PedsAcademy Faculty

PedsAcademy brings together UCF's world class faculty from the colleges of Community Innovation and Education, Medicine, Sciences, and Health Professions and Sciences.

Dr. Megan Nickels
Dr. Megan Nickels
Founder and Faculty Director
Norm Jeune
Norm Jeune
Administrative Director
Dr. Michelle Kelley
Dr. Michelle Kelley
Literacy Teacher
Dr. Lee-Anne Spalding
Dr. Lee-Anne Spalding
Literacy Teacher; Clinical Coordinator
Dr. J. Richelle Joe
Dr. J. Richelle Joe
Counseling Faculty
Dr. Taylor Bousfield
Dr. Taylor Bousfield
Post Doctoral Scholar
Dr. Su Gao
Dr. Su Gao
Science Education
Dr. Faith Ezekiel-Wilder
Dr. Faith Ezekiel-Wilder
Associate Director of Teacher Education; Coordinating Teacher
Dr. Aline Abassian
Dr. Aline Abassian
Secondary Mathematics Teacher; Postdoctoral Scholar
Dr. Jacqueline Towson
Dr. Jacqueline Towson
Early Childhood Education
Dr. Jennifer Tucker
Dr. Jennifer Tucker
Associate Director of Health Professions and Clinical Education
Dr. Matthew Taylor
Dr. Matthew Taylor
K-5 STEM Teacher; Postdoctoral Scholar
Dr. Roger Azevedo
Dr. Roger Azevedo
Lead Scientist Learning Sciences Cluster
Dr. Mike Hynes
Dr. Mike Hynes
Secondary Mathematics Teacher; Director School of Teacher Education
Dr. Terri Finkel
Dr. Terri Finkel
School Advisory Board; Chair of Pediatrics, Pediatrician in Chief; Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Pamela "Sissi" Carroll
Dr. Pamela “Sissi” Carroll
School Advisory Board; Dean and Professor College of Community Innovation and Education
Dr. Karen Karp
Dr. Karen Karp
School Advisory Board
Dr. Eleazar (Trey) Vasquez III
Dr. Eleazar (Trey) Vasquez III
School Advisory Board
Dr. Linda Walters
Dr. Linda Walters
School Advisory Board
Dr. Rachel Wasserman
Dr. Rachel Wasserman
School Advisory Board
Dr. Craig Cullen
Dr. Craig Cullen
Research Advisory Board
Dr. Lisa Dieker
Dr. Lisa Dieker
School Advisory Board
Dr. Carolyn Hopp
Dr. Carolyn Hopp
School Advisory Board
JoAnn Newman
JoAnn Newman
School Advisory Board; CEO Orlando Science Center
Jonathan "Nick" Solomon
Jonathan “Nick” Solomon
Doctoral Student Researcher; Cochlear Implant Group
Bethany Russell
Bethany Russell
Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, Nationally Certified Counselor, Child Life Specialist
Dan Edelen
Dan Edelen
Graduate Student Researcher
Bethany Fralish
Bethany Fralish
Research Assistant to Dr. Nickels
River
River
Chief Executive Paw-ficer of Robotics Modeling and Morale

Why Choose Us

Advisory Board

Joint oversight from a school advisory board of Nemours physicians and clinicians, UCF education faculty, and community partners.

JoAnn Newman, CEO Orlando Science Center

Terri Finkel, MD, Ph.D., Chair of Pediatrics, Pediatrician in Chief, and Chief Scientific Officer

Lisa Dieker, Ph.D. Pegasus Professor, Exceptional Education, UCF

Linda Walters, Ph.D. Pegasus Professor, Marine Biology, UCF

Carolyn Hopp, Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, UCF

Eleazar “Trey” Vasquez, Ph.D., Exceptional Education, Director Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute, UCF

Pamela “Sissi” Carroll, Ed.D., Dean, College of Community Innovation and Education, UCF

Teaching Faculty
• 36 pre-service teachers each semester
• 7+ faculty members
• 2 resident interns
• 4 postdoctoral scholars
• 2 grad student researchers
• 1 mental health counselor
• 1 pediatric specialist
• 1 teaching assistant
Eligibility

All school-age children on Nemours premises are eligible for PedsAcademy immediately. This includes patients and siblings with no exclusions.

All children are served on day 1.

Credentials and Experience

Faculty Director

  • Record of research in education of kids with chronic and critical illnesses (Ph.D.)

Faculty

  • Ph.D. and/or Ed.D.
  • Teacher certifications; Special Education

Post-Doctoral Researchers

  • Emergent research in hospital subpopulations, such as children with autism (Ph.D.)

Pre-Service Teachers

  • Edu. Majors
  • Education specific to teaching in hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all school age children at Nemours are eligible to participate in PedsAcademy. With your authorization, we are happy to reach out to your child’s school to coordinate class activities and ensure a smooth transition between academic settings.

Our team of UCF faculty and pre-service teachers can assist with any subject area. Each faculty member holds an advanced degree, typically a doctorate, in one of the core subjects areas (mathematics, literacy) and our pre-service teachers are trained in all content areas as well.

At PedsAcademy our primary mission is to provide extraordinary learning experiences for your child that is specific to their disease or condition in order to help offset some of the learning difficulties that may arise from treatment and frequent absenteeism. This kind of learning takes place in PedsAcademy using virtual reality, robotics, and pedagogical agents. We know homework is important too and can often be a worry for both children and parents. Our teachers will happily incorporate your child’s homework into their learning plan.

PedsAcademy is in operation M-F from 10-5. Your child will be seen at a time agreed upon between PedsAcademy faculty, Nemours’ physicians and nurses, and you! Times will vary daily depending on your child’s treatment.

Welcome to PedsAcademy

If your question is not answered in the frequently asked questions section, please email, call, or stop us with your question. We want to hear from you!  

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