Music Therapy Alumni Achievements

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Ever wonder what a person can DO with a degree in music therapy? Read on to find out about the exciting accomplishments of some of our recent Frost School of Music graduates!

Undergraduate Students

Krystine Smith, BM, MT-BC (2017) is employed at the Miami VA Healthcare System. Her work with veterans has been highlighted in a UM commencement profile. Read it here

Natalie Santiago, BM (2017) has just begun employment, following the completion of her internship, at Miami Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, with Seasons Healthcare.  

Joseph Recabo, BM (2016) is beginning his studies this year for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. He was working as a rehabilitation tech at Promise Hospital of Miami, a long-term acute care facility providing primarily ventilator therapy support for patients with pulmonary/cardiac failure, neurologic and orthopedic-related trauma. He is now working for Kindred Hospital of Fort Lauderdale as a Restorative aide.

Kayla Zuckerman, BM, MT-BC, NMT (2015) is employed as a full-time music therapist at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah; the same hospital where she completed her internship. She is also pursuing her master’s degree in music therapy through the online program at Saint Mary of the Woods College in Indiana.

Carlos-Andres Rodriguez BM, MT-BC (2014) is working with Miami Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, Seasons Healthcare. Carlos-Andres also serves as an onsite music therapy supervisor for our Frost music therapy practicum students!

Susan Smiddy, BM, MT-BC (2014) and her work at C.S. Mott Children's hospital were recently featured on a local news segment you can watch here. This beautiful segment highlights the power of music therapy and songwriting for a cancer patient. Great work, Susan! Read more here.

Kaitlin Tunney, BM, MT-BC (2014) is currently on maternity leave with her daughter Scarlet who was born in March 2017! Kaitlin has been working for the Treatment and Detention Facility at the Department of Human Services in Illinois. She was previously employed at the Coalinga State Hospital as a rehabilitation therapist (music), with the Department of Mental Health in California. There she worked with several populations, including veterans with PTSD. 

David Cruz, BM, MT-BC (Music Therapy and Music Education, 2014) is employed at South Miami Senior High School teaching chorus, magnet music theory 1, magnet orchestra, and theater.

Alyssa Wilkins, BM, MT-BC (Music Therapy and Music Education, 2014) is employed as Music Teacher and Music Therapist at Metropolitan Prep/Laureate Day School in Chicago. She works with children ages K-12 with emotional and behavioral disorders and children with Autism.

Brenna Sloane, BM, MT-BC (2013) is a music therapist at Jackson Behavioral Health working with adults with mental disorders. She incorporates movement with music in many of her music therapy interventions.

Evelyn Laguardia, BM, MT-BC (2012) is a music therapist with Nicklaus Children's Hospital (NCH; formerly Miami Children’s Hospital) and serves as music therapy director. She works with children and adolescents of all ages with varying diagnoses. Her leadership has led to the hiring of two other full-time music therapists at NCH! She is also an on-site music therapy supervisor to our Frost music therapy practicum students!

Stephanie Riggs, BM, MT-BC (2012) is employed as a music therapist at Season’s Hospice in Miami, FL.  She is also an on-site music therapy supervisor to our Frost music therapy practicum students!

Jenny Denk, BM, MT-BC (2009) was recently named West Music's Extraordinary Associate of the Month! She's currently providing music therapy services in the Des Moines, IA area and recently started the SoundReach choir for teens and adults of all abilities. Congratulations Jenny on all the recognition for all of your hard work!

Elizabeth Stockton, BM, MT-BC (2009) is the supervisor of recreation and creative arts therapy at the Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Miami, FL. Her patients have included individuals receiving substance abuse treatment, individuals with mental illness, nursing home care, and neurorehabilitation.  Elizabeth has developed innovative programming on the job, such as the Miami VA Guitar Program. She also completed the Advanced Fellowship Training in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) and is now an NMT Fellow.

Susan Droessler, BM, MT-BC (2008) is employed as music therapy internship director, Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee, Florida.  She provides music therapy for patients facing terminal illness and their families. 

Jamie Sussman Maresca, MA, MT-BC (2004) is excited to announce the opening of her Sound Birthing business, Birth, Babies, and Bach. Sound Birthing is the therapeutic use of music during labor and delivery to help with the natural progression of labor, aid in pain management, and create a positive birth experience. Birth, Babies, and Bach is located in Nashville, TN, but expectant mothers anywhere in the United States can participate in Sound Birthing sessions online via Google Hangout, Skype, or FaceTime. Best of luck Jamie!

Graduate Students

Carolyn Moore (formerly Dachinger), Ph.D., MT-BC (2016) is an assistant professor of music therapy at the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication at Sam Houston State University. Carolyn's dissertation examined the efficacy of challenging music and movement exercises to improve cognition in older adults. Carolyn completed her master’s of music therapy at Frost School of Music as well!

John Britton, MM, MT-BC (2016) is employed at the Tristar Medical Center, in an outpatient specialist position, in Nashville, TN. John’s master’s degree clinical project was the development of a music and mindfulness program for cancer patients.

Evan Privoznik, MM, MT-BC (2015) is a music therapist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (formerly Miami Children’s Hospital). His thesis examined the perception of music emotions by veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Joy Ouellette, MM, MT-BC (2016) is currently incorporating her music therapy training at Oviedo High School as a case manager for students with ASD. Her duties also include leading music therapy to teach social and interpersonal skills as well as learning strategies to students. Joy grew this position from a substitute teaching position the previous year. Join us in congratulating Joy on this achievement!

Marlén Rodriguez-Wolfe, MM, MT-BC (2015) is a music therapist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, Florida. Her thesis focused on the effect of preferred music on pain perception. She has previously worked with children at Shriner’s Burn Hospital in Boston, MA.

Stephanie M. Epstein, MM, MT-BC (formerly Kawzenuck, 2014) has developed the music therapy program at Holtz Children’s Hospital, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. Her work was featured on NBC nightly news!  

Emily Lambert, MM, MT-BC (2014) is a music therapist at the Lighthouse Rehabilitation Center in Caro, Michigan. Emily says “It's a phenomenal facility where they truly do treat clients how they want their family to be treated, are great to one another, and employees are compensated well. There is a school on-site for those 21 and under, a horse barn with hippotherapy, PT, OT, RT, social work, and psychologists. It's pretty fantastic.” She works with clients with traumatic brain injuries and adolescents with developmental delays.

Andy Panayides, MM, MT-BC (2013) is employed as a music therapist at Opportunities for Positive Growth in Indiana and has successfully funded music therapy through insurance reimbursement.  

Amy Kalas, MM, MT-BC (2010), BM (Music Therapy, 2005) served as Visiting Professor of Music Therapy at the University of Miami for the 2013-2014 academic year. She also owns a private practice, Wholesome Harmonies, LLC, where she provides group and individual music therapy to children and adolescents with special needs in the Miami area.

Julie Stordahl, Ph.D., MT-BC (Music Education with Music Therapy Emphasis, 2010) Dr. Stordahl is an assistant professor of music therapy at Charleston Southern University. Her dissertation explored the influence of music on depression, affect, and benefit finding in women following treatment for breast cancer.

BriAnne Weaver, MM, MT-BC (2007) provides music therapy services for individuals with severe to profound disabilities through the Ann Storck Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  She is also an internship supervisor for many University of Miami music therapy undergraduates.

Hayoung Lim, Ph.D., MT-BC (2007) Dr. Lim was served as music therapy faculty at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas and now at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma. Her dissertation examined Language Training through Music on speech production in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.