Graduate Students

Headshot of Rebecca Yarnot

Rebecca Yarnot

Rebecca joined the DPQoL laboratory in 2017 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in kinesiology. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in exercise science from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2014. She also earned her masters in Kinesiology from UIUC in 2019. Her research interests center around better understanding barriers to community and physical activity participation for people with disabilities. She hopes to develop interventions targeted at addressing these barriers in order to improve inclusion and quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

Malaak Yehya

Malaak joined the DPQoL laboratory in the Summer of 2022 and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Public Health. She received her bachelor’s degree in Community Health with a Concentration in Health Administration and Planning and minor in Arabic Studies from UIUC. Her research revolves around community engagement and improving the quality of life for wheelchair and scooter users.  Malaak supports the development of a customizable fall detection alert system for wheelchair users by recruiting and screening participants for device testing and managing study data. In the future, she hopes to become a well-rounded physician that addresses the intersectionality of healthcare and social inequities and improve the quality of life for her patients. 

Headshot of Ziwei Li

Weiwei Li

Weiwei joined the DPQoL laboratory in Fall 2022 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Kinesiology. She received her bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Truman State University and her master’s degree in Occupational Science and Therapy from Grand Valley State University. Her research aims to analyze physical engagement as a behavioral modification for stroke recovery and its long-term effect on the quality of life for stroke survivors, which includes social participation, community engagement, and the ability to functional movement. Her goal is to conduct high-quality research for people with disabilities and advance scientific-based knowledge in clinical practice for underserved communities. Ultimately, eliminating health inequities, increasing community engagement, and creating equitable outcomes in health education lead to self-advocating communities.

Headshot of Sahel Moein

Sahel Moein

Sahel joined DPQoL in 2022 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology. She has a background in Medicine and received her M.D degree from Shahroud University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Her research experience is about functional independence, quality of life, and life satisfaction in individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. Her current research interests at DPQoL concentrate on developing mobile health technologies to improve community participation and quality of life in wheelchair and scooter users.