NJABA

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

2017 NJABA Election Results

President – Sandra R. Gomes, Ph.D., BCBA-D
President-Elect – Kate E. Cerino Britton, M.S.Ed., M.A., BCBA

Sandra R. Gomes, Ph.D., BCBA-D

President

Sandra R. Gomes, Ph.D., BCBA-D is an Assistant Director at the Somerset Hills Learning Institute and has worked in the field of autism treatment for over 10 years.  She earned her Masters and Doctorate Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University.  Her thesis entitled: Teaching a Generalized Repertoire of Joint Attention Skills to Children with Autism, won the ABAI Autism SIG Student Research Award in 2011.  She has presented at local, national, and international conferences on teaching joint attention skills to young children with autism.  Her book review, Effective Practices for Children with Autism: Education and Behavioral Support Interventions That Work, was featured in the newsletter of the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis in 2009.  Her research interests include joint attention, social skills, food refusal, and stimulus control. (Term Ends: June, 2019)

Kate E. Cerino Britton, Ed.D., BCBA

President Elect

Kate E. Cerino Britton, Ed.D., BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a certified teacher of the handicapped, and has worked with individuals with autism since 1997. She is currently the Principal of the education program at the Alpine Learning Group. She holds a Masters in Educational Administration from Caldwell College and Special Education from Long Island University and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University. She serves on the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis Board of Directors as the President-Elect and has presented at national and international conferences on increasing socialization, problem solving, small group and dyad instruction, promoting safety, and augmentative communication. (Term Ends: June, 2019)

Kevin J. Brothers, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Treasurer/Finance Chair

Kevin J. Brothers, Ph.D., BCBA-D is the founding Executive Director of the Somerset Hills Learning Institute. Dr. Brothers earned his doctorate in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1999. Having studied with Donald M. Baer, Ph.D., Patricia J. Krantz, Ph.D., and Lynn E. McClannahan, Ph.D., his research interests include issues in stimulus control, organizational behavior management, and incorporating digital technology in autism treatment. Dr. Brothers’ articles have been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. He co-authored, with Dr. Anthony Cammilleri, the chapter: The Baer Necessities: Observation, Measurement, and Analysis, published in A Small Matter of Proof: The Legacy of Donald M. Baer in 2003. Previous positions include those held at the Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI), Bancroft, Autism New Jersey, Lawrence Kansas Public School District, and as an educational consultant to public schools and families. (Term Ends: June, 2019)

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Lauren Besante, MA, LDT-C, BCBA

Secretary

Lauren Besante, MA, LDT-C, BCBA is the Principal at the Institute for Educational Achievement. Lauren holds a Masters Degree in Learning Disabilities from Montclair State University and completed her BCBA coursework at Caldwell College. She also holds both New Jersey Supervisor and Principal certificates. Lauren has been working with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities for over 20 years in both private and public school settings, as well as in home programs. Lauren has conducted research in the areas of social interaction, language development and promoting independence using activity schedules with individuals with autism. She has presented her research findings at local and national conferences. Lauren has assisted in the dissemination of the science of behavior analysis and its application to individuals with developmental disabilities by educating, mentoring and training parents and other professionals. Lauren’s extensive experience in the field has enabled her to assist children, adolescents and adults with autism in developing skills that enhance their independence and overall quality of life. Prior to becoming Board Secretary for NJABA, Lauren was a member of NJABA for 10 years.  (Term Ends: June, 2019)

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Erin Richard White, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Continuing Education Chair

Erin Richard White, Ph.D., BCBA-D has specialized in working with adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in employment, educational, community and home settings for 15 years. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds both teacher of the handicapped and elementary teacher certifications in New Jersey. Dr. White completed her doctorate and master’s degree in applied behavior analysis from Caldwell University. She has published articles in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice. She regularly serves as a guest review of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. White has presented at many local and national conferences on a variety of topics including preparing learners for adulthood, assessing and reducing problem behavior, and ethics.  (Term Ends: June, 2019)

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Robert LaRue, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Events Chair

Robert LaRue, Ph.D., BCBA-D,  is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. He earned a dual doctorate in biological and school psychology from Louisiana State University in 2002. He completed his predoctoral internship with the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University and a postdoctoral fellowship with the Marcus Institute at Emory University. He currently serves as the Director of Behavioral and Research Services at The Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, where he supervises several doctoral students and staff providing behavioral consultation to programs within the Center. He has authored articles in peer-reviewed journals, written several book chapters, and presented at national and international conferences. His research interests include the assessment and treatment of maladaptive behavior, staff and teacher training, and behavioral pharmacology. (Term Ends: June, 2019)

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Suzanne Buchanan, Psy.D., BCBA-D

Government Affairs Chair

Suzanne Buchanan, Psy.D., BCBA-D is the Executive Director of Autism New Jersey, a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral (BCBA-D). She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Long Island University and has worked in the autism field for more than twenty years. Dr. Buchanan provides Autism New Jersey with clinical leadership; disseminates information regarding evidence-based intervention to parents, professionals, and the media; and advises public policy efforts from a clinical perspective. Her interests include family resilience, informed decision-making about autism intervention, and contributing to the development and implementation of state policies that impact the autism community and the professionals who support them. She has played a pivotal role in passage and implementation of the autism insurance law, facilitated the creation of a job code for BCBAs recognized by the Department of Education, and advises multiple state departments on the ethical and effective delivery of ABA services. She currently serves as the Government Affairs Chair of the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis and is the co-author of Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism: An Introduction and other agency publications. (Term Ends: June, 2019)

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Alexis Higgins Battaglia M.Ed., BCBA

Communications Chair/Representative-At-Large

Alexis Higgins Battaglia M.Ed., BCBA. is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over twenty years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults with autism, developmental disorders with behavioral challenges, as well as those with intellectual disabilities. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Special Education, and holds a Teacher of the Handicapped certificate in the state of NJ. Ms. Higgins Battaglia is the Owner/Director of Progressive Therapy of NJ, which provides consultations to public and private schools and clients, supervision and training of staff, and development and implementation of individualized programs for individuals with disabilities. In addition, she has presented at local, national, and international conferences.

Ms. Higgins Battaglia, as a behavior analyst and business owner, has had the unique opportunity to work with hundreds of professionals in the field of ABA as well as with the administration of public school systems throughout her career. This opportunity has allowed Ms. Higgins Battaglia to advocate in the public school settings for ethical, effective practices within the classroom while maintaining a level of professionalism with the administration that allows for her to promote understanding of best practices. She has supervised a vast number of BCBAs on the ways to apply clinical practices within the school environment while educating administration on the processes to best suit the needs of their students. These students have spanned over more than 30 school districts in NJ in rural, suburban and urban settings. Ms. Higgins Battaglia is passionate about promoting the science of ABA to all people, especially those servicing the students in the public schools of NJ and brings that passion to NJABA as Representative at Large.  (Term Ends: June, 2019)

Emily Gallant, Ph.D., BCBA

Membership Chair/Student Representative

Emily Gallant, Ph.D., BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and an instructor and researcher at Somerset Hills Learning Institute. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University and has worked in the field of autism treatment for 11 years. Emily has presented her master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation, and the Institute’s research at local, state, national, and international conferences, and her master’s thesis research was recently published in Behavioral Interventions. Her research interests include stimulus control and stimulus fading procedures for children with autism, concept formation and stimulus equivalence, and organizational behavior management.  (Term Ends: June, 2019)

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Mary Lou Kerwin, Ph.D., BCBA-D

University Program Liaison

Mary Lou Kerwin, Ph.D., BCBA-D is Professor and Department Head of Psychology as well as the Executive Director of the Center for Behavior Analysis at Rowan University. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Counseling Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, and is a licensed psychologist as well as a BCBA-D. Her research interests include pediatric feeding disorders, behavioral treatments for drug addiction, parenting interventions for mothers in drug treatment, and treatments for autism.  (Term Ends: June, 2019)

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Elena Garcia-Albea, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Representative-At-Large

Elena Garcia-Albea, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and public school consultant in NJ. Dr. Garcia-Albea earned her Masters and Doctorate degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University. She has been working with children with disabilities for over 15 years in both private and public schools. Her Master’s thesis, entitled: Using Audio Script Fading and Multiple Exemplar Training to Increase Vocal Interactions in Children with Autism, was recently published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She has presented at numerous local, national, and international conferences on teaching children with autism language and social skills, such as empathetic behavior. Her clinical and research interests include teaching prosocial behavior, perspective taking, empathy, observational learning, and food refusal. (Term Ends: June, 2020)

Kelly Della Rosa

Kelly Della Rosa, M.A., BCBA

Representative-At-Large

Kelly Della Rosa, MA, BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Coordinator of Clinical Services at Alpine Learning Group. She earned her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University and has been working with learners with autism since 2008. Kelly specializes in the education and treatment of adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum in educational, employment, and home settings. In her current role, Kelly oversees and provides a variety of clinical services including skill-based and behavioral assessments, school consultation, and parent training to families in focused-behavioral treatment. She is active in research and has published research on stimulus control of problem behavior. She has presented at many local and national conferences on a variety of topics including; assessing and reducing problem behavior, vocational preferences, transitioning to adulthood, and equivalence-based instruction.  (Term Ends: June, 2020)