Group Leaders

TAP Unlimited enjoys the gifts of service by speech pathologists, social workers, and volunteers to lead TAP groups across the Triangle. Every one of these talented and committed individuals share in the mission of TAP, as an ambassador for our vision and an agent of our goals.

Abbe Simon Betsy Janes Candace Seibert Elizabeth Hopp
Heather Garrabrant Julia Bryan Canavan Kelley Shaver  
Kristen Kesler Kristine Strobbia Lina Lemons Liz Bates
Megan Lynch Paula Scicluna Rieppe Hendrick Sowmya Shanker
Tisha Shah Jerry DeWitt Kaylea Nicholson Laura White
Crista Misenheimer Rachel Fanders   Graciela Roberti
Rose Reif Katy Wyatt

Abbe Simon
M.A., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

Abbe Simon

Abbe Simon has been a speech-language pathologist for nearly 17 years. She recently moved from the NY/NJ area and was thrilled to know an aphasia program like TAP existed near her home in Chapel Hill. She has worked with adults and children in outpatient settings. Abbe continues to be devoted to serving adults with neurological impairments, and has worked in acute care, outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and, most close to heart, a prestigious aphasia center in the tri-state area. Her passion for facilitating conversation groups for people with aphasia allows her to marvel at the way individuals succeed at communicating and interact with one another. Abbe integrates the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia into her clinical skills and believes creating a functional environment is key to achieving success. In her spare time, she can be found exercising, cooking, doing yoga, or watching her two sons play sports.

Betsy JanesBetsy Janes
BS, UNC-Chapel Hill
MS, UNC-Chapel Hill

 
Betsy has been a speech-language pathologist for 27 years. She has worked with adults and children in outpatient clinics, home health, school settings, and in day care. She is currently working in schools in Wake County. She has always loved working with adults and is excited about volunteering at TAP. She also does volunteer work at Catholic Parish Outreach. She is married and the mother of three daughters.
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Candace Seibert

Candace Seibert

Candace Seibert retired from UNC Hospitals Acute Rehabilitation Unit in 2012, where she enjoyed eight years of working with individuals with aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological challenges in both inpatient and outpatient contexts. She came to UNC from the Brady Insititute for Traumatic Brain Injury at Jamaica Hospital in New York. Although Candace found great satisfaction working in a medical environment, she also relishes the opportunity to work with people as their recovery continues at home and in their community. Candace loved facilitating groups while at UNC. She learned there that everyone has a story to tell, and our role is to help them tell it. Candace lives in Cary with Ward, her husband of 42 years, and enjoys spending time with her adult children, playing golf, reading, and gardening.
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Elizabeth Hopp
MA, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Elizabeth has worked with aphasia patients in many settings including inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient therapy, skilled nursing facilities, and home health since 2002. She lives in Pittsboro, N.C with her husband, two children, horses, dogs, and pet birds! She feels honored to join the Triangle Aphasia Project and provide aphasia support to adults in Chatham County and surrounding areas. Elizabeth is excited to share TAP’s mission of community reintegration and lifelong improvement in communication.

 

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Heather Garrabrant

Heather Garrabrant photoHeather Garrabrant is a speech-language pathologist with over 20 years of experience. She has worked with clients experiencing communication difficulties due to stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, traumatic brain injury, Multiple Sclerosis, dementia, neurological issues, and multiple medical problems. Heather has worked in acute care, rehab hospitals, skilled nursing, home health and outpatient practices. She enjoys facilitating groups with Triangle Aphasia Project and the many people she meets through TAP. Heather is inspired by the connections the group members and their families make with each other, their progress in expressing themselves, and the way they compassionately help each other.
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Julia Bryan Canavan

Julia Bryan Canavan

Julia has been working with individuals with aphasia for more than 20 years. She has worked as a speech-language pathologist in acute, rehab, and outpatient settings at Duke, Durham VA Hospital, Carolinas Rehab and Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, and WakeMed. She is a Board Member of Triangle Aphasia Project.
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Kelley Shaver
M.S., CCC-SLP

Kelley Shaver

Kelley is a group leader for the Saturday Morning Group in Cary. She also serves on the TAP Development Committee. She has been working as a speech-language pathologist since earning her MS degree in speech-language pathology from Vanderbilt University in 2007. She has enjoyed working with adults and children in a variety of settings, including outpatient rehabilitation and in schools. Currently, she is working at an elementary school in Raleigh. She lives with her husband in Cary, NC.
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Kristen Kesler
M.S., CCC-SLP

Kristen Kesler headshotKristen Kesler is a speech-language pathologist who resides in Durham, NC and works for a local private practice. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI and her master’s degree from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Kristen has experience working with individuals across the lifespan and in a variety of settings, including schools, home health, acute care, and outpatient facilities. She relocated to the Triangle in 2014 and is thrilled to have the opportunity to support TAP in its aphasia rehabilitation and advocacy efforts. Aside from being an SLP, Kristen is an avid runner, frequent beach-goer, and devoted Detroit sports fan.
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Kristine Strobbia

Kristine Strobbia is a speech-language pathologist who lives in Durham, NC. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, MD. Kristine has worked with adults in skilled nursing, inpatient, and outpatient settings. She has worked with children in public and non-public school settings. Kristine is passionate about the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia and honored to be a part of the TAP team. When she is not working, she and her husband are traveling, watching sports, or out on the water.
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Lina Lemons

Lina Lemons

Lina Lemons has more than 12 years experience as a speech therapist working with children and adults with a wide variety of speech and language disorders. She has been working with Triangle Aphasia Project Unlimited for more than eight years in a variety of capacities – from board member, to volunteer, to group leader. Her passion is to help individuals with aphasia get back to doing the things they love through a supportive and fun environment. Lina received her undergraduate degree from NC State and her master’s degree from the University of Virginia. She currently lives in Raleigh with her husband and two children.
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Liz Bates
BA, UNC Chapel Hill 2011
MS, East Carolina University 2013

Liz is a speech-language pathologist living in Raleigh, NC. She works in the acute care, LTACH, inpatient rehab, and skilled nursing settings. She is excited to begin working with TAP as a group leader as well as opportunities for training and development for people and organizations within the community. She has a passion for working with people with aphasia and identifying ways to elicit functional communication so that they can continue to make and share their story.
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Megan Lynch

Megan came to the field of speech-language pathology in a nonlinear fashion, by way of experience working as a lay chaplain in a large Chicago hospital. Through chaplaincy, she learned there are countless individuals living in their own unique void between illness and health, fueling an interest in the rehabilitation of neurologic disorders. Now as a clinician, she is more aware of how the communication strategies we provide help people feel less isolated from their former lives and the world at large.

As a Los Angeles native, Megan is excited to be living on a new coast, after spending the past four years working in acute rehabilitation and outpatient in St. Louis, MO. While in St. Louis, she participated in an Evidence-Based Aphasia Clinic and coordinated the hospital’s brain injury program. Megan currently works at Duke University Hospital and will be leading TAP groups in Durham

Paula Scicluna
M.A., MT-BC, NMT-F

Paula SciclunaPaula is a board-certified neurologic music therapist with 27 years of clinical experience working with children and adults challenged with developmental, neurological and mental health disorders. Paula is one of only two music therapists in North Carolina to have completed the advanced fellowship level training with the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy at the Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University. As a classically-trained pianist, Paula has a passion for the therapeutic benefits of adapted piano training. She is an internationally published author on music and sensory integration in neurorehabilitation and an experienced presenter for conferences and workshops.
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Rieppe Hendrick
BS in business and communication disorders, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
MA in communication disorders, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Rieppe Hendrick

Rieppe has worked as a clinician for over 20 years. She has been a group leader with TAP since 2012 and feels that the opportunity to serve in this role is an absolute honor and privilege. She thoroughly enjoys every moment spent with the groups and leaves every group session with an ongoing respect and admiration for the group members and their perseverance. She is continually inspired and motivated to facilitate groups because of the evidence of the tremendous positive impact that TAP has in working with group members, their families, and their communities. She literally leaves every group meeting feeling that she has been apart of enabling those struggling with aphasia to return to lives full of joy and fulfillment, returning to things they enjoyed before aphasia and finding new interests. She also feels a tremendous joy in seeing group members becoming supporters and advocates for each other. The gifts she gives to TAP are far outweighed by what she gets in return.

When she is not with a TAP group, she is inevitably on a tennis court or in a garden. She lives in Holly Springs with her wonderful husband, John, and their children Matthew and Anna.
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Sowmya Shanker

Sowmya Shanker

Sowmya Shanker has worked as a speech pathologist for over 15 years in this country. Originally from India, Sowmya worked at a prestigious rehab hospital in Boston before relocating to North Carolina in 2008 and now works at Duke Regional Hospital. She loves working with adults who have cognitive and communicative disorders and is constantly looking for ways to make therapy meaningful and functional. She believes that recovery is a life long process and cannot stress enough the role of family, friends, and the community in facilitating this process. If she is not spending time with her son and husband, Sowmya is probably reading, socializing or watching her beloved Red Sox and Patriots play!
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Tisha Shah

 
Tisha Shah headshot
Tisha is originally from Durham/Raleigh NC. She graduated with honors from NC State University with a BA in communication disorders and a minor in psychology. She then received her master’s degree from the University of South Carolina, where she received a specialized certification in the rehabilitation of neurogenic disorders (i.e., traumatic brain injury/stroke). She has worked in the public school system, for a private practice, was a co-owner of her own private practice for several years, and has had various placements in acute care and sub-acute rehabilitation. She truly feels honored to be a part of the lives of the many wonderful people she has worked with as a speech-language pathologist. Tisha is committed to remaining current on the best evidence-based practices to facilitate functional communication using holistic and multisensory/multimodal strategies. In her spare time, she is joyfully raising three fun and energetic little boys and enjoys exploring our great community with her family!
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Jerry DeWitt

Jerry is a Professor Emeritus from Iowa State University. He worked 38 years with the Iowa Extension Service in agriculture. He has provided national leadership in sustainable and organic agriculture. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Holly Springs Food Cupboard, RAFI in Pittsboro, NC, and NCAT in Butte, MT. Jerry enjoys gardening, fishing, photography and snorkeling.
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Kaylea Nicholson

Kaylea has been working as a speech-language pathologist since graduating from the University of Florida in 2012. She currently works with a variety of patient populations, from pediatrics to geriatrics at Duke University Hospital’s outpatient clinic.  She feels blessed to help patients of all ages communicate with their loved ones and is encouraged and inspired daily by the progress her patients make. She is extremely excited to join the TAP team as a group leader. Outside of work, Kaylea enjoys running, going to the beach, and cheering on the Central Florida Knights and Florida Gators.
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Laura White
Co-Leader, TAProots Garden Group

Laura comes to the TAProots garden group with 25 years of experience in native plant gardening. Her background and career is in environmental education and nature study. Her 30 year professional career was in Park Management. She retired from the Supervisor position at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary. Her work at the nature preserve involved teaching children and adults about nature, ecology and the environment to encourage environmental stewardship. She regularly volunteers at the Holly Springs Food Cupboard Garden, which is the home base for the TAProots Garden Group. One of her goals upon retirement was to combine her love of nature with horticultural therapy. She feels so blessed to have found this TAP group, as each session teaches her about how strong the human spirit can be and how, as a community, we can truly lift each other up.
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Crista Misenheimer
Crista Misenheimer is a speech-language pathologist from Raleigh, NC. Prior to becoming a speech-language pathologist, Crista worked in design, marketing and event planning. A North Carolina native, she holds a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from North Carolina Central University. Her graduate school experience included work with adults at a skilled nursing facility and the on-campus aphasia conversation group. Since graduating in 2015, Crista has been an early interventionist, working with young children in homes, schools and daycares. Crista has been fan of TAP since her graduate studies and is excited to become a part of the program. In her spare time she enjoys the arts and spending time with her dog Maggie.
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Rachel Fanders
Rachel is a speech-language pathologist originally from Philadelphia, PA. She now lives in Pittsboro, NC and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Go Tar Heels!) Rachel has experience working with adults and adolescents in various settings, including skilled nursing facilities, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, acute care, and the public schools. Rachel is excited to be working with the Siler City TAP group!
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Graciela Roberti

Graciela Roberti is a highly skilled bilingual therapist with over 20 years of experience in working with children with a variety of communication and speech disorders. Graciela is a native Spanish speaker and has expertise in working with children who have autism, cerebral palsy, language delays, phonological disorders, articulation impairments, and hearing impaired. She is also skilled in treating children with swallowing, oral/motor/feeding, and tracheostomies. Graciela works closely with her bilingual families to make sure needs are being met in both languages across environments.

Graciela earned her Bachelors of Science in Special education, specializing in mental retardation at Pedagogical University of Caracas in Venezuela. She then went on to earn her Master of Science in Speech and Language from NOVA Southeastern University in Florida. Graciela is also a certified Community Spanish Facilitator and Interpreter and earned her certificate from Durham Technical Community College in North Carolina.

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Rose Reif, LPCA, CRC, BC-TMH

Rose is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and the owner of Reif Psychological Services. Rose is passionate about helping people with disabilities and their caregivers to improve their quality of life by overcoming anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

Rose received her Undergraduate degree in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then worked for 10 years as a Case Manager for people with disabilities. Rose then obtained a Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology from UNC-CH’s School of Medicine. Prior to starting a private practice, Rose worked as a research clinician at Duke University Medical Center’s Pain Clinic.

You can learn more about Rose and her private practice at www.reifpsychservices.com.

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Katy Wyatt

Katy is a group leader for the Saturday Morning Group in Cary. Currently a clinical fellow, Katy received her masters degree in Communication Disorders from California State University, Los Angeles in 2017. She has enjoyed working with adults and children in a variety of settings, including outpatient rehabilitation and in schools. Currently, she is working at a high school in Johnston County. Katy is honored to be a part of the Triangle Aphasia Project, and is inspired by the group members’ resilience and progress in expressing themselves.

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