STAFF

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Jenni Buckley, PhD

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | CO-FOUNDER
[email protected]

Dr. Jenni Buckley is the Interim Executive Director for The Perry Initiative. She is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Delaware, where she teaches design and biomechanics and conducts research in engineering education. Dr. Buckley is one of the Co-Founders of The Perry Initiative, the Co-President of the Board of Directors, and she served as Executive Director for the first four years of the organization's history.

Melissa Cline

Melissa Cline

PROGRAM COORDINATOR 
[email protected]

Melissa Cline is the program coordinator for The Perry Initiative. She handles different administrative aspects of the programs in collaboration with program hosts and participants. She also works with volunteers and fellows to make sure all the equipment gets to each Perry program. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Delaware with a minor in Biomechanical Engineering. Melissa joined the Perry Initiative in Summer 2023.

Akshitha Adhiyaman

Akshitha Adhiyaman

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Akshitha Adhiyaman is a medical student at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University currently on her research year with HSS Pediatric Orthopedics. She received degrees in Biology and Economics from Emory University where she was involved with research, community service, and south asian culture. Akshitha is excited to be a part of the Perry Initiative for the 2023-2024 year.

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Sereen Assi

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Sereen Assi is a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate BS degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanics. She was involved in tendon biology and tissue engineering research during her undergraduate studies which sparked her interest in orthopaedics and regenerative medicine. Currently, her research focuses on engineering drug-releasing scaffolds to treat meniscus tears. Sereen joined the Perry initiative in 2022.

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Margo Donlin

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Margo Donlin is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. They received their Bachelor's of Science in Engineering from Elizabethtown College, with dual concentrations in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Margo was also the goalkeeper for the field hockey team. Their current research focuses on developing adaptive functional electrical stimulation to use in combination with an adaptive treadmill to improve forward propulsion and walking speed in individuals who have had a stroke. They started volunteering with Perry in the winter/spring of 2020 and became a fellow in 2021. Margo also contributes to the Perry Initiative as Shipping Coordinator in our Newark, DE warehouse.

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Kaitlyn Downer

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Kaitlyn Downer is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware. Her research is focused on using musculoskeletal modeling to understand mobility in older adults and individuals with neuromuscular impairments.

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Mary Kate Evans

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Mary Kate Evans is a PhD student in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate BS degree in Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, where she also played Division I basketball. Her experiences as an athlete motivated her to pursue graduate school with the goal of finding solutions to improve healing for athletes post-injury. Currently, her research focuses on elucidating key components of tendon development, in order to inform future therapeutic approaches for treating tendon and ligament injuries.

Andria Farrens

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Andria Farrens is a postdoctoral fellow at UCI, studying rehabilitation robotics for post stroke individuals, with a focus on understanding how the brain learns to control movement. She received her PhD from the University of Delaware in Biomedical Engineering, and her Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. She has worked with the Perry Initiative for the past 5 years as a program specialist, and is passionate about making STEM education fun and engaging.

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Hana Kalco

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Hana Kalčo is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Cell and Tissue Engineering and a minor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester. Her research uses a unique explant co-culture of muscle, tendon, and bone to understand the influence of tissue crosstalk and sustained inflammatory processes to multi-tissue degeneration during rotator cuff injury.  Hana joined the Perry Initiative as a Fellow in the fall of 2023.

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Ana Love

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Ana Love is a recent graduate of the University of New Mexico where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Chemistry and Math. During undergrad, she worked at Sandia National Laboratories, where she studied additive manufacturing of metals and polymers. She also worked in rapid prototyping of 3D printed masks through the UNM Orthopaedics Biomechanics/Biomaterials Laboratory. She is currently focused on research and studying for the MCAT while applying to medical school. Ana started volunteering with the Perry Initiative in 2022 and became a Fellow in the fall of 2023.

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Emma Luke

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Emma Luke is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Utah. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester, with a focus on biomechanics. Her current research focuses on collagen damage in osteoarthritis: understanding initiation and developing targeted treatment. She uses basic science and translational approaches to investigate the relationship between collagen damage initiation, progression, and distribution. Emma joined the Perry Initiative as a Fellow in the fall of 2022.

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Julia Nicolescu

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Julia Nicolescu is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Insititute. She graduated from Union College in 2022 with her bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Spanish. During undergraduate studies, Julia’s research focused on the biomechanics of heart and brain development of embryos. Presently, she is a part of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory participating in research on bone stress injuries in athletes. Her work combines motion capture and computational modeling to understand how different bones and sections of the foot undergo loading during various activities. She hopes to pursue research and a future career that explores the effects of social, economic, and political structures and their impact on engineering, medicine, and education.

Kayla Pariser

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Kayla Pariser received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton where she was also a member of the university athletic and concert bands. Currently she is a PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a University of Delaware Helwig Mechanical Engineering Fellow.  Her research, in computational biomechanics, involves using musculoskeletal models and simulations to predict, on a patient-specific basis, parameters for rehabilitation that will most effectively improve locomotion in stroke survivors. Kayla joined the Perry Initiative when she started graduate school at UD in the fall of 2018 and became a program specialist in the fall of 2019.

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Nancy Park

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Nancy Park is a medical student at the Yale School of Medicine, currently conducting a research fellowship in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine Division. Her current research is in using 3-D modeling to better understand patellar instability and also in clinical outcomes of multiligament knee injuries. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Emily Sharp

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Emily Sharp is a PhD student in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Bucknell University. Her current research focuses on developing novel biomaterials and drug delivery systems for connective tissue repair. Emily joined the Perry Initiative in the fall of 2022 and is excited to work with the next generation of STEM-inists through Perry!

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Katy Strand

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Katy Strand is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania studying bioengineering. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Delaware with minors in Biomechanical Engineering and Disability Studies. Her current research focuses on clinical and translational orthopaedic biomechanics centering around bone and tendon. Katy joined the Perry Initiative in the fall of 2022 and previously served as Program Coordinator.

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Kyra Twohy

PERRY INITIATIVE FELLOW

Kyra is currently working toward her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware. She received her BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Dayton, respectively, where she started her biomechanics research career. Her current research looks at the stiffness of brain tissue via MRI during development in humans as an assessment of brain health, with the hopes of improving diagnostic and intervention options for those with neurodevelopment conditions. She is passionate about creating opportunities to introduce students to the wonders of STEM. Kyra joined the Perry Initiative in fall of 2022, and also contributes to the Perry Initiative as Shipping Coordinator in our Newark, DE warehouse.