, or talking all about books she has read.  

What is your favorite healthy snack?
If I had to pick a healthy snack it would be celery sticks with a tiny bit of ranch or apples with peanut butter. But it MUST be a Granny Smith apple or else you can forget about it.

What does health/wellness mean to you?
Speaking from personal experience, health and wellness are often thought of as something that is a luxury. However, as many on the team have stated before, the reality of health and wellness is more than just what meets the eye. That understanding, the complications, and all the nitty-gritty are what makes health and wellness so important to me. The complications that can be detected are often misunderstood or neglected because many think that avenues such as mental health and even environmental health are disconnected. But they are not! Spreading awareness of the intersections about health and wellness is my why. I like having the complicated conversations. 

Trent Marcum

Disability & Health Program Facilitator

Trent (he/him/his) works as a Disability & Health Program Facilitator with the Kentucky Inclusive Health Collaborative through the Human Development Institute. Trent is a Master’s student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Kentucky. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2017 with a B.A. in English Literature and Film Studies. After graduating from WKU, Trent worked in both Day Treatment and Intensive Outpatient Therapy at CHNK Behavioral Health in Covington, KY; after moving to Lexington in 2019, Trent began work with Expressive and Wellness Programs of ES Inc. where he provided supports for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His research interests include relationships, generational trauma, trauma in marginalized populations, and accessibility to mental healthcare for individuals with disabilities.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
A post-workout vegan protein shake.

What does health/wellness mean to you?
What Lindsey said.


Key Support

Barb Locker

Project Manager

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Banana with Peanut Butter; Trail Mix

What does health/wellness mean to you?
Being active in a manner that promotes spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional well-being and that maintains a balanced approach to living in a fast-paced world.

Carter Fifield

Web Developer

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Red and orange bell peppers

What does health/wellness mean to you?
Health and wellness to me is a lifestyle choice. It means making smart and healthy decisions through every aspect of my life. Healthy food, exercise, and taking days foy my mental health all play a part in my healthy lifestyle choices.

Chithra Adams

Program Evaluation Advisor

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Fruits; All kinds!

What does health/wellness mean to you?
Being healthy and well means being kind to my body and mind.

Claudia Johnson

Principal Investigator

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Almonds, apple with peanut butter

What does health/wellness mean to you?
Making myself be active every day-even if just a short walk or 15 minutes of yoga. It helps my mental as well as my physical health.

Collin Burckle

Practicum Health Promotion Student

What is your favorite healthy snack?
I love potatoes, sweet or normal, I love vegetables, but probably pickles.

What does health/wellness mean to you?
The ability to help someone with their fitness journey, wellness journey, and being happy is the lowest form of healthcare. The most important form because it keeps you going, healthy, and strong as a person. I truly enjoy helping people become fitter, mentally stronger, and able to make better decisions when it comes to the mind, body, and soul. I  love being able to implement a program that can provide change, that is positive. 

Nathan French

Practicum Psychology Student

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Bananas or boiled eggs

What does health/wellness mean to you?
Health and wellness means making it accessible to everyone regardless of disability or not. By making it inclusive, health and wellness becomes meaningful to everyone and anybody can take the basic aspects of wellness to build themselves up to the best version they can be!