GAIT TRC Staff

MarthaMartha DubenskyFounder, Executive Director, Licensed Professional Counselor, PATH Intl’ Advanced Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Faculty, Certified Life Coach, Addiction Counselor, PATH Intl’ Mentor and Lead Evaluator

Martha Dubensky has loved and owned horses for most of her life. In 1983, she was introduced to horses providing therapy for people with disabilities at “Monique Stable” in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Thirsty for more knowledge on this therapy, she volunteered at a program in Warwick, New York for several years and in 1994 became a certified PATH International therapeutic riding instructor. In 1995, she founded the GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center.

Mrs. Dubensky is a past PATH Intl’ Region 2 Representative from 2009 to 2011. She is a Faculty Lead for PATH Intl’ conducting Equine Specialists in Mental Health & Learning workshops. She is also a mentor for instructors-in-training and is a PATH Associate Evaluator conducting workshops and certifications for the therapeutic riding industry.

Mrs. Dubensky is also the Education Chairman of the Gifford Pinchot Audubon Society, a member of several Boards of nonprofit organizations and has been a Sunday school teacher for 2 decades. Martha graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree from Cornell University as well as a Master of Psychology from Capella University.

Diana Moldovan – Volunteer Coordinator, Instructor Assistant, and PATH Intl’ Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Diana has a history of working in health and equine industries. She began riding at a young age and had worked in many lesson barns to supplement her riding education. Diana became a volunteer at GAIT during her teen years and later worked at a nearby harness racing facility as a groom.

Diana studied English at East Stroudsburg University prior to working at the racetrack and moved on to work at an assisted living environment in 2008. While there, she acquired hands-on experience caring for individuals with both cognitive and behavioral challenges as a direct support professional, shift supervisor, and assistant resident manager.

Diana returned to GAIT in 2014 as an Instructor Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator, where she assists with maintaining and updating volunteer information, volunteer management, scheduling for Therapeutic Riding classes, maintaining website/Facebook, and more. As a Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Diana hopes to promote a better understanding of working with individuals with special needs as well as an appreciation for the horses and the amazing work that they do.

Sian BrownAdministrator & Bookkeeper

 

Dawn BenkoBarn Staff

Dawn with horse

 

Steve SeamanBarn Staff

Steve with horse

 

Jan and Horse

Jan Lucciola – Development Associate

Jan Lucciola became a volunteer at GAIT in 2000 as a side-walker, leader, and special event warm body and gofer. Having been involved in development with two other non-profit organizations, she joined GAIT staff in 2021 to help promote GAIT. Jan asked for a horse when she first started talking and didn’t stop asking. Now, she shares 4 horses with her husband, a professional horse trainer, helps with his students, and enjoys competing in Western Dressage. She is also the Associate Director of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center.  She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Southwestern College.

 

Volunteer Staff

Nancy Van Wyk PATH Intl’ Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Mentor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL), Faculty at PATH Intl’ for ESMHL, and is the Program Specialist for Veterans.

Nancy Van Wyk started as a GAIT volunteer and became a PATH Certified Riding Instructor in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology Summa Cum Laude with a minor in Mental Health Counseling from Marywood University and is currently enrolled in their Master’s program for mental health counseling. Nancy has a background in Law Enforcement and is also educated in Equine Behavior and Sciences. Nancy lives on a farm.

Vera Remes – PATH Intl’ Certified Instructor, Mentor, and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL), Faculty for PATH Intl’ ESMHL.

Vera became a PATH Registered Riding Instructor in 2007, a PATH Mentor in 2010, and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning in 2013 as well as ESMHL Faculty in 2022. She taught special education classes for 11 years and is a learning disabilities teacher/consultant.  After retiring from a career in law and moving to Pennsylvania in 2012, she began volunteering as an instructor. She has also served on GAIT’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council.

Susan Swalm – Activities Program Coordinator

Susan Swalm, who had horses growing up, has been volunteering at GAIT TRC since March 2005. Since the autumn of 2005, she has spent most of her time working with the riders during off-horse activities and planning the current curriculum for the Activities Program. She uses her education and experience in the planning and facilitating of activities for the riders and enjoys helping them develop an awareness and appreciation for the world (especially the natural world) around them and their place in it through story, music, art, games, language, creative dramatics, and puppets.