Meet The Staff

THE THERAPY PLACE

OUR BRIDGES PRESCHOOL STAFF

 Caroline StraussCaroline Strauss, Bridges Director/Co-Teacher

Caroline graduated from Presbyterian College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and from University of South Carolina with a Master of Social Work. She has experience working with children with special needs in a variety of ways, including applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy.  Additionally, Caroline holds a teaching license in special education and brings 3 years of experience teaching in the public school system. Caroline lives in Columbia with her husband, Matt, and their dog, Cooper.  She loves to spend time with family and friends at Edisto Island, which she considers to be a little piece of heaven on earth.

 


 

Lindsey Duerr, Bridges Co-Teacher

Lindsey graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a minor in Service Learning. She holds a teaching license in special education and brings 4 years of experience teaching in the public school system. Lindsey lives in Columbia with her husband, Stephen, and their dog, Leia. She loves to travel and visit new cities with her family and friends.

 

 

 


Samantha Bacsal, Bridges Aide
Samantha graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and a minor in Studio Art.  She is planning to apply to graduate school to study Occupational Therapy. Her hobbies include photography and rugby.

 

 

 


Julia Coyle, Bridges Aide

Julia graduated from the University of South Carolina with a major in Exercise Science and minor in Psychology. She is planning on attending Occupational Therapy school next year and hopes to continue to work in pediatrics in the future. She enjoys watching movies and going on hikes with her friends.

 

 

 


Summer Oltman

Summer Oltman, Bridges Aide
Summer graduated from the University of South Carolina where she majored in psychology.  She is interested in returning to USC for graduate school.  Summer has a passion for working with children and teaches group fitness classes in her free time.

 

 

 


 

Kaitlyn Ramey, Bridges Aide
Kaitlyn graduated from University of South Carolina with a degree in Exercise Science and a minor in psychology.  She is interested in applying to graduate schools to study physical therapy.  In her free time, Kaitlyn enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with her dog Bruno.

 

 


MackenzieMackenzie Weigert, Bridges Aide
Mackenzie is an Exercise Science student at the University of South Carolina with a minor in Spanish and Psychology. She has a passion for caring for other people and is planning on pursuing a career in recreational therapy after graduation. She enjoys spending time with her friends, going to the movies, and shopping.

Megan Williams, Bridges Lead Aide
Megan graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. She is planning to apply to Speech Language Pathology programs. In her free time, she enjoys being with friends and watching Carolina football.

 

 

 


OUR PEDIATRIC THERAPISTS

 

Jackie Buckland, MSP, CCC/SLP; Speech Language Pathologistjackie

Jackie graduated from College of Charleston with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, and received a Master of Speech Pathology from the University of South Carolina in 2015. She gained clinical experience at The Therapy Place while earning her Masters degree.  Jackie (Griffo) Buckland is recently married to Justin Buckland.  In her spare time, Jackie enjoys traveling, kayaking, and reading.

 

 


Ashley Eichler, DPT, Physical Therapist

Ashley graduated from the University of South Carolina with her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science.  She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree from the University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences. Ashley has been a physical therapist since 2013 in various settings including outpatient pediatrics, school based and acute care. She, her husband Brandon and their dog Rex moved back to Columbia from NE Florida and now reside in Forest Acres. She enjoys traveling and cheering on the Gamecocks!

 


 

Savannah Houck, DPT – Physical Therapist

Savannah Houck graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2015 with a Bachelors in Exercise Science and Georgia Southern University in 2019 with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She enjoys running, reading, and exploring new cities. She’s very excited to be back in Columbia to meet all of the kids and their families!

 

 

 


Haylee Hunter, COTA/L – Certified Occupational Therapist

Haylee is from Columbia and graduated from The University of South Carolina Upstate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications in 2014.  She then decided to go back to school for Occupational Therapy because she loves to help others help themselves and reach new goals! Haylee enjoys exercising, traveling, and hanging out with her friends and family!

 

 

 


 

Kristen JamesMS, OTR/L – Occupational Therapist

Kristen graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She received her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Howard University in Washington, D.C. As a student, Kristen gained additional clinical experience with The Therapy Place during her Master level II fieldwork rotation. She currently lives in Columbia, SC with her twin sister Katrina and puppy Rondo. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys shopping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

 


erinErin Maltba, MS, OTR/L – Occupational Therapist & Therapy Manager

Erin graduated from the College of Charleston with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, Exercise Science. She attended the Medical University of South Carolina to receive her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy. Erin lives in Columbia with her husband Dennis, daughter Quinn, son Crawford, and German Shepherds Beau and Mack. She has been a pediatric Occupational Therapist since 2005 and has received training and continuing education including: infant/child feeding, SOS feeding approach, NDT for infant/toddler, Kinesiotaping and Interactive Metronome. In her spare time, Erin enjoys hanging out with family and friends, hiking and traveling.

 


mandy

Mandy Martin, MSR,OTR/L – Occupational Therapist

Mandy graduated from Presbyterian College with her Bachelor of Science in Biology.  She received her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina. Mandy has been a pediatric occupational therapist since 2009 and loves working with children and their families.   She and her husband Brad have a daughter, Caroline.  They enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and cheering on the Gamecocks! 

 

 


Ashley Reames SLPAshley Reames, MA, CCC-SLP; Speech Language Pathologist

Ashley graduated from the University of South Carolina with her Bachelors in Mass Communications, Public Relations as well as a minor in Communication Science Disorders. Ashley has tons of experience with children and loves more than anything to be around kids. In 2016, she completed her master’s program at South Carolina State and earned her degree in Speech Language Pathology. Soon after the completion of her masters program, Ashley joined The Therapy Place team as an SLP. She is so excited to begin her career where it all once started 3 years ago as a Bridges Aide. Ashley likes to spend her time with her family and friends and enjoys being a mama to her four-legged baby named Mae.

 

 


 

Leah Ziegler, MSP, CCC-SLP; Speech Language Pathologist

Leah Ziegler is our new speech language pathologist. She has eight years of pediatric experience. She and her family have returned to the midlands after a two year adventure in sunny California.

 

 

 


 OUR FAMILY SERVICES STAFF

DSC_1422Joye Lee, MPH; Family Services Coordinator

Joye received her Master’s of Public Health from the University of South Carolina and her Bachelors of Science, in Biology, from Charleston Southern University. Before starting her Master’s program, Joye worked in Indonesia for two years teaching English. She has experience with special needs children all over the world. She worked with DHEC’s children and youth with special health care needs program and Camp Burnt Gin. In her free time, you can find Joye at any Gamecock game with her family or spending time with her friends.

 


OUR ADMIN STAFF

Dawn Darby, MPA; Co-Founder and Executive Director dawn

Dawn holds a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina, with an emphasis in Non-Profits and Grants and an undergraduate in media arts, also from USC. She has work experience as the Grants Manager of Richland County, Ready to Learn Coordinator for SC Educational Television and also served as a Grants Writer/Special Events Coordinator for the Indian Waters Council/Boy Scouts of America. Dawn lives in Forest Acres with her husband, James, their two children, Cooper and Laura, their dog Sophie and 3 chickens Penny, Bessie and Jessie. Dawn enjoys spending time with family and friends, being at TTP, traveling, her church – TRUMC, reading and attending her kids’ activities.

 

 


teresa

Teresa Fleming, Billing Manager

Teresa comes to us with over 30 years of billing and medical clinic experience. Teresa lives in Gilbert with her husband Eric, their daughters Marisa & Eliana, their spoiled black lab Penny, and 5 bunnies. In her free time, Teresa enjoys spending time with her family, music, reading, hula hooping and gardening.

 

 

 


Brooke Grosh, Office Coordinator

Brooke comes to us from Good Shepherd Day School where she has spent the last 10 years being a smiling face and caring for children and their families. Brooke lives in Columbia with her three children, Alyia, Aubrey, and Bently, and their dog Sofie. In her free time, Brooke enjoys camping, baking, and reading. She also loves to spend time with her family and friends. Brooke’s favorite color is yellow and she has a sunny disposition to match it.