We have invited recognized national leaders to join us in our mission sharing with us their insights and experiences in developing needed and effective developmental programs.
We believe that a variety of perspectives provides our programs the most innovative and effective practices for our community.
Robin Church, Ed.D. - Kennedy Krieger Institute
Dr. Church is the assistant vice president for Education and the Executive Director of Kennedy Krieger School programs, which include two private school campuses and four public/private partnership schools. Kennedy Krieger School is a nationally recognized "Blue Ribbon School of Excellence" and is a leader in providing model programs of innovative education for children, adolescents and young adults with a wide range of learning, neurological and developmental disabilities. Dr. Church holds a Masters degree from Teachers College of Columbia University and a doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University. She is an associate professor of education at The Johns Hopkins University where she helps prepare graduate students for leadership positions in special education. She is on the Professional Advisory Board of the Learning Disability Association of America, and the National Association of Private Special Education Centers. She has also served on the Maryland State Department of Education State Management Team for Career Connections High School Reform Initiatives.
Dr. Eden is director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University Medical Center and is a national leader in the scientific, neurobiological research of dyslexia and language. Using functional brain imaging technology, Dr. Eden and her colleagues are investigating the neurobiological representation of reading in dyslexic individuals, and how reading is impacted by instructions or mode of communication. She is a director and officer of the International Dyslexia Association and serves on the editorial boards of the Annals of Dyslexia, Dyslexia, and Human Brain Mapping. Dr. Eden has served as a permanent member of a standing NIH Study Section. She holds a bachelor's degree in physiology from University College London and a doctorate in physiology from Oxford University.
Deborah M. Fisher, Psy.D. - Jewish Foundation for Group Homes
Dr. Fisher is the Deputy Director of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, a non-profit organization which provides opportunities for independent living for adults 18 and older with developmental, intellectual, and psychiatric disabilities. Prior to joining JFGH, Debby worked for United Behavioral Health as their Director of Clinical Operations and MAMSI Health Plans, and before that as their Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services. For over 20 years, she ran a private clinical psychology practice providing educational, job and career guidance based on results of assessment and diagnosis, as well as individual, family, couples, and group psychotherapy. She also offered coaching and consultative services for educational and workplace needs, interfacing with school counselors and special educators, employers, human resource specialists, and employee assistance programs. Dr. Fisher received her Bachelor’s and Doctorate Degrees in Psychology from Rutgers University and completed her Clinical Psychology Internship at Meharry Community Mental Health Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D., CCC-SLP - Eden II Programs
Dr. Gerenser is the Executive Director of the Eden II Programs in Staten Island NY. She received her masters degree from Ohio State University and her doctorate in Speech and Hearing at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She received her Certificate of Administration from the College of New Rochelle. Dr. Gerenser currently sits on the advisory Boards of several programs for children with autism in the US and Australia. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Organization for Autism Research as well as the president of the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Gerenser has presented on topics in autism and related disorders at local, national and international conferences. She is the co-author of Behavioral Programming for Children with Autism, an interactive CD-ROM as well as several articles and book chapters.
Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.- The McCarton School
Dr. Peter Gerhardt is the director of education – Upper School for the McCarton School in New York City. Dr. Gerhardt has over 30 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with ASD in educational, employment, residential, and community-based settings. He is the author or co-author of articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder and he has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. In addition, Dr. Gerhardt serves as Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research, on the Editorial Board of Behavior Analysis in Practice, and on numerous professional advisory boards including the Autism Society of America. Dr. Gerhardt received his doctorate from the Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey Graduate School of Education. Dr. Gerhardt’s research interests include issues related to intensity of behavior analytic instruction with adolescents and adults; community integration and employment, development of adaptive behavior competencies, positive behavior supports with complex individuals; and the use of technology to support community safety and independence.
Margaret R. Harrington, Ed.D.
Dr. Harrington served as the chief operating officer of Victory Schools, one of the nation's premier charter school and educational service organizations. She was formerly the chief executive of school programs and support services (grades K-12) for the
New York City school system. In this capacity, Dr. Harrington directed all special education services and supervised all high schools in New York City. She has received 19 "Educator of the Year" and other awards from various city, national and international associations. Dr. Harrington has been nationally recognized for her work in high school program design. Her creation of the Campus Magnet High Schools in New York has been widely studied by academic researchers, the American Federation of Teachers and the New York City Board of Education as a model of whole school reform. Dr. Harrington holds a Masters degree in social sciences from Brooklyn College and earned her doctorate in educational administration from Fordham University.
Sandra L. Harris, Executive Director, Douglass Developmental Center, Rutgers University
Dr. Harris is a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Clinical Psychology (Emerita) at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology and the Department of Psychology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center is a Rutgers University program for children, adolescents, and adults with autism that she founded in 1972. She is the author of several books, numerous book chapters, and journal articles concerning the needs of people with autism and the special needs of families that include a child with ASD. She is internationally recognized for her work in this area. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society and the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology. She has been a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International for more than a quarter century. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and the Autism Series editor for Woodbine House. Her honors from Rutgers University include the 2006, Daniel Gorenstein Memorial Award and the 2005 President’s Award for Research in Service to New Jersey. Dr. Harris received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland (College Park) in 1964 and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from SUNY/ Buffalo in 1969.
Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D. - Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)
Dr. Myles is a consultant with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), Ziggurat Group and the Education and Treatment Services Project for Military Dependent Children with Autism. She is the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, and the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Developmental Disabilities Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award. Dr. Myles has made presentations all over the world and written more than 150 articles and books on ASD including Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns (with Southwick) and The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated rules in Social Situations. She served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee and was on the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium. Dr. Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research (SCORE) and ASTEP – Asperger Syndrome Training and Education Program. In addition, in the latest survey conducted by the University of Texas, she was acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world.
Janet Wintrol - The Ivymount School
Ms. Wintrol is director of Ivymount School Programs in Rockville, MD. The Ivymount School serves children with developmental delays, learning disabilities, communication disorders, autism, and/or multiple handicaps. It has been twice named by the U.S. Department of Education as a "Blue Ribbon School of Excellence" and continues to develop new special education programs in response to community needs, most recently an Asperger Program serving grades 2 - 7, and The Maddux School for at-risk pre-school students. Ms. Wintrol has over 35 years of experience in regular and special education programs in Maryland and Washington, DC. Her experience includes classroom instruction, course and workshop development, graduate school instruction, educational consultation, staff development, program development, and school administration. Ms. Wintrol serves on the Ivymount board of directors, and is on the board of the Maryland Association of Non-Public Special Education Facilities (MANSEF), for which she served two years as President. She is a member of the Special Education Advisory Board at Towson University.
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