Staff

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EMILY WYGOD BUSHNELL
Executive Director

Emily Bushnell is an Instructor and was among the founding members of Endeavor. She is a PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, Mentor, Evaluator, and a Special Olympics Coach. Emily completed the PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes program in 2015, and was the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Regional PATH Intl. Certified Professional of the Year Award for Region 2. 

In addition to Emily’s experience in the world of equine-assisted activities and therapies, Emily has a background in marketing, non-profit management, and business development. Emily holds a BA in Psychology from Duke University and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. She also obtained a certificate in Non-Profit Management from NYU’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising. 

At Endeavor, Emily drives the overall strategic and operational plan for Endeavor’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of the mission. Emily is an instructor in both the therapeutic riding and ground programs.

 
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MELISSA JARZYNSKI, MSPT, HPCS
Program Director

Melissa is one of only four physical therapists in New York who have been Board Certified by the American Hippotherapy Association as a Clinical Specialist, the highest level of certification possible. She has been practicing physical therapy for over 10 years, devoting her career to helping the pediatric population utilizing traditional physical therapy strategies as well as hippotherapy. For over 6 years, she traveled many hours to treat children in Southern New Jersey at the Special Strides Therapeutic Riding Center, one of the largest Therapeutic and Hippotherapy Centers in the Country before starting her own business, Happy Trotters, in 2009. She currently works with clients at Endeavor.

As Program Director, Melissa is responsible for optimizing our program scheduling, implementing a data collection process that can be utilized across all programs for outcome measurements, and overseeing the development and growth of partnership programs.

 
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KELLY SLONAKER
Advancement Director

Kelly is Endeavor’s Advancement Director, with responsibilities for fundraising, donor relations, event management, and external communications. She is a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor, PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and EAGALA certified Equine Specialist. Kelly also completed the PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes program, and was the recipient of the prestigious 2017 PATH Intl. International Credentialed Professional of the Year Award, and Region 2 Credentialed Professional of the Year award.

Prior to joining Endeavor, Kelly served as an instructor and equine caretaker at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Center and worked in the Fundraising and Development Office at HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World (DOW) USA).

She holds a Masters in International Relations from St. Andrews University in Scotland and is fluent in French.

 
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DANIELLE YACKO
Barn Manager

Serving as Endeavor's Barn Manager, Danielle has responsibilities for everything related to Endeavor’s horses. This encompasses full oversight of the horse and farm supplies and equipment.  Danielle began riding at age 9 and competed in hunter/jumpers for several years. She bought and trained two horses while still at Nonnewaug High School in Connecticut, where she was able to focus her studies on Horse Management. She graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a BA in Psychology and has spent the last six years supporting equine-assisted therapy programs. Danielle’s love of animals extends to her mixed breed pup, Tiki, whom she has trained and competed in agility and rally.

 

EMILY SALEM
Program & Volunteer Coordinator

As Program and Volunteer Coordinator, Emily helps with scheduling all aspects of Endeavor's programs, and day-to-day program needs, including volunteer outreach, management and training.  Emily began riding at the age of seven, and has competed in both Hunters and Jumpers. She recently graduated from SUNY Purchase, and has been a therapeutic riding instructor since 2015.  She is a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She loves her three French Bulldogs - Gunner, Minnie, and Max - her dachshund, Heidi, and lab-mix rescue, Sparky.

 

HALEY LEVESQUE
Team Support Coordinator

Haley began riding at the age of five, and continued to do so through her early teenage years. After stepping back to focus on art and attending the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, Haley moved back to NY and rediscovered her love of horses and riding. Soon after, she was introduced to the world of therapeutic horsemanship, and fell in love with volunteering and spending time with her students. Haley has since decided to take the next step and pursue her dream of becoming a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and is currently using her role as Team Support Coordinator at Endeavor to immerse herself in all things TR... daily operations, office work, teaching and riding!

 

ASTRID HARRISON
Instructor & Equine Specialist

Astrid is a PATH Intl. Registered level instructor and EAGALA Equine Specialist. She has several years of riding and therapeutic horsemanship experience under her belt, and works with a wide array of populations. Astrid lives in Cold Spring with her dogs, husband, and three daughters, though she originally hails from Austria and speaks fluent German.

 
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LAURA STRINGER
Instructor

Laura has been with Endeavor since it was founded in 2014, and is a PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor, EAGALA Equine Specialist, and a Special Olympics Coach. Laura has over 10 years of equine experience both as an equestrian and as an equine vet technician.  Laura was the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Regional PATH Intl. Certified Professional of the Year Award for Region 2.

 
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JENN PERKINS
Instructor & Barn Hand

Jenn began interning at Endeavor as part of her degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship from SUNY Cobleskill in early 2017. She then spent several months at another therapeutic horsemanship center in Wyoming before returning to NY to continue helping at Endeavor, and to get her PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning certification. She loves hitting the trails, and riding Western.


Consultants

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MEREDITH S. BAZAAR, CCC-SLP, HPCS

Endeavor offers speech and language (equine-assisted) therapy with Meredith S. Bazaar, CCC-SLP of MSB Therapy, LLC. Meredith is a New Jersey and New York licensed speech-language pathologist, and a board certified hippotherapy clinical specialist. She is the Past President of the American Hippotherapy Association, Inc. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing from The George Washington University and a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University. Prior to starting her own practice, Meredith provided speech language services in the Montefiore Medical Center CCU, ICU, NICU and rehabilitation departments and managed a day program for adults with traumatic brain injuries at United Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State. Meredith regularly presents at professional conferences, conducts training seminars for parents and community groups and supervises graduate student interns. She is trained in PROMPT I and II, Kaufman Speech Praxis Treatment and Beckman Oral-Motor assessment and intervention.

 
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MARNI REULING, Psy.D.

Dr. Marni Reuling is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who has been in practice in New York since 2005. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and then from Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in a doctoral program in clinical psychology that is approved by the American Psychological Association.  She is an adjunct instructor at several universities and supervises graduate students in the field.

Dr. Reuling has substantial experience working with depression, anxiety, anger management, mood disorders, intra-family conflicts, surviving traumas (PTSD), and adjusting to major life changes. She received specialized training and certification in treating self-injurious behaviors, maternal mental health, psychiatric emergencies and working with survivors of sexual abuse, commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking. She has also assisted in developing specialized programs to treat children and adolescents who have experienced trauma and has trained and supervised clinical professionals in these areas.

 

JOANNA BECKER, Ph.D.

Joanna Becker, Ph.D. works with children and families to help them reach personal goals through activities with horses.  As a psychologist and PATH Intl. Registered Instructor, she is excited to be able to bring horses into “the office” through equine-assisted psychotherapies. 

Joanna uses adaptations of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART) to help children and families increase their ability to cope with stress and to develop effective communication skills through interactions with horses.  The SMART model can be particularly beneficial for families dealing with issues related to adoption, divorce and grief.  Using SMART, children are actively engaged in equine-activities that offer opportunities for them to recognize and regulate their emotions, to develop healthy attachments and to process challenging life experiences.

 

LAURIE CIAVARDINI, LCSWR at H4H:US

Laurie has a wealth of experience working with addiction, codependency, mood disorders, anxiety and a multitude of life issues such as grief, coping with medical diagnosis, disability and illness and major life transitions. Ms. Ciavardini has more than 15 years of experience working with psychiatric disorders and addiction both inpatient and outpatient. She is an Eriksonian hypnotherapist and is also certified in Animal Assisted Therapy. Laurie is an avid equestrian having worked with horses for more than 20 years. She is a certified EAGALA Mental Health provider and certified EAGALA Equine Specialist. Laurie is currently working on obtaining her military designation.

 

BARBARA CARBONE, LCSWR at H4H:US

Barbara holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University in New York. Barbara has more than 20 years of experience treating adults and adolescents with a variety of issues related to depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relationships, work, career and parenting challenges. She has expertise in the areas of trauma, crisis intervention and addressing major life transitions. She has worked extensively with victims of violent crime and survivors of sexual assault and incest. Ms. Carbone is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach for treatment of trauma and PTSD. In addition, she is a certified EAGALA Mental Health provider.

 

JANET MAURANTONIO, M.A.P.T.

Janet Maurantonio is happy her love of horses, physical therapy and treating patients are combined in her work with Endeavor. She’s an experienced physical therapist and has worked with patients in a variety of settings. Janet specializes in orthopedics and vestibular rehabilitation. She began as a volunteer with Endeavor and is thrilled to now be a part of the professional team. Janet has completed the foundations of continuing education offered by AHA and plans to sit for the HPCS boards soon. She looks forward to helping people gain physical strength and confidence as they interact with horses.