50 Years of Excellence50 Faces of the DDDC

Celebrating 50 Years of work supporting the autism community through service, research, and training.

Our 50th Anniversary is a time to celebrate our achievements and honor the diverse community that has helped shape our center and build our legacy. Our 50 Faces campaign shines a spotlight on special people whose stories have shaped the DDDC and highlights how work at our center reaches far beyond our walls and helps to build professional support and services for the autism community.

Sandra Harris, Ph.D., BCBA-D Photo
Sandra Harris, Ph.D.
Former Dean of GSAPP and Executive Director
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

Dr. Sandra L. Harris is a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Clinical Psychology (Emeritus) at Rutgers University. In 1972, Dr. Harris founded the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, a university-based program for the treatment of children with autism. She is a true pioneer in the field of autism who spent her entire professional career ensuring high-quality . . .

Profile Name Photo
Jan Handleman, Ed.D.
Former Director
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

Dr. Jan Handleman was a longtime director of the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center where he unlocked the potential of many students across the autism spectrum by finding critical treatments, support services for their families and community outreach by raising public awareness of autism. Dr. Jan Handleman started his career as a teacher working directly with children and adults . . .

David Celiberti's Photo
David Celiberti, Ph.D., BCBA
Executive Director/Association for Science in Autism Treatment

DDDC Doctoral Student and then Research Assistant Professor, 1988-1992, 1997-1999
I was blessed to have the opportunity to work with Drs. Sandra Harris and Jan Handleman, along with an incredible group of teachers, speech pathologists, and paraprofessionals. I was treated like a valuable member of the team from my first day. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to . . .


Edina Bekesi, Psychology M.A., BCBA Photo
Edina Bekesi, Psychology M.A., BCBA
BCBA - Supervisor, Lecturer, Consultant - Founding Member of the Hungarian Applied Behavior Analysis Organization

DDDC Volunteer, Classroom Assistant, Team Leader - Program Coordinator II (2012-2016)
The DDDC has provided me with a strong foundation. Witnessing the effectiveness of ABA, it became my mission to disseminate its methods in Hungary. I still get inspired by the knowledge . . .

May Chriseline Beaubrun's Photo
May Chriseline Beaubrun, M.Ed, BCBA, LBA - New York
Executive Director of Diversity & Training, Brett DiNovi & Associates

DDDC Classroom Assistant and Teacher

I learned more in my first year at DDDC than I have any other year in my career. I still use materials and resources from my time there as it is still valuable and relevant . . . 

David Fischer's Photo
David Fischer, Psy.D, BCBA-D
Behavioral Consultant

DDDC Doctoral Student, Outreach Consultant, Asperger College Program Founder (2001-2011)
The experience shaped me in multiple deep ways. Most critically, Sandra Harris served as an example that you can achieve great things while not compromising your values  . . .


Michael D. Powers, PsyD Photo
Michael D. Powers, PsyD
Executive Director, CCSN / Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Yale Child Study Center

DDDC Fieldwork Student, Supervising Special Education Teacher and Graduate Assistant

My time at the DDDC was foundational to my career in autism services. It is where I learned that science guides treatment, that families are the most important resource a child will ever have . . .

Carrie Bruey's Photo
Carrie Bruey, PsyD, BCBA
Program Supervisor, Autism Solutions,
Lancaster-Lebanon IU13

DDDC Doctoral Student (1978-1982)
Working at DDDC with Sandy Harris was the springboard for my entire career over the past 40 years. Sandy's mentorship, as well as the opportunity to work directly with children on the autism spectrum, solidified my passion for this population and it's been the focus of my work ever since . . .

Nathan Lambright's Photo
Nathan Lambright PsyD, BCBA-D
Boston Child Study Center

DDDC Behavior Consultant, Program Coordinator and Training Coordinator (2007-2010)
DDDC created a passion for working with ASD across numerous levels of functioning. It developed a grounding in ABA that directs my understanding of every case, family, and system with which I work. It was the start of my love for  . . .


Suzanne Buchanan's Photo
Suzanne Buchanan, PsyD, BCBA-D
Executive Director, Autism New Jersey

DDDC Fieldwork Student (1993-1995)
I saw a teenage DDDC student at an art therapy group for which I was volunteering. There, without behavioral support, he walked the perimeter of the room and did not engage with anyone. The following Monday, I noticed him with his teachers and classmates engaged and productive . . .

Samreen Rizvi's Photo
Samreen Rizvi, MA, BCBA, LBA
Behavior Analyst - Office of Special Education Instruction Fairfax County Public Schools, VA.

DDDC Classroom Assistant DAP, Graduate Fellow (2019-2021)
My training at the DDDC included working with school-aged children and adults. I gained extensive experience in developing behavior intervention plans and programming for skill acquisition - both aimed at reducing maladaptive behaviors . . .

Craig Domanski's Photo
Craig Domanski, PhD, BCBA-D
Founder and Director,
DATA Group Central

DDDC Classroom Assistant (1999-2004)
Working at Douglass was my first experience in ABA. My mom worked in the adolescent program, and I would meet her for lunch as a Rutgers undergrad. The DDDC staff I met were so friendly and welcoming and shared so much helpful information about working with the students. . . .


Erica Thomas-Hill's Photo
Erica Thomas-Hill, MA, BCBA, LBA
Behavior Analyst

DDDC DAP Teaching Assistant, Outreach

Being part of the DDDC family allotted me several different experiences within the field of ABA. I was able to experience teaching, conducting research, hands-on experience with FA's, and working with adults. I didn't realize until I moved how much I experienced and how fortunate I was . . .

Maria Arnold's Photo
Maria Arnold, M.Ed., BCBA
Former Chief School Administrator/
Director of Educational Services
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

Maria Arnold has been an advocate for individuals with autism and their families for over 40 years. From her start at the DDDC in 1976 until her retirement at the end of 2019 she served as Teacher, Assistant Director, Director of Douglass School, and Director of Educational Services . . .

Mary Jane Weiss's Photo
Mary Jane Weiss, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA
Executive Director of ABA and Autism Programs/Director of Doctoral Programs in ABA
Endicott College

DDDC Director of Research and Training and Clinical Director (1984-2010)
I am a Professor in the School of Education at Endicott College, where I also serve as Executive Director of Programs in ABA and Autism and Director of the Ph.D. in ABA . . .


Todd Frischman's Photo
Todd Frischmann, Ed.M., BCBA
Behavior Analyst
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Fieldworker, Classroom Assistant, Teacher, Outreach Consultant, Training Coordinator
I was thrilled to be offered a classroom assistant position after I finished both semesters of the fieldwork course while pursuing my undergraduate degree in Psychology. Working at the DDDC has been the most challenging and rewarding . . .

Pierre Louis's Photo
Pierre Louis, MS, BCBA
Behavior Analyst
Perth Amboy School District

DDDC Teacher, Classroom Assistant, Outreach Consultant, Fieldworker (1989-2002)
My role as a floating assistant shaped my entire career. I learned to be flexible, to collaborate with multiple team members, to engage community members, and to work with learners aged 3-21. These skills and experiences . . .

Ryan J. Madigan's Photo
Ryan J. Madigan, Psy.D.
Founder & Director, Boston Child Study Center
Boston, Los Angeles and Maine

DDDC Doctoral Student (2007-2009)
The DDDC taught me the science and principles of behaviorism and the art of learning to listen even when an individual struggles to communicate. I am running 3 clinics in Boston, LA and Portland, Maine with the mission to expand access to evidence based treatment . . .


Kim Sloman's Photo
Kim Sloman, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Director of The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Tech

DDDC Coordinator of Research, Associate Director of Behavioral and Research Services (2008-2018) The DDDC was my first job after I graduated from my doctoral program. My role allowed me to see behavioral intervention truly translated from laboratory to practice. My experience at the DDDC shaped my clinical skills . . .

Dongjoo Chin's Photo
Dongjoo Chin, BCBA
Behavioral Analyst
Seoul National University Hospital

DDDC Visiting Scholar (2020) Experience at DDDC is a big milestone for me as well. DDDC showed me how much clinical practice based on research can be effective. Every problem behavior management and skill acquisition programs were implemented consistently as a written manual. It drives me to implement evidence-based . . .

Barbara Kristoff's Photo
Barbara Kristoff, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, BCBA-D
Assistant Director/Principal
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

Dr. Kristoff has been with the DDDC since 1979 and has served in a variety of positions providing services to DDDC students and working collaboratively with educational staff and parents to determine and implement appropriate individualized programming. She has been affiliated with the Rutgers Speech and Hearing program as . . .


Julia Iannaccone's Photo
Julia Iannaccone, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA
Director of Clinical Services and Training
May Institute

DDDC Fieldworker, Classroom Assistant, Research Assistant, Doctoral Intern (2011–2020)
I always knew I wanted a career helping people with Autism. I considered various professions, but when I started my fieldwork experience at the DDDC, I fell in love with Behavior Analysis. I was very eager to help and learn, and, luckily for me . . .

Joe Novak's Photo
Joe Novak, EdD, BCBA-D, CCC-SLP, ATP
Director of Clinical Initiatives
REED Autism Services

DDDC Speech Intern, Speech-Language Pathologist (2009-2010) My BCBA supervision experience and training at DDDC was second-to-none. It provided me with the foundational knowledge, the clinical skills, and the understanding of how to provide effective intervention services for students with autism while maintaining . . .

Christopher Manente's Photo
Christopher Manente, Ph.D., BCBA
Executive Director
Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services

DDDC Undergraduate Fieldworker, DAP Program Coordinator/Behavior Analyst (2005-2014)
The education and training that I received at the DDDC beginning with my time as an undergraduate fieldwork student, which was my very first opportunity to work in the field of ABA/Autism, in addition to countless opportunities . . .


Denise Sanders' Photo
Denise Sanders, Certified Substitute Teacher
Program Coordinator/Lead Instructor
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Program Coordinator, Lead Instructor, Classroom Assistant (2003-2022)
I began my career as an occupational therapist assistant in a school for children with autism and multiple disabilities. I gained extensive experience through training and mentoring by some knowledgeable and respected . . .

Pam Withers Lubbers' Photo
Pam Withers Lubbers, M.A., P.D.
Program Manager, Spectrum Scholars
Center for Disability Studies, College of Education & Human Services, University of Delaware

DDDC Teacher, Coordinator, College Support Program (CSP) (2004-2014)
DDDC provided me my first opportunity to be trained and guided as I taught, coached and developed support services for high school and then university students. Lessons learned at DDDC from students, their families and skilled DDDC colleagues . . .

Hyein Lee's Photo
Hyein Lee, Psy.M., BCBA
Psychology Intern


DDDC Doctoral Student (2017- 2019)
My work at the DDDC deepened my understanding of assessment and treatment in applied behavioral analysis. Assessing the function of the behavior to develop function-based treatment is one of the key experiences I got from DDDC that I will continue to implement throughout my career. . .


Daniela Silva's Photo
Daniela Silva, M.S., BCBA, LABA
Behavior Consultant
Kindle Behavior Consultants

DDDC Undergraduate Research Assistant, Research Coordinator (2014-2020)
I was first exposed to Applied Behavior Analysis while working as an undergraduate research assistant at the DDDC and instantly was hooked. My experience at the DDDC provided me with the foundations needed to succeed . . .

Heather Jennett's Photo
Heather Jennett, Ph.D., BCBA-D
VP Clinical Services
Little Leaves Behavioral Services

DDDC Doctoral student, Behavior Consultant, Research Coordinator (1999-2003)
Working at the DDDC shaped my entire career in ABA and autism. Based on my experiences as a graduate assistant at the DDDC, there were two things I wanted for my career going forward – to continue to learn how to . . .

Suzannah Iadarola's Photo
Suzannah Iadarola, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
University of Rochester Medical Center

DDDC Doctoral Student (2006-2011)
At DDDC I worked with people who integrated evidence-based clinical interventions, strong team collaboration, and high dedication to learning experiences for trainees, staff, and faculty – all with an overlay of family-focused support. I have worked to emulate this commitment . . .


Amy (Hansford) Cohen's Photo
Amy (Hansford) Cohen, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychology
University of Illinois.
Director, University of Illinois Autism Clinic. Director, Psychological Services Center

DDDC Doctoral Student (2008-2012)
Only 50 words! The relationships I built at the DDDC were tremendously impactful. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to every student I worked with and to the families that shared their children with us. Sandy, Bob, Sharon, Todd, Meredith . . .

Antonio Horn's Photo
Antonio Horn, B.A.
Program Coordinator
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC DAP Program Coordinator, Classroom Assistant (2004-2022)
Where did the time go? It's been and honor and a pleasure working with so many people that are extremely knowledgeable in the field of ABA. There are too many people to name but from the Director to Teachers, every day here is a learning experience. . . .

Mark J. Palmieri's Photo
Mark J. Palmieri, Psy.D., BCBA-D
CCSN: Center for Children with Special Needs

DDDC Doctoral Student (2002–2006)
The DDDC played an instrumental role in shaping my professional career and the experiences I gained there continue to inform my work. At the DDDC I learned to work compassionately and effectively with some of the most amazing students I have ever met and I had the tremendous benefit of learning from professional role models . . .


Peter Gerhardt's Photo
Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Epic School

DDDC Research Assistant Professor (1997-2001)
I would not be the professional I am today if I did not have the education, training, and support of the DDDC early in my career. I am forever indebted to the staff and students at the DDDC for igniting a lifelong passion to change . . .

Michael Alessandri's Photo
Michael Alessandri, Ph.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics, Executive Director, Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, and Assistant Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Miami

DDDC Graduate Student, MS/PhD (1986-1990)
My time at the DDDC was critical to shaping who I am today as an autism researcher and service provider in every way, but most . . .

Karen Keenan's Photo
Karen Keenan
Program Coordinator
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Classroom Assistant, Lead Instructor, Program Coordinator (2007-2022)
The DDDC has shaped my professional career by focusing on the developmental needs of all young children. Each year that I worked in the Small Wonders Preschool classroom I was challenged . . .


Mariana Torres-Viso's Photo
Mariana Torres-Viso, PsyD, BCBA-D
Assistant Professor of Child Psychology
Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

DDDC Doctoral Student (2010-2014)
The time I spent at DDDC taught me how to be a data-driven, compassionate, and ethical clinician. It also taught me about best-practices supports for children with developmental disabilities and how to also support the family . . .

Shin Teh's Photo
Shin Teh, PsyM, BCBA
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Intern
Kennedy Krieger Institute

DDDC Graduate Student, MS/PhD (1986-1990)
My training at DDDC was impeccable at solidifying my interest in continuing working with individuals with autism, from an evidence-based perspective. More importantly, the warmth, professionalism, wisdom and perseverance of . . . .

Jaimee White's Photo
Jaimee White, Ed.M., BCBA
Behavior Analyst
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Field Worker, Classroom Assistant, Teacher, Home School Consultant (1998-2019)
As I approach my 25th year at the DDDC I think back to my start as an undergraduate fieldworker and having no experience with the autism population. Everything I know about autism . . .


Naomi Coral's Photo
Naomi Coral, B.A
Lead Instructor
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Field Worker, Classroom Assistant, Lead Instructor (2001-2022)
I enjoyed my experience as a fieldworker for 2 semesters and applied for a job as soon as I heard there was an open position. My experience of working at the DDDC has taught me patience and compassion towards others, but most . . .

Joseph Gironda's Photo
Joseph Gironda, B.S. (Health and Physical Education)
Adaptive Physical Education Teacher
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Adaptive Physical Education Teacher, DOORs Afterschool Program Director (2002-2022)
I was working at another school and was unhappy there, I saw an ad in the newspaper, and I applied for a position at the DDDC as an . . .

Meredith J. Bamond's Photo
Meredith J. Bamond, M.Ed., BCBA
Training Coordinator
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Fieldworker, Classroom Assistant, Research Assistant, Research Coordinator and Training Coordinator (2002-2022)
I had always loved science, psychology, and helping others, but it wasn’t until my undergraduate fieldwork at the DDDC that I discovered ABA and fell in love. Through my years at the DDDC . . .


Margaret Mateyka's Photo
Margaret Mateyka, B.S.
(Health and Physical Education)
Lead Instructor
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Lead Instructor, Classroom Assistant, Supervisor in After School Program (1997-2022)
I was moving back to New Jersey from Florida and one of the gentlemen I worked with had given me a letter of recommendation to the DDDC. I really do not know what to say . . .

Jacqueline Molnar's Photo
Jacqueline Molnar
Secretarial Assistant
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Secretarial Assistant (2000-2022)
I started working at DDDC on 9/25/00. My aunt Diane Johnson worked in the office at the time and had told me about an opening. I started as the receptionist at the center not knowing much about the world of autism at the time. As the years went on I became more and more . . .

Rachel Davis's Photo
Rachel Davis, Ed.M., LDTC-C, BCBA
Behavior Analyst
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Fieldworker, Special Education Teacher

The DDDC was my first experience with ABA as a fieldwork student in 2002. I was immediately drawn to the community and started my education to become a special education teacher and a board-certified behavior analyst . . .


Donna Sloan's Photo
Donna Sloan, M.A., BCBA 
Assistant Director School and Adult Program, Assistant Director Adult & Transitional Services
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC AssistantDirector (2001-2022)
I have been an advocate for individuals with autism and their families for over 37 years.  My career at the DDDC started in 2001 as the Assistant Director of Adult and Transition Services. In 2008 my role expanded to include oversight . . .

Debra Paone's Photo
Debra Paone, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Director of Consultation and Training
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Director of Consultation and Training, Asst. Director Outreach, Training Coordinator 

In 1998, I was fortunate to begin my career in a program that used the principles of behavior analysis to teach individuals on the autism spectrum.  After observing the effectiveness of . . .

Marlene Brown's Photo
Marlene Brown, M.S., BCBA, LBA (NY)
Associate Director Consultation and Communications
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Associate Director (1999-2022)
I have worked with children and adults for more than three decades using the principles of applied behavior analysis to improve the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Early in my career, I was . . .


Robert Larue's Photo
Robert LaRue Ph.D., BCBA-D 
Clinical Professor/Director of Behavioral Services 
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Clinical Professor/Director of Behavioral Services (2004-2022)
I accepted a faculty position at the DDDC after having worked at the Kennedy Krieger/Marcus Institutes. Over the last 18+ years, the DDDC has provided me with the opportunity to develop as a professional. Everything I have accomplished can be attributed directly to . . .

Catriona Francis's Photo
Catriona Francis, Ed.M., BCBA,
NJ Teacher of the Handicapped
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Field worker, Classroom Assistant, Teacher, Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction, Assistant Director  (1996-2022)
After a semester of fieldwork at the DDDC as part of the undergraduate Fieldwork in Psychology course, I knew that I wanted my professional future to involve working with individuals with . . .

Lara Delmolino's Photo
Lara Delmolino, Ph.D., BCBA-D 
Executive Director
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center

DDDC Graduate Assistant, Home School Consultant, Assistant Director of Research and Training, Assistant Director, Director

I applied to the PhD program at Rutgers because I wanted to work with Sandra Harris. My work at the DDDC has helped me continually connect my interests in providing direct . . .