About Alayna Ernster

Alayna is currently pursuing her PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Florida. Alayna is co-mentored by Dr. Ianessa Humbert from the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and Dr. Evangelos Christou from the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology.

Alayna’s passion for research peaked when she had the opportunity to work on a multi-disciplinary study with Drs. Humbert and Christou that examined the phenomenon of cross-system motor transfer between the ankle and tongue.

Inspired by her involvement in multi-disciplinary research and the prospect of a lifelong learning career, Alayna opted to bypass obtaining her clinical degree and instead applied directly to the Rehabilitation Science PhD program. As part of her acceptance to the PhD program, Alayna was awarded the Dean’s Office Scholarship Award, which will fully fund her for four years of studies. Throughout the program Alayna aspires to continue studying cross-system transfer relationships and hopes to project the results toward the future of multi-system rehabilitation.

Ultimately, Alayna envisions herself someday teaching at the collegiate level. In her spare time Alayna enjoys being outdoors, dancing (not that she claims to be any good!), and baking sweet treats.