Meet the team
Cynthia FitzGerald, PhD
Assoc. Dean Allied Health
Cynthia shares in the joy and affirmation of our Stroke Center students for their resilience and accomplishments. She enjoys working with students, caregivers, and families. Her background includes caring for multi-generational family needs as a counselor and teaching about human development and aging issues as a professor of psychology. She has also worked as a director of support services, dean, and most recently as the Director of Allied Health at Cabrillo. Beyond work she enjoys engaging in painting, gardening, tennis, time in the redwoods, and playing with her grandchildren on a regular basis.
Brandy Dickinson, MS, CCC-SLP
Brandy Dickinson recently joined the Stroke and Disability Learning Center (SDLC) in 2020 as the Speech Communication Instructor. She works with students at the SDLC on memory, speech, communication and basic computer skills. She has worked for many years in medical rehabilitation as a Speech Language Pathologist and Level I Diabetes Educator and was previously the Director of Clinical Education at SJSU’s Communication Science and Disorders Program. Her primary areas of expertise are acquired brain injury, dysphagia and community reintegration after brain injury. Her love for music, song and dance is embedded in her methods of instruction and empowers those with communication impairments to find meaningful ways to express themselves. Her approach with students at the SDLC focuses on goals that reflect participating in life.
Courtney Hewitt, MSW
Courtney is excited to be joining the faculty at the Stroke & Disability Learning Center as of fall 2015 after working at Cabrillo College since 2014. In her role as the SDLC Counselor she provides counseling support through individual appointments, new student orientations and group classes. She has worked for many years in community mental health, school counseling, academic advising and higher education administration, and came to Cabrillo after working at UC Santa Cruz for five years. Courtney was born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is happy to still call Santa Cruz home. Outside of work she enjoys spending time at the beach and in the redwoods, going for a run or a hike, traveling whenever possible and being with her friends and family.
Lenny Norton, MS
Lenny Norton is a licensed Physical Therapist and certified Yoga Instructor. He teaches Adaptive Physical Education and Yoga classes throughout the college. Lenny has been practicing and teaching yoga since the 1980's and has worked locally in hospitals and Physical Therapy clinics for over 25 years. His Adaptive Exercise classes include instruction in proper diaphragmatic breathing, physical therapy guidelines and yoga principles and practices, focusing on developing improved body awareness in a fun and challenging manner. Lenny has been at Cabrillo College since 2006. "I am fortunate to be part of a program so vital to our community."
Barbara Bailey-Porter, MFT
Barbara enjoys getting to know, supporting, and being inspired by the strength of our students at SDLC. She came to the SDLC in 2008 as an Art Therapist teaching therapeutic ceramics classes. Since that time, she has attained her CA Marriage and Family Therapist license, and now is one of two counselors here at SDLC, and continues to provide Art Therapy to our students. Barbara holds a Masters Degree in Fine Art, and a dual Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy. She also maintains a private practice as an LMFT and an art studio. Barbara loves teaching, working in her garden, big family dinners, crocheting, traveling and of course being in her studio.
Joanna Manoff, MS
Joanna is a Physical Therapist who first came to the SDLC to teach Mobility/Fitness classes in 2008. Joanna spent 7 years working at the Dominican Acute Rehab Center, working primarily with Stroke and Neurologically impaired clients. Her background in Psychology, Coaching, Exercise, Neuro Developmental Training, Physical Therapy and Healing Arts has helped her create stroke center classes in Mobility, Balance and Exercise that are fun, challenging and help the students progress. "Each class is an opportunity to learn something new from the students I teach, they have so much to share." Joanna feels blessed to be working with staff and students that truly model the Stroke Center motto: "Love is Spoken Here"!
Sally Weiss, BA
Sally joined the Stroke Center as a volunteer in 2016. She quickly learned this was a supportive and innovative program she wanted to be part of. In February 2019 she joined the staff as the Program Coordinator. Originally from Australia, Sally has a BA & Grad. Diploma in Psychology and a B.Theol. Sally worked in the non-profit sector in Australia and Tanzania before moving to California in 2011. Now a U.S. citizen and happy to call this county home, she is grateful to be part of this unique program. Originally a city girl, Sally is delighted to be living in the Redwoods with easy access to the beach. When time can be carved out of a busy life, she finds joy in a good cup of tea while reading a book or playing the piano.