Blythe A. Corbett, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is the Director of the Social Emotional NeuroScience Endocrinology (SENSE) lab, a translational research program focused on better understanding and treating social competence and stress in children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
One of her most notable contributions has been the development of SENSE Theatre®, a peer-mediated, theatre-based intervention, which has contributed to significant improvement in reciprocal social communication in children with ASD. To date, Dr. Corbett has published over 80 original peer-reviewed articles in leading academic journals. Her research has been consistently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health since 2005, which includes a current multisite clinical trial with youth with ASD and a new study of adults with ASD both examining the impact of SENSE Theatre®.
Rachael Muscatello, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Fell in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Muscatello has been with the SENSE Lab translational research program since 2015, when she started her doctoral studies in Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University. Her primary research interests are focused on measuring stress (heart rate and cortisol) responses during social interactions and their unique relation with internalizing symptoms in youth with ASD.
Dr. Muscatello has been an active member of the SENSE Theatre® research program since she first joined the lab. Despite having no previous background in theatre, she enjoys the opportunity to work with children and adults in a unique, creative way and just have fun!
Mark E. Klemencic, B.S. is a Clinical/Translational Research Coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After graduating in 2018 from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology (concentrations in neuroscience and biology), Mark moved to Nashville to join the SENSE Lab team. While Mark has been involved in three of Dr. Corbett’s NIMH-funded research projects, his primary role as study coordinator includes managing two of these studies, both Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), which focus on the implementation of the SENSE Theatre® model to investigate and enhance social competence in children, adolescents, and adults with ASD.
Mark believes in the transformative “power of performance” and has himself been deeply involved in the theatrical and performing arts for over 15 years. With repertoire spanning local and professional avenues, such as appearing in the Pittsburgh Opera’s 2007 production of Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd and competing with the National Speech & Debate Association, Mark has had, through theatre and performance, the tremendous opportunity to consider life through others’ points-of-view. Mark hopes to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology to continue to study ASD and ways in which theatre can be an efficacious treatment modality.
Tammy Vice. Tammy has been involved with SENSE Theatre for over a decade, cowriting many the songs with Dr. Blythe Corbett. She has also participated in training the camp peers, along with her daughter Morgan, who is on the autism spectrum.
Originally from Mobile, Alabama, Tammy Vice has performed at events from New York to the Gulf Coast. As a recording artist for GodsChild Records, she recorded four projects; “Love Can Grow”, “Miracles & Memories”, “Breaking The Chains”, and “More Than Just Getting By”. She has had four #1 songs on indie Christian & Country charts. Tammy was the Country Music Hall of Fame’s 2009 Nominee for the Mary Catherine Strobel Award, and was awarded Borderless Arts TN 2015 Artist of the Year for her work with individuals with disabilities.
Tammy has hosted the “Songwriters for Autism Awareness” Benefit, as a part of the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival, from 2013 to present. She is the producer/host of the Annual “Breaking the Chains” Autism Benefit, held at the Bluebird Café. April 2019 marked the events 18th year. She has become a strong parent advocate since her daughter was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Morgan is now 27 years old.
The purpose of Know The Hope, Inc. is two-fold. Her family’s company is dedicated to helping communities see Ability, and helping parents see Possibility. They offer advocacy and education through the Arts.
“As the mother of a young adult on the autism spectrum, I’ve had the privilege to know, and work with, other children and young adults who have disabilities. Through this experience, I have found that every individual has something significant to offer. Love, patience, and a little creativity, unwraps some sweet gifts.”
To learn more, visit: https://knowthehope.com
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