Meet Our Team!



Stefanie Bodison, OTD, OTR/L


Lab Director and Assistant Professor

Dr. Stefanie Bodison, is a four-time graduate of the University of Southern California (USC), having earned her BS, MA, and OTD in occupational therapy and an MS in translational science from the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Dr. Bodison is an internationally renowned expert in sensory integration theory, assessment, and intervention, and has clinical expertise in the neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) approach and feeding. Her research program uses multimodal neuroimaging methods to investigate the neural correlates of sensory processing in neurotypically developing children and those with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Bodison enjoys hanging out with her family, playing and watching sports, and walking on the beach.

Lab Staff

Breanna Howell, OTD, OTR/L

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Research

Breanna Howell, OTD, OTR/L received her BS in Health Science from Stetson University and her MAOT and her OTD from the University of Southern California. Dr. Howell has clinical experience in sensory processing, feeding, CIMT (constraint induced movement therapy), social skills and self regulation, AAC (augmentative and alternative communication), use of the Therasuit method, and aquatics. She has worked with children with autism spectrum disorder, genetic conditions, post-CVA, CP, Down syndrome, anxiety, sensory processing differences, spina bifida, learning disabilities and feeding difficulties. Dr. Howell provides the research interventions in Sensory Development Lab and supports the development of intervention studies. In her free time, Dr. Howell enjoys taking her puppy on adventures, sunsets at the beach, and spending time in her hammock.

Erin Lebesch

Lab Manager

head shot

Erin is currently a first year Doctor of Occupational Therapy student here at the University of Florida. She graduated from UF with a BS in Health Science and a minor in Disabilities in Society. She has a passion for working with children, especially those with disabilities, and hopes to be able to work with this population in her future career. She is excited to work in the Sensory Development Lab and to learn more about sensory processing and the way it affects individuals’ behaviors, occupations, and participation. In her free time, Erin enjoys traveling, going on walks, and finding the best tacos in Gainesville. 

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Amy Hartman, Ph.D., OTR/L

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Amy Hartman, Ph.D., OTR/L received her MS in occupational therapy from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and practiced for 10+ years in pediatric inpatient and outpatient clinics until returning to graduate school to receive her Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh in 2022. She currently is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Science under the mentorship of Adriane Soehner, Ph.D., Stefanie Bodison, OTD, and Carla Mazefsky, Ph.D.. Amy’s research program focuses on the complex relationship between sleep health and sensory processing for neurodiverse children. In her free time, Amy enjoys going on epic adventures with her two daughters and husband, hiking, pretending to be artsy, and reading a good book.

Graduate Research Assistants

Jordan Major, MOT, OTR/L

Ph.D. Student

Jordan Major, MOT, OTR/L received her BA in Psychology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and her MOT from Chicago State University. Jordan has clinical experience in adult neurorehabilitation working with clients diagnosed with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, orthopedic injuries, amputation, and rare and medically complex conditions. Additionally, she has experience in school-based pediatrics addressing the educational needs of children with autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, genetic conditions, learning disabilities, and sensory processing disorders. Jordan is excited and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Sensory Development Lab and the talented team Dr. Bodison has intentionally curated. In her free time, Jordan enjoys watching true crime shows, traveling with her family, and singing (and awkwardly dancing) to Beyonce in her car as if nobody is watching.

Devin Valdes

MS Student

Devin is a second-year Master of Public Health (epidemiology) student at the University of Florida on the pre-medical track. He is interested in exploring the multifaceted perspective of health while learning how to best support and advocate for patient populations and underrepresented communities. He is extremely grateful to be part of Dr. Bodison’s Sensory Development Lab as he is ambitious to learn more about the linkages of sensory processing in those with neurodevelopmental disorders, while also learning how to improve this component through more accessible and holistic approaches. During his free time, Devin enjoys teaching group fitness classes, swimming on a sunny day, cooking/baking for his friends, and exploring Gainesville’s hidden gems and local food places.

Carolina Cuomo

OTD Student

Carolina is a first-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy student here at the University of Florida. She graduated from UF with a BS in psychology with specialization in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience. Prior to joining the Sensory Development Lab, Carolina worked as a Research Assistant in UF’s Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development Lab and for the School Psychology department. She is excited to work in the Sensory Development lab so she can expand her passion for and knowledge of neuroscience through an occupational lens. In the future, Carolina desires to work as an occupational therapist in pediatrics or in neurological rehabilitation. In her free time, Carolina enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the beach, traveling, and trying new foods.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Melanie Van Peenen

Melanie is a third-year Bachelor of Health Science student at the University of Florida majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She plans to pursue audiology and is interested in promoting access to quality audiologic services as a future clinician. She is grateful to join the Sensory Development Lab and is eager to learn more about sensory integration and processing, especially in relation to the vestibular system. When she has free time, Melanie enjoys camping around Florida state parks, collecting too many plants, and reading.