Faculty & Staff

Rightpath banner

The Rightpath team has extensive expertise in the foundational roles of language, literacy and mathematics development in early childhood. They have previously collaborated on projects that have yielded countless assessment and intervention tools and are well-positioned to address home, school, and community assessment and intervention needs.

Rightpath Faculty:

Jason Anthony, PhD

Jason Anthony, Ph.D., Ed.S.

Professor and Rightpath Director

Maria Carlo, PhD

Maria Carlo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Matthew Foster, PhD

Matthew Foster, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Gabriela Silva-Maceda, PhD

Gabriela Silva-Maceda, PhD
Visiting Research Professor

Trina Spencer, PhD

Trina D. Spencer, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Associate Professor

Jeffrey Williams, PhD

Jeffrey M. Williams, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor

Rightpath Staff:

John Bomba III, MS MIS, BS MIS, BS

John Bomba III, MS MIS, BS MIS, BS Biology

Research Applications Developer III

Courtney Claar, BAS

Courtney Claar, BAS

Social & Behavioral Research Specialist

Angela Kim

Angela Kim, B.S.

Administrative Specialist

Rahul Kumar

Rahul Kumar

Statistical Data Analyst

Claudia Millar

Claudia Millar, MPH

Training Coordinator

Thanh Pham, PhD

Thanh Pham, PhD

Statistical Data Analyst

Denise Young

Denise Young, MA

Social & Behavioral Researcher

Rightpath Research support:

Rana Ali

Rana Ali 

Data Collection Specialist

About

Rana Ali is a sophomore at The University of South Florida on the premedicine track. She is passionate about the fusion of computer science and medicine, as well as increasing accessibility of healthcare to all nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds. As a clinical medical assistant, she has worked primarily in pediatrics and oncology. In the future, Rana hopes to become an oncologist and establish affordable clinics which provide top-notch care to patients throughout thirdworld nations.

 

Anette Aponte

Anette Aponte

Bilingual Data Collection Specialist

About

Anette Aponte is an undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Social Work program. Originally she is from Venezuela. She has a passion for serving the Latinx/e community, particularly with community-building and integration methods. Anette has experience tutoring Spanish-speaking students and mentoring primary school students. She also volunteers with the Center for Violence Prevention as a student leader and trainer. In all her pursuits, Ms. Aponte aspires to provide and advocate for equitable growth opportunities.

 

Dawn Baker 

Dawn Baker 

Data Collection Specialist

About

Dawn Baker lived in Florida most of life and consider it home but has also lived in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Missouri. She relocated with her family to Tampa in 2017 and are loving every minute of being here, minus the hurricanes. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Varying Exceptionalities K-12 from Florida Atlantic University. Most recently she has been teaching in an Early Childhood VPK and Special Education classroom. Her interests in data collection and building support tools for educators led her to find Rightpath at USF. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, traveling, camping, reading, and hiking with her family.

 

Melany Ysbal Sampi Bravo

Melany Ysabel Sampi Bravo 

Bilingual Data Collection Specialist

About

Melany Ysbal Sampi Bravo was born and raised in Peru. She has lived two years in Tampa and attended Hillsborough Community College where she earned her Associate Degree in Political Science. Currently she is working on her bachelor’s degree on Political Science with a minor on Legal Studies at USF.

 

Jocelyn Clark

Jocelyn Clark

Bilingual Data Collection Specialist

About

Jocelyn was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, however she has lived for the past 12 years in South Carolina, USA. She recently moved to Tampa, Florida to support her husband’s career and be closer to family. When she is not working or studying, she likes watching Netflix series, talking on her phone with her family and friends, reading, walking, cooking or having family time with her husband and daughter. She has a Bachelor in Basic Education with an Emphasis in Foreign Languages. She has more than 10 years of experience teaching English and Spanish as a foreign language to learners from different ages. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics: Teaching Spanish to Speakers of Other Languages. She is very excited to start a new chapter as part of the USF family.

 

Corina Marino Colosimo

Corina Marino Colosimo 

Bilingual Data Collection Specialist

About

Corina Marino Colosimo is working on her Master’s degree in Marketing at USF. She was born and raised in Venezuela, however she lived 3 years in Brazil, 1 year in Spain, 9 years in Canada and recently moved to Tampa to pursue a Master's degree. When she is not working or studying, she likes watching Netflix series, on FaceTime with her family/friends, reading, at the gym or at the beach!

She has a bachelor’s in commerce, Major in Economics & Finance from the University of Guelph located in Canada. She has experience working in multinational companies with manipulating data, doing data analysis, customer service, among others.

 

Skyler Cruz

Skyler Cruz 

Data Collection Specialist

About

Skyler Cruz is currently working as a Data Collection Specialist for Dr. Jason Anthony. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's in Psychology in 2021, and looking to eventually further education in the field of clinical therapy.

 

Mariel Docabo

Mariel Docabo 

Data Collection Specialist

About

Mariel Docabo is currently majoring in Econometrics and Quantitative

Economics at USF. She has always been fascinated in human behavior; how and why we respond to certain stimuli. During her first year in college, she declared a major in Psychology but she quickly realized that it was not the path for her. She found the field of Econometrics which combines mathematical tools and economic theories in understanding complex human behaviors. She fell in love with the field and is currently considering graduate school for Economics/ Econometrics.

 

Larry Grullon-Polanco

Larry Grullon-Polanco 

Bilingual Data Collection Specialist

About

Larry Grullon-Polanco was born in New York, NY and received his undergraduate degree in music education from Florida State University. He is currently a graduate student in the Applied Linguistics program. Larry has spent the last three years working as a teacher in underserved communities. He decided to pursue teaching English as a second language after experiencing the high percentage of second language English learners in the Tampa school system. He hopes to learn about the different opportunities and avenues for serving students. In his free time he likes to take care of his plants, mostly succulents, and practice Muay Thai.

 

Vanessa Toro

Vanessa Toro

Bilingual Data Collection Specialist

About

Vanessa was born in Tacoma, Washington and recently graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in Anthropology and Human Biology. She currently resides in Land O Lakes, FL and is in her gap year before starting dental school. Vanessa worked in college access and language justice throughout her years in university and hopes to incorporate those passions in her future career as a dentist. In her free time, Vanessa enjoys biking, reading, and climbing rock walls.

 

Ariana Villavicencio

Ariana Villavicencio 

Bilingual Data Collection Specialist

About

Ariana Villavicencio is currently a graduate student following the Master's of Architecture Program at the University of South Florida. She was born and raised in Peru. While living there for 20 years, she got certificated in C2, or advanced, level in English. She has experience working with children as a volunteer in different non-profit organizations. Moving to Tampa in 2021 allowed her to enhance her fluency in English as her second language.

 

Angelica Zapata

Angelica Zapata

Bilingual Data Collection Specialist

About

Angelica Zapata was born in Colombia and raised in Florida. She is a third year student pursuing a B.A. in World Languages and Cultures with a dual concentration in Applied Linguistics and East Asian Studies. She is currently learning Japanese at USF. On her free time she likes to paint, go on walks, and play with her roommate's cats.

 

Rightpath Graduate Research Assistants:

Brandon Budzisch

Brandon Budzisch

Research Assistant

About

Brandon Budzisch is a 2nd year graduate student in the School Psychology program at the University of South Florida. Brandon is from Fort Myers Beach, FL and completed his undergraduate degree at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. During his undergrad, Brandon aided in research with early identification of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and discovered a love for working with children whilst working as an after-school counselor at an Elementary School. After graduating from FSU, Brandon worked as a 1st grade teaching assistant before attending USF. Brandon currently assists Dr. Trina Spencer and Dr. Matthew Foster with their work. Brandon loves going to the beach, heading to the gym and playing with his cat Stormy.

 

Noe Alonzo Erazo, MA

Noé Erazo, M.A.

Graduate Research Associate

About

Mr. Erazo is a graduate research associate at the Rightpath Research and Innovation Center and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Behavioral and Community Sciences. Mr. Erazo is multilingual and specializes in bilingualism and biliteracy. He earned his master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Mr. Erazo is Dr. Jason Anthony's doctoral student and served as his research assistant while employed at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He has worked on multiple grants, including SRCBM, TX-KEA, and SRCBM STEM.

Current Research

Anthony, J. L., Chen, Y.-J. I., Williams, J. M., Cen, W., & Erazo, N. A. (2020). U.S. children’s
understanding of the English alphabet: Its acquisition, conceptualization, and measurement. Journal of Educational Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000534

Neumann, M. M., Anthony, J. L., Erazo, N. A., & Neumann, D. L. (2019). Assessment and technology: Mapping future directions in the early childhood classroom. Frontiers in Education, 4, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2019.00116

 

Deepika Kolli

Deepika Kolli

Educational Research Applications Specialist

About

Deeika is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Business Analytics and Information Systems from Muma College of Business at USF. She has done her Bachelors in Computer Science and has around 2 years of technical experience in India.

She is passionate about learning and likes to challenge herself. She has been at Rightpath for around one and half year. She is working on multiple STEM and Behavioral Research projects by applying her technical expertise and making an impact is what makes her excited to be at Rightpath. In her free time, she loves reading, travelling and binge watching Disney.

 

Maria Gutierrez Serrano

Maria Gutierrez Serrano

Bilingual  Data Collection Specialist

About

Maria was born and raised in Venezuela and has lived in Colombia and Spain. She earned her Bachelor´s Degree on Mass Communication. Currently she is working on her my Master of Arts in Spanish and Master of Science in Management at USF.

For the past two years, she has been teaching Spanish level I and II, and tutoring Spanish students.

 

Trina Tolentino, BHS

Trina Tolentino, BHS

Graduate Research Associate

About

Ms. Tolentino received her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida, just a 40-minute drive from her hometown of Chiefland, FL. She is in her final year of the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program and is completing her master’s thesis under the guidance of Dr. Trina Spencer. During her time as USF, Ms. Tolentino has learned so much from a broad span of clinical and academic opportunities offered by her graduate program. Her diverse clinical interests extend across the lifespan - anything from pediatric feeding and swallowing to neurogenic communication disorders, she enjoys it all! Upon graduating, she hopes to complete her clinical fellowship in either a school or medical setting.

 

De'Vohn Roman, BA

De’Vohn Roman, BA

Student Research Assistant

About

Mr. Roman is a first year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at USF. He is from Jacksonville, Florida where he received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and minor in Philosophy from the University of North Florida. De'Vohn has experience in scoring psychodiagnostic assessments and has shadowed psychologists during IQ, Autism, and ADHD assessments. Additionally, he has  experience engaging in and presenting research and working with young children diagnosed with autism in a clinical setting using ABA.

 

 

Renee Sandberg

Renee Sandberg, BS

Research Assistant

About

Renee Sandberg is a first year Ed.S. student in School Psychology. She earned a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish from Kennesaw State University.  Renee spent her past three years as a kindergarten teacher and registered behavior technician. Her research interests are academic assessments and interventions, Multi-Tiered System of Supports, applied behavior analysis, and language acquisition. Although Renee loved her 11 years spent living in Georgia, she is excited to spend her time in Tampa and appreciates all the nature Florida has to offer! In her free time, she likes to spend time outdoors, travel, and spend time with loved ones.

 

 

Carla Zayas-Santiago M.A.

Carla Zayas-Santiago M.A.

Graduate Research Assistant

About

Carla Zayas-Santiago is a 2nd-year student at the Technology in Education and Second Language Acquisition Ph.D. program at USF. She is originally from Puerto Rico and is fluent in English and Spanish. Ms. Zayas-Santiago holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities with a concentration in Latin American Studies and an M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of South Florida. Her research interests include bilingual education, cross-linguistic transferability, and Latinx literature as a cultural artifact for student empowerment and language justice. Ms. Zayas-Santiago has previously worked in bilingual education, teaching Spanish to native and non-native Spanish speakers.

 

Undergraduate Student Research Assistants

Hanna Hirano

Hanna Hirano 

Research Student Assistant

About

Hanna Hirano is a second-year undergraduate student from Fort. Lauderdale, Florida, pursuing a bachelor of arts in psychology at the University of South Florida. She is passionate about child developmental psychology and pediatrics as well as early childhood education. She has experience in tutoring children for over 5 years in math, reading, and Spanish. Her personal hobbies include painting, drawing, crocheting, and any other artsy craft.

 

Hong “Rose” Nguyen

Johan John Joji

Application Specialist

About

Johan John Joji is an undergraduate student originally from Kerala, India, pursuing his Bachelor's in Computer Science. He is passionate about the theoretical side involved in Computer Science and loves to troubleshoot problems. His interests involve automation and web development. In his free time, he likes to spend time gaming, working out, and with loved ones.

 

Sophia Kaczynski

Sophia Kaczynski

Office Media Tech Support

About

Sophia is a first year undergraduate student from New Orleans, Louisiana pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. She spent her four years of high school at The Willow School in an intensive Media Arts program. In this program, she learned: photography, photoshop, videography, editing, graphic design, and screenwriting. In her senior year film, she worked alongside peers and members of Panavision New Orleans. The short film "Marvin's World" received awards and recognition from The Willow School's film festival as well as the All American High School Film Festival. Sophia is excited to use her skills in a real-world, documentary fashion.

 

Linna Kuang

Linna Kuang

Research Student Assistant

About

Linna Kuang is a student research assistant at the Rightpath Research and Innovation Center. She is a second-year undergraduate student from Fairfax, Virginia, and pursuing her bachelor's degree of public health in University of South Florida. She is a trilingual speaker and is able to communicate fluently in English. Chinese and Japanese. She is on the pre-med track and is passionate about maternal health study and early childhood research. She has experience in working with intellectual disability children in a non-profit organization and participate in research about secondary-data analysis of National Survey of Children's Health. During her spare time, she likes to read, travel, and play piano.

 

Jadelynn Tejada

Jadelynn Tejeda

Research Student Assistant

About

Jadelynn is a third-year undergraduate majoring in Biomedical Sciences with minors in Infection control and Community-Engaged Homeland Security and Emergency Management. In the future, she hopes to work in research medicine but is also interested in exploring other research areas. She is originally from Saint Cloud, Florida where she completed her Child Development Associates Credential. During this time, she worked as a preschool teacher aid and gained experience in teaching literary and math to preschool aged children. During her free time, she likes to try new restaurants, read, and anything crafty.

 

Kristy Tran

Kristy Tran 

Research Student Assistant

About

Kristy Tran is currently a second-year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Psychology at the University of South Florida and hopes to attend pharmacy school after completing her undergraduate. She is originally from Orlando, FL and bilingual in English and Vietnamese. She has experience tutoring and babysitting children as well as working with terminally ill children and their families. Additionally, she has experience tutoring her fellow peers in math topics.

In her spare time, she is a part of a multitude of student organizations at USF, spending time with friends and families, doing any arts and crafts, and binge watching tv shows, especially Friends!