Congrats, spring 2023 grads

Congrats, spring 2023 graduates

Congratulations, CDHD graduates! 

Join us in congratulating our graduating and departing trainees! Four of our trainees will head off to take the next exciting steps in their careers: Julia Bailey, Kellie Matern, Kelsey Miller and Areli Morfin.

Each was kind enough to take part in a Q and A about their time at the CDHD and what’s next. Read on to find out more …

Julia is sitting on the left, next to another young woman. Julia is dressed in all black, smiling and looking at the camera.

Congratulations, Julia Bailey

We’ll kick things off with an easy one. What degree will you be receiving?

Julia: Exercise, Sport and Health Sciences – Pre-PT with minors in psychology and pre-health professions.

You’ve been busy! When did you start work at the CDHD?

I have worked at the CDHD for one semester. I started in January 2023.

Ah, you just joined us! But I know you’ve really made an impact in a short time. What projects did you work on?

Julia: I worked on the Healthy Active Lifestyles project, instructing Movement in the Park classes. I also conducted interviews for the research study on Movement in the Park, and tested out new heart rate monitors that the CDHD might use in a future study.

With the other instructors of Movement in the Park, we presented at the Tools for Life Fair about the exercise guidelines and how to “Move Your Way”. We also held mini-Movement in the Park classes after the lunch breaks at the fair.

I worked on the Act Early project. In this project I compared and started matching the Early Learning and Developmental Standards of three states (Idaho, Connecticut, Virginia) with the CDC milestones.

And, I coordinated the Courageous Kids Climbing event in April. We had 25 people climb at our free rock-climbing event!

That’s amazing!  A lot of work in just four short months. What’s next? What are your post-graduation plans?

Julia: I will be moving back home to Canada a few days after graduation! I have applied for Physical Therapy master’s programs at a few schools in Ontario, Canada.

I hope to start graduate school this September.

Kellie is watching someone throw something in the air at Movement in the Park. Her mouth is wide and she is amazed and happy.

Congratulations, Kellie Matern

How long have you been with us here at the CDHD, Kellie?

Kellie: I have worked at the CDHD for about a year now.

Has it already been a year? What projects did you work on while you were here?

I worked on DANI and the Health Active Lifestyles Project.

That’s great! You were one of the instructors for the Movement in the Park classes, working with Julia, Maddie and Victoria. Is that going to carry through to the summer?

Yes, I’m going to continue to work through the summer as a movement instructor.

Excellent! Tell us what degree you’re getting and what’s on the books after the summer.

My degree is in sociology and organizational science. After the summer, hopefully I’ll become a para instructor in the fall!

Over the course of the year you’ve been with us, what is your favorite CDHD memory?

I loved going to Washington DC and experiencing our Capitol. It was such a cool opportunity.

I learned a lot and was able to bond with my fellow trainees. We not only did great in our presentation but got to travel across the country!

Kelsey is smiling and holding an artAbility Showcase brochure toward the camera

Congratulations, Kelsey Miller

So, here’s an easy one for you – what degree will you be finishing with?

Kelsey: My degree is in criminology with a minor in sociology.

And how long have you been working at the CDHD?

I started in August 2022.

You’re one of our longest serving graduates! What projects did you work on during your time here?

I worked with Carlie on CDHD dissemination where I helped design social media graphics and captions.

I also worked with Jen on the Idaho Living Well Project doing research on what other states are doing to support individuals with disabilities and address issues around abuse.

Two very different projects, but you’ve done an excellent job at both! Do you have a favorite memory of your time working here?

Kelsey: I really loved being a part of the artAbility Showcase! I loved being able to see the artists excited to show off their amazing work to the community.

And, what are your post-graduation plans?

Kelsey: I accepted a job working for Child Protective Services in Pendleton, Oregon.

Areli is crouching on the ground helping artAbility participants with their art. She is pulling her mask down to smile at at the camera.

Congratulations, Areli Morfin

Now, technically you won’t be finished until December, but you are leaving us this summer, is that right?

Areli: Yes, I’m returning to my hometown to finish out my degree.

And what is your degree in?

Areli: I will be receiving a bachelor’s degree in urban planning.

Very cool! I think you’re our longest serving trainee in this group of graduates. How long have you been at the CDHD?

Areli: I have worked at the CDHD for two years.

Before I started working here, I had no prior knowledge of the Center or of individuals with disabilities, so it was exciting to be here and start learning new things. Each year, I have gotten the chance to interact with various groups of people and have become more involved with the community. Working at the CDHD has been a great experience.

That’s amazing! What projects were you working on during that time?

Areli: In the two years that I have been here, I have been the project coordinator for artAbility. I really enjoyed organizing and planning the art workshops. It is great to see students and community members involved with the artAbility project.

My favorite yet most stressful part was the Showcase. I loved seeing everything come together, having an event where the art is displayed for the community to see, and celebrating the artists.

Do you have any other favorite memories from your time?

Areli: Yes, my absolute favorite CDHD memory is the very first artAbility workshop that I instructed alongside Sukha Worob.

This was a really fun workshop where participants were introduced to cyanotype. It was the first time I was able to interact with individuals with disabilities, and it was nice seeing CDHD staff involved. It was a beautiful day, and it was so cool seeing everyone's negative prints they created.

Ah yes, I can’t believe that was two years ago! Time goes by quickly, so it won’t be long before you’re completely finished with your degree. What are your post-graduation plans?

Areli: Post-graduation, I’m still indecisive about whether I want to work for a local government or with a private firm. After I graduate, I want to stay in the Pacific Northwest and work in a position where I can actively engage with the community and work alongside a group that is committed to improving quality of life.


Thank you to all the trainees for taking the time to catch up! We appreciate everything you have helped with during your time at the CDHD, and we know that great things are in store for each of you.

Congratulations and we wish you nothing but the best as you move on to your next adventure!