Impact Autism


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The IMPACT Family

Aspiring doctors, therapists, educators, nurses, researchers, and volunteers— we even have a few engineers. We’re a diverse group, but it’s a shared passion to make an IMPACT, a desire to learn more, and a love of serving others and giving back, that brings us all together. Our philosophy of assuming competence in every individual with autism and our passion for the cause makes us more than just a student organization; we’re a family that's out to make a difference. 

Meet the IMPACT Officer Team

Amanda Colas


Amanda is a junior from Palm Beach, Florida seeking a degree in Nursing with a minoring in Disabilities in Society. She is currently serving as President for IMPACT Autism. Amanda also works at the Florida Autism Center as a Behavior Therapist. She enjoys volunteering at Shands Hospital on the Pediatrics floor and at a senior living center for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Amanda aspires to graduate as a Registered Nurse and continue her education to become a Nurse Practitioner with a passion for helping individuals with disabilities. 

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Avery Nielsen


Avery is a senior from Fleming Island, FL, majoring in Biology, and is on the pre-PA track. He is currently serving as Secretary of IMPACT Autism. He is also serving as Fundraising Chair for the Pre-Physician Assistant Association. He was a cabin counselor for Camp Boggy Creek, which is a year-round camp facility for children with serious illnesses. Avery enjoys volunteering for UF Shands and shadowing Dr. Horvath in the Interventional Radiology unit. He also likes drawing, listening to music, and spending time with friends. 

Ziqi Wang


Ziqi Wang is a junior at the University of Florida and a member of the UF Medical Honors Program. She will be starting medical school at UF in the fall of 2018. She is currently serving as the Vice President of Impact Autism. Ziqi is also a volunteer at the Arts in Medicine program at Shands, were she helps patients in the hospital express themselves through creative art activities. She is also interested in medical research and currently serves as a research assistant in Dr. Golde's lab at the UF Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease. She hopes to incorporate her experiences with individuals who have disabilities in her future career as a physician and researcher.

Mary Neil


Mary is a Sophomore from Gainesville, Florida majoring in Economics and Statistics and minoring in Mathematics. She is currently serving as a Co-Publicist for IMPACT Autism. She just spent her summer working at a camp for children on the Spectrum. She hopes to go on to graduate school to study Economics

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Alexis Ulseth


Lexi is a junior from Crystal River, Florida, majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Disabilities in Society. She is currently serving as treasurer of Impact Autism. Lexi also volunteers locally with Noah's Endeavor. She also serves as the local chair for UF Rotaract Club and serves meals to students as the Development Coordinator for St. Augustine's Newman Club. In her free time, Lexi enjoys reading, cooking and learning new things. Lexi is a Certified Nursing Assistant and hopes to further her health career by attending medical school in the future. 

Kelly Stadelmaier


Kelly is a junior from Fleming Island, Florida majoring in Biology and minoring Disabilities in Society. She is currently serving as Co-Publicist of IMPACT Autism. Kelly is also a member of the Pre-Physician Assistant Association. In the summer of 2017 she worked at Camp Boggy Creek: a non-for-profit residential camp for children with serious illnesses. She enjoys volunteering at UF Shands Hospital, singing, and scrapbooking. After graduating, Kelly hopes to attend a physician assistant program in which she can one day work with children in the medical field. 

Meet our Advisors

Dr. Ann-Marie Orlando, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Orlando began her career as a speech language therapist, audiologist and certified assistive technology practitioner- a background reflected in her research interest in communication systems for students with significant disabilities. At the University of Florida, she has worked with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities since 2003 and taught several courses in the area of significant disabilities. Dr. Orlando has a PhD in Special Education, and is an Assistant Professor at UF's College of Education, School of Special Education. She co-chairs the early childhood committee for TASH, previously headed the group’s communication committee, and represents TASH on the national Universal Design for Learning Task Force. Dr. Orlando is the recipient of the 2011 Alice Hayden Emerging Researcher Award from TASH, and the 2008 Karen Koegel Scholarship Award from the University of Florida. Dr. Orlando is also a Faculty Advisor for IMPACT Autism at UF. 

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