Student Spotlight: Mi Jung Lee

MJ Lee joined the Rehabilitation Science PhD program in Fall 2014 and is mentored by Dr. Sergio Romero.

What has been your experience in the Rehabilitation Science program? What have you enjoyed most about the program?

It has been three years since I started my Ph.D. journey in the Rehabilitation Science program, and I have appreciated every moment of it thus far. When I first came here, I had general ideas of what I wanted to study but was not proficient in the methodologies germane to conducting our discipline’s research. The Rehabilitation Science program has made me confident in the modes of inquiry, methodologies, and strategies for data acquisition that have enabled me to reach my academic goals. Being mentored by prominent scholars in the field has opened my eyes to potentials of rehabilitation research as has the support of my graduate student colleagues. My mentor, Dr. Romero, has been incredibly supportive of me, both during my doctoral process and research projects; he has surely helped me see the forest beyond trees. Moreover, collaborating with other research teams has been given me the insight and motivation to continue pursuing interdisciplinary opportunities.

Among all the benefits of being in this program, what I have found most productive is the flexibility of our curriculum; it allows students to design their trajectories, which enables me to allot more time to the topics and research that I am passionate about. Our program has even provided me a minor in Research Evaluation and Methodology without having to enroll in extra semesters.

What are you currently researching?

My research focuses on designing and modifying rehabilitation measures by applying advanced psychometric theories and techniques that make these measures more clinically useful. Currently, my research has three aims: to link extant rehabilitation measures, develop shorter versions of rehabilitation instruments, and then validate those instruments for specific uses. My current project, which links health-related quality of life measures, is in collaboration with the UF Informatics Institute. My intent is to develop a user-friendly flat form, which utilizes those measures in clinical research and real-life settings.

What is the most challenging part of being a PhD student?

For me, time management has been the most challenging part of being a Ph.D. student. With various research work and class responsibilities, it is difficult to navigate finding the time for spending time with friends, working out, and visiting families overseas. I am sure that effective time-management is a key for the most jobs in our field, but I think it can be even a more critical component for Ph.D. students, since we have more freedom to design our own schedules.


What awards have you received and what have you published or presented?


  1. Romero, S., Lee, M., Simic, I., Levy, C., & Sanford. J. (2017) Development and Validation of a Remote Home Safety Protocol, The Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1-7. 10.1080/17483107.2017.1300345
  2. Hong, I., Lee, M., Kim, M., & Park, H. (2017) Item-Level Psychometrics of the ADL Instrument of the Korean National Survey on Persons with Physical Disabilities, Quality of Life Research, 10.1007/s11136-017-1637-y

National Conferences

Lee M., & Romero, S. Eyes behind the Camera: Development and Validation of a Protocol to Conduct Home-Safety Assessments. Interactive Poster Presentation, American Occupational Therapy Association the 96th Conference, Chicago, IL, United States, April 7-10, 2016



UF Informatics Institute Fellowship (2016 – 2018)

UF RSD Travel award (2017)

UF PHHP Deans office award (2014 – 2017)

UF RSD Travel award (2016)

UF Outstanding Academic Achievement (2015)