Presenters 2018

Presenters Scheduled for PTI 2018 include:

Samantha Adair
University of Georgia

Samantha Adair joined the University of Georgia’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) staff in July 2015 as a Disability Services Coordinator. Sam manages a large caseload of students and serves as the DRC Intake Co-Coordinator, Smartpen Coordinator, and on the Student Database Committee. She assisted the committee with the search for and development of a new student database system, and aided with the transition from a paper-based system to a digital one. Prior to her career at UGA, Sam worked as a mentor for student-athletes at UGA, as well as a reading interventionist for third graders in a local elementary school. She received her Bachelor’s degrees from UGA in psychology and English, and her Master’s degree from UGA in educational psychology.

Jacqueline Renee Ahl
Culinary Institute of America

Jacqueline Renee Ahl is the Assistant Manager for Learning Strategies at the Culinary Institute of America, where she offers strategy instruction and academic coaching, supervises peer and professional tutors, oversees accommodated testing, and advises faculty and staff seeking information about learning disabilities, executive functioning, and instructional methodology.  She has 20 years of experience in disability services, and served as instructor for the Summer Institute for the Gifted (2005-2015), teaching 21 different courses for gifted and twice-exceptional youth, as well as Specialist for Disabilities and Learning at SUNY New Paltz (2007-2015). A former grant writer and performer for Arts for Peace, Jacqueline appeared as visiting poet for the Language Arts Program of The Northeast Center for Special Care, offering arts-based rehabilitation for acquired brain injury. Jacqueline’s poetry credits include A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley (2013), and her plays have been produced in NY, NC, and MO.

Manju Banerjee
Landmark College

Manju Banerjee, Ph.D. is Vice President of Educational Research and Innovation at Landmark College. Dr. Banerjee has over 29 years of experience in the field of learning disabilities, ADHD, and postsecondary disability services. She is a certified diagnostician and teacher-consultant on learning disabilities. She has published and presented extensively, both nationally and internationally, on topics such as: disability documentation and accommodations, technological competencies for postsecondary transition, online learning, and universal design. She has been and currently is PI/Co-PI on multiple federal, foundational, and NSF grants. Manju Banerjee is an editorial board member of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability; LD: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal, Professional Advisory Board member to the Learning Disability Association of America, and a consultant to Educational Testing Service. She received her doctoral degree from the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, on the application of universal design to high stakes assessment.

Merry Baronas
Catholic University of America

Merry Baronas is a learning specialist at the office of Disability Support Services at the Catholic University of America. Merry received her BA in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work at the Catholic University of America. As a learning specialist, Merry meets individually with students to improve core academic skills, ensure utilization of accommodations, and offer support for navigating social settings. As a learning specialist Merry works with a wide range of disabilities including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and learning disabilities. Since attending Catholic University of America, she currently works as a geriatric case manager for So Others Might Eat, a social service organization that serves multiple populations in Washington DC.

Kirsten Behling
Tufts University

Kirsten Behling is the Director of Student Accessibility Services at Tufts University and an adjunct professor at Suffolk University, where she developed and now teaches in the Disability Services Certificate Program. Kirsten earned her master’s degree in sociology with a focus on inclusive education from Boston University in 2002. Kirsten co-directed a U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) grant focused on bringing reflective practice to faculty members teaching students with disabilities, as well as two other federal grants to bring Universal Design for Learning into higher education. Kirsten spent six years as the president of New England Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), and she currently serves on the board of directors. Her research interests, publications, and speaking engagements center on campus-wide buy-in around access needs, access in online learning, teaching diverse learners, and educating current and future disability-service professionals.

Eileen Berger
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Eileen Berger is assistant director of the Office of Student Affairs and Head of Access and Disability Services at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior, she was director of the Office for Students with Disabilities at a State University and a Community College. She worked as a certified speech, language and hearing specialist, educator, administrator, and grant writer in Special Education in private and urban public schools collaborating in developing policy, programming, curriculum and training for children, parents and educators. She holds a Master of Science in Education along with NYS, NYC and Massachusetts teacher certification, and certification in Assistive Technology. Eileen is a member of ATHEN, AHEAD and NASPA as past Region 1 Disability Knowledge Community Representative and national co-chair for the disability knowledge community and currently member of the Equity and Inclusion Commission. She has presented with colleagues and students at national and regional conferences for 15+ years.

Michael Berger
Simmons College

Michael Berger, MBA, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Chemistry at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, where he teaches chemistry, climate change, and sustainability. He has served as the Director of the Colleges of the Fenway Center for Sustainability and the Environment and was awarded a NSF STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) grant to promote disadvantaged and capable students into STEM professions. Dr. Berger has successfully used a variety of methods to engage students in chemistry, including research, learning communities, service-learning, mentoring, and technology. He has used blended learning and “flipped” classes to engage students. He is a co-author of “World Challenge: Engaging Sophomores in an Intensive, Interdisciplinary Course,” published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2014).

Lisa Bibeau
Salem State University

Lisa Bibeau is the Director of Disability Services, Salem State University. Lisa began her career at the University of Massachusetts in there Learning Disabilities Center.  Upon completion of her degree she attained a position in the Office of Disability Services at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as an Assistant Director.  After three years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Lisa joined the staff of the Disability Services Office at Salem State University in 2002 and was promoted to Director in 2003. The Disability Services Office at Salem State University has grown with the population of students seeking services and now accommodates both students and the public who utilize the campus.  As the role of the office grew the university promoted Lisa to Assistant Dean for Access in 2017.

Carrie Blakesley Snyder
University at Albany

Carrie Blakesley Snyder has been the Assistant Director of the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at the University at Albany (UAlbany) for four years.  Prior to UAlbany, she worked as a Program Coordinator at the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, assisting persons with disabilities in relocating from institutions back to the community. Carrie worked as an ASL interpreter for 20 years (RID Certified) prior to earning her MSW in 2010 from UAlbany, where she was registered as a student with a disability. She also teaches ASL at the post-secondary level. Carrie has been in the position to use accommodations as a student, provide accommodations as an instructor, and be an accommodation as an interpreter. Now, as a DSS professional, she draws on these experiences when working with students and faculty to ensure students with disabilities have equal access to both the academic and non-academic aspects of University life.

Gina Bouchard
Northeastern University

Gina Bouchard is the Senior Athletic Academic Support Specialist at Northeastern University. She serves as the advisor for Women’s track and field, Women’s Ice Hockey, Men’s Soccer, and the freshman on the Men’s Ice Hockey team. Before Northeastern, Gina earned her Master’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Sport Management. While at Eastern, she served as an assistant learning specialist and tutor for Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Football. Gina graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Vermont in 2013.  During her time at Vermont, she was an active member of the Women’s Club Ice Hockey Team, serving as team president for two years. Gina is a native of Shrewsbury, MA and currently resides in Canton, MA with her wife Megan and their two cats Duke and Dizzy.

Loring C. Brinckerhoff
Educational Testing Service (ETS)

Loring C. Brinckerhoff is the Director of the Office of Disability Policy for Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, NJ. His primary responsibilities at ETS are to oversee testing accommodations for 14,000+ test takers with disabilities who are seeking accommodations on ETS brands high stakes tests, and training 37 experts who consult with ETS. He is also a higher education and disability consultant to Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University. He earned his Ph.D. in learning disabilities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he started the LD Support Services office in the McBurney Resource Center.

Trey Burnart Hall
Virginia Commonwealth University

Trey Burnart Hall is the coordinator of the Writing Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he supervises an ever-growing staff while expanding university partnerships across disciplines. Trey graduated from VCU with a degree in English in 2016. He strives to help create a learning environment that is accessible to students of all writing abilities and disciplines. Current initiatives include advocating for interdisciplinary inquiry and training staff to empower students’ voices.

Troy Carter
Virginia Commonwealth University

Troy Carter is a second-year Virginia Commonwealth University student accessing college through the VCU ACE-IT in College program. Troy has taken classes in topics ranging from urban studies to visual media. He has held campus jobs as a digital media editor with the Center on Transition Innovations and the Office of Continuing and Professional Education. While completing his final semester at VCU, Troy is participating in a paid internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia where works with creative services and web development.

Andrew Cioffi
Suffolk University

Andrew Cioffi is the Director of Disability Services and co-founder and adjunct professor in the Disability Services in Higher Education Graduate Certificate Program at Suffolk University. His areas of professional interest include promoting university-wide accessibility, assistive and emerging technology, and the intersection of disability and diversity. Andrew’s current teaching experience includes Issues in Postsecondary Disability Services and Assistive Technology in Postsecondary Education. Andrew has served as Chair of the Assistive Technology committee for New England AHEAD and presented both regionally and nationally on best practices in access and accommodation.

Vanessa S. Cohen
Montgomery County Community College

Vanessa S. Cohen is the Coordinator of Student Disability Services at the West Campus of Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown, PA. She received her B.S. in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and her M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling, both from Auburn University. Most recently, Vanessa earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education from Saint Joseph’s University. Her doctoral research examined a University peer-mentorship program designed to support students with disabilities, with a focus on disability identity development. Vanessa’s background includes employment in various sectors of disability services, such as community mental health and state vocational rehabilitation. Vanessa holds the credentials of a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.

Michael Connor
Suffolk University

Michael Connor is the Accessibility Specialist at Suffolk University and has been working there since October 2014. He is responsible for providing alternative text and assistive technology support for students; technology trainings for students, staff, and faculty; and coordination of campus wide accessibility initiatives. Michael’s work includes accessible course design, evaluation of product accessibility, and delivering professional development workshops and trainings on accessibility in postsecondary education. Before working at Suffolk he worked for 3 years at Perkins School for the Blind in the DeafBlind department, where he worked with students in their academic programs. Michael is a graduate of Boston College where he earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in History.

Jennifer Cozart
University of Tennessee

Jennifer Cozart has over 13 years’ experience working with people with disabilities.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications and a Master of Science in Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has a varied experience in working with students at multiple ages and levels. Initially, she taught in the elementary classroom and moved on to teaching adult learners who returned to school to earn their GED. Currently, Jennifer has transitioned into higher education to work with college students with disabilities in Universal Pathways to Employment Project (a DOL grant). She began her higher education experience working as an Academic Coach to help students learn to advocate for themselves and manage their academic responsibilities.  Most recently, Jennifer has taken on the position of Career Specialist where she works with students in a case management capacity to help remove barriers to their academic and career goals.

Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Ph.D.
Landmark College Institute for Research and Training

Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Ph.D., is Director of the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT), and is an Associate Professor. He has served as PI on three NSF Research grants including NSF-RDE (HRD-1128948); NSF-REAL (Award # DRL 1420198) and NSF-REAL (Award # DRL-1417456). Dr. Dahlstrom-Hakki’s research has primarily focused on two areas: new methods for teaching STEM to students with disabilities; and using eye-tracking technology to study the cognitive underpinnings of Learning. Dr. Dahlstrom-Hakki routinely delivers professional development workshops and trainings to secondary and postsecondary educators on topics including: Teaching STEM to students with disabilities, Universal design for Learning, and Teaching with Technology.

Laura DiGalbo
Central Connecticut State University

Laura DiGalbo received her B.A in psychology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg Virginia and her M.Ed at the University of Hartford in Education /Counseling. During her career she has completed several clinical fellowships including those in mental illness and substance abuse. Laura has worked in the field of Rehabilitation & Education for over 40 years. It was during this time that she developed an interest in the issues affecting students who have difficulty coping with rigors of post secondary education including those with psychiatric disabilities. Ms DiGalbo co authored a chapter in the 30th Institute on Rehabilitation Issues monograph entitled “Innovative Methods of Providing Services to Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities”. She is a contributor in From High School to College: Steps for Students with Disabilities. In addition, she is appearing in an episode of Comeback TV for Transitions RTC on You Tube dealing with postsecondary accommodations for students with mental health disabilities. She is adjunct faculty in the Counseling and Family Therapy graduate program at Central Connecticut State University. Laura’s expertise in psychiatric disabilities and post-secondary education has led her to present at National and International conferences as well as to provide in-service training and consultation at Colleges and Universities throughout North America

Kimberly Doan
Tufts University

Kimberly Doan is the Assistant Director of Student Accessibility Services at Tufts University. She holds a M.A. in Child Study and Human Development (focusing in Developmental Health and Psychology) from Tufts University, and a B.A. in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from University at Buffalo. Encouraging students to self-advocate and utilize their individual learning-style strengths, Kimberly supports students’ intellectual and emotional development as they adapt to the demands of a college environment. Additionally, she supports the larger university student population as an undergraduate academic advisor.

Nicole Feeney
NEAT Center at Oak Hill

Nicole Feeney delivers demonstrations and training on the continuum of assistive technology devices and services to families, educators, therapists, clinicians, and professionals; including presentations at local and national technology conferences to promote community awareness. She also provides AT consultations and evaluations to individuals with disabilities of all ages.  Nicole has spent many years teaching students with special needs in the classroom as well as helped them to develop and improve their skills through the use of assistive technology. She has provided ongoing support, mentoring, and guidance to her students while promoting innovative approaches for their employment, independent living and community needs. She has a  Master’s Degree in Assistive Technology from Southern CT State University has also allowed her to provide professional development and assistance to educators in K–12 settings.

Meg Grigal, Ph.D.
Think College, UMass Boston

Meg Grigal, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston and the Co-Director of Think College, a national organization focused on research, policy and practice in inclusive higher education and people with intellectual disability. At Think College, she serves as a principal investigator on a variety of research grants including the Investing in Innovation (I3) funded Think College Transition Model Project, the Office of Postsecondary Education funded National Coordinating Center for the Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) Model Demonstration Programs and Co-Principal Investigator on the Office of Special Education Program funded Future Quest Island- Stepping Up to Technology project. Dr. Grigal has conducted multiple research projects on college and employment preparation on middle and high school students. Dr. Grigal’s work has led to expansion of higher education options for students with intellectual disabilities throughout the US and internationally.

Amanda Hales
University of Georgia

Amanda Hales joined the University of Georgia’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) staff in 2008 and has been serving as a Disability Services Coordinator since 2014. Amanda manages a caseload of students and serves as the DRC Scholarship Liaison, Housing Liaison and Chair of the Student Database Committee. Amanda was instrumental in assuring a smooth transition from a paper-based records and accommodations system to a digital one. She and her team developed a phased approach that has proven to be successful and resulted in more timely and effective processes and procedures. Prior to her career at UGA, Amanda worked as a Nursing Assistant and Activity Director where she assisted persons with disabilities and found her calling for helping others.

LeDerick Horne
Poet, Speaker, Advocate for Students with Disabilities

LeDerick Horne was diagnosed with a learning disability in the third grade, defies any and all labels. He’s a dynamic spoken-word poet. A tireless advocate for all people with disabilities. An inspiring motivational speaker. A bridge-builder between learners and leaders across the U.S. and around the world. An African-American husband and father who serves as a role model for all races, genders, and generations.

The grandson of one of New Jersey’s most prominent civil rights leaders, LeDerick uses his gift for spoken-word poetry as the gateway to larger discussions on equal opportunity, pride, self-determination and hope for people with disabilities. His workshops, keynote speeches, and performances reach thousands of students, teachers, legislators, policy makers, business leaders, and service providers each year. He regularly addresses an array of academic, government, social, and business groups, including appearances at the White House, the United Nations, Harvard University, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, the Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Alabama State Departments of Education. His work addresses the challenges of all disabilities, uniting the efforts of diverse groups in order to achieve substantive, systemic change.

From 2003 to 2012, LeDerick served as the Founding Board Chair of Eye to Eye (, the only national nonprofit mentoring program for students labeled with LD / ADHD, and continues to serve on the board today. He is on the advisory board for The National Resources for Access, Independence, Self-determination and Employment (RAISE) Technical Assistance Center (, and he is a Senior Consultant for The Center for School Climate and Learning.

In 2016, he and co-author Margo Vreeburg Izzo, PhD, The Ohio State University, released the book Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success — the definitive compendium on transition support for students with LD / ADHD and other hidden disabilities — published by Brookes Publishing Co.

He has released two spoken-word poetry albums (Rhyme Reason and Song in 2005 and Black and Blue in 2011) and co-created New Street Poets, a spoken-word play about the effect of gentrification on urban culture. The play received considerable acclaim including accolades at the New York City International Fringe Festival and toured extensively throughout the U.S.

LeDerick has earned a BA in Mathematics with a Fine Arts minor from New Jersey City University and also studied Mathematics at Middlesex County College. His poetry is available on iTunes and YouTube, and you can learn more about him at To book LeDerick for your group, organization, school, or event, please contact Keena Lundy at

“LeDerick isn’t just a popular speaker on disabilities in the country today—his experiences have been transformed into a very touching message of how labels and low expectations can hurt children, but also about how the care and concern of one adult can make all the difference. Whether he’s encouraging others with stories from his own personal journey, helping to inform policy discussions, providing hope for those who have lost hope, or fostering a better understanding of the potential within all people with disabilities, LeDerick is an invaluable source of inspiration and leadership.”

Jeanne Kincaid
Drummond Woodsum Attornys at Law

Jeanne Kincaid is a nationally known disability lawyer and consultant, representing colleges and universities nationwide and public and independent schools regionally on a host of disability and special education issues, including the physical accessibility requirements imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Jeanne has been a special education hearing officer and mediator for the State of New Hampshire, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Hampshire’s Graduate School of Education, Antioch University and the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center).

Allen Kropp
Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law

Allen Kropp of the law firm of Drummond Woodsum specializes in civil rights, special education, and disability law, and works extensively with schools, colleges, and universities on a wide range of disability issues under Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as other discrimination issues under Federal and State civil rights laws.  Allen has served in several roles within the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), including Deputy Chief Attorney and Acting Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Regional Office in Boston, and has extensive expertise in compliance, program administration, and educating schools, colleges, students, and other stakeholders on civil rights matters.  Previously, Allen served as Regional Commissioner for the Rehabilitation Services Administration, DOE’s chief official responsible for federal oversight of State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies and adult disability programs across New England. He is an experienced speaker and regularly conducts trainings at national, state, and local disability forums and conferences.

Adam Lalor
Landmark College

Adam Lalor, Ph.D. is Lead Education Specialist at Landmark College.  With more than a decade of experience in higher education administration, his research focuses on the transition of students with disabilities to and within higher education and the preparation of faculty and administrators to serve students with disabilities. Recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.  He teaches in Landmark College’s online certificate series Executive Function and LD: Integrating Strategies, Study Skills, and Technology. Dr. Lalor received his doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education.

William Lindstrom
University of Georgia

Will Lindstrom is the director of the Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders at the University of Georgia, an evaluation, training, and research center dedicated to serving postsecondary students with learning-related disabilities. He is licensed as a psychologist in Georgia and Virginia. His primary research interests relate to the assessment and documentation of postsecondary learning-related disabilities. Relevant publications have appeared in the Journal of Attention Disorders, Journal of Disability Policy Studies, Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, The Clinical Neuropsychologist, and Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology.

Neal E. Lipsitz
College of the Holy Cross

Neal E. Lipsitz, Ph.D. is Associate Dean for Student Development and the Director of Disability Services at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He oversees Counseling, Health, Wellness, and Disability Services at the College. Dr. Lipsitz has been a licensed psychologist and has been in the field of college mental health for over 30 years. He currently coordinates services for students with disabilities at Holy Cross along with his other senior leadership responsibilities. Over the past several years, Dr. Lipsitz has been presenting at local and national conferences on many aspects of service provision to students with disabilities. He also teaches at the college and maintains a small private practice in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. He was national chair for the NASPA Disability Knowledge Community and is co-editor of: Beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act: Inclusive policy and practice for students with disabilities in higher education (2014).

Allison Lombardi
University of Connecticut

Allison Lombardi, PhD, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Special Education Program. She’s also the director of the graduate certificate program in Postsecondary Disability Services. Dr. Lombardi studies the transition from adolescence to adulthood, with a particular focus on college and career readiness (CCR) and higher education experiences of underrepresented groups, including students with disabilities. She focuses on survey design methods and has experience in the development, field-testing, and initial validation of several measures intended for secondary and postsecondary students and college faculty. More recently, she’s focused on the utility of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as an implementation vehicle for CCR in high schools, leveraging Information Technology (IT) literacy as a means to teach transition skills to secondary students with disabilities, and expanding the discourse on diversity in higher education to include disability. Dr. Lombardi currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, and the Journal on Postsecondary Education and Disability. Before joining the faculty at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Lombardi was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Oregon’s College of Education.

Tamara Mancini
Texas Tech University

Tamara Mancini is a Red Raider through and through. She has been at Texas Tech for the past 22 years, and received both her BA in English and her M. Ed. in Higher Education (Student Affairs) at Texas Tech University.  Tamara also holds a Professional Associate (PA) certification from the National Association of ADA Coordinators.  Throughout her professional career, Tamara has worked in the areas of disability services, athletics, and residence life.  Each position has given Tamara the opportunity to serve as a student advisor and advocate.  She is currently the Senior Assistant Director of Student Disability Services and works closely with the visually impaired student population, and students with psychological conditions. Tamara also maintains the online information management program used for student applications and accommodations, as well as coordinating tutoring services, and campus training elements.  Tamara has attended PTI before and looks to have another great educational experience.

Fran Manocchio
Worcester State University

Fran Manocchio serves as an Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director, Student Accessibility Services at Worcester State University, Worcester, Massachusetts.  Fran brings 40 years of work in social justice and human services to her position.  Prior to joining WSU in 2011, Fran was Director of Human Rights and Disabilities for the City of Worcester, the second largest city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and previously served as an executive director for two non-profit agencies.  She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology from Merrimack College and a Master’s Degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Rehabilitation Counseling from Assumption College. She has been actively engaged in several community and state boards, including the Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Amanda McCleary
Catholic University of America

Amanda McCleary, Learning Specialist, received her bachelors of arts in Psychology from Gonzaga University and is currently in the process of obtaining her masters of Social Work at the Catholic University of America. As a learning specialist, she has worked individually with students with disabilities to improve core academic skills such as executive skills training and social support such as conversation about disclosure. In this setting, she has worked with a wide range of disabilities including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and learning disabilities. Since attending Catholic University of America, she has also conducted research with the Suicide Prevention Laboratory and currently works as a case manager for Tahirih Justice Center, an organization that empowers immigrant female survivors of domestic violence.

Kelly J. McGill Seega
Worcester State University

Kelly J. McGill Seega has been active in the field of higher education for over fourteen years; focusing on student programing, orientation, academic advising and most recently disability/accessability services. Kelly received her Bachelor’s Degree from Framingham State College and her Master’s Degree in Education, from Sacred Heart University. Kelly currently serves as a Learning Specialist in the office of Student Accessibility Services at Worcester State University. In this role, Kelly works to insure equal access to education and university life for students with disabilities. Kelly works directly with students with various disabilities and coordinates awareness initiatives within the office such as, the Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society, the Peer Advisory Leadership mentoring program (PAL) and coordinates Accessibility Awareness Week. Kelly also serves as an Academic Advisor for undeclared students registered with the office and serves as the office liaison with the Registrar’s office for registration of SAS students.

Mary Liz McNamara
New York University

Mary Liz McNamara is the Assistant Director of the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities at New York University.  She has over twenty-five years of experience working with students with disabilities as a university disability specialist, rehabilitation counselor, teacher and cognitive remediation therapist.  She is also a songwriter and musical theater composer/lyricist, currently working on a musical based on of “Body and Soul,” a documentary by the filmmaker and disability advocate Alice Elliott.

Paul Nolting
Hillsborough Community College

Dr. Paul Nolting has been  helping college students with disabilities for 30 years. During that time he was a disabilities and math lab coordinator, instructor, learning specialist, Title III grant director  and consulted with over 100 college campuses on math and disability issues. Some of his publications are in the Journal of Developmental Education, the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year College journal and he developed the Math Success Blog. His last two  books are Mathematics and Disability Handbook focusing on helping LD, ADHD, TBI, PTSD and wounded warriors improve their math success and My Math Success Plan math study skills workbook. The workbook is for students with disabilities and Wounded Warriors to improve their math study skills and understand how their processing deficits affect math learning. In  the last few years he was the  presenter for the  Florida, New Jersey, Colorado, Georgia and Washington state  conferences on disabilities. In Georgia he helped develop their course substitution state policy.  His national presentations include conferences like AHEAD, AMATYC and NADE. His international presentation was in Kuwait at GUST. Last he was the main coordinator and presented at the first and second National Math Summits co-sponsored by AMATYC and NADE.

Lauren Owen
Northeastern University

Lauren Owen is a Learning Specialist in Northeastern University’s Learning Strategies and Learning Disabilities Program. She works with students on a one-to-one basis to provide academic skills support, executive function strategies, and goal development for students with an LD or ADHD diagnosis. Her previous work has included high school classroom teaching and teacher training in developing countries. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Gordon College in History and Secondary Education, and a Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Clare Papay, Ph.D.
Think College, UMass, Boston

Clare Papay, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Associate at Think College, UMass Boston, where she conducts research on inclusive higher education for students with intellectual disability. Prior to joining Think College, she was assistant professor and director of inclusive special education programs at Arcadia University. At Arcadia University, she co-founded and directed the Raising Expectations for Academic Learning (REAL) Certificate, a two-year program for students with intellectual disabilities that focuses on academic coursework, employment, and social inclusion in college life. She has a PhD. and an M.Ed. in Special Education, both from Lehigh University. Clare has published research in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national conferences on best practices in transition to postschool life for students with intellectual disability. Clare is also the Northeast Regional Representative to the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition (CEC-DCDT).

Dr. David R. Parker
Children’s Resource Group

Dr. David R. Parker is a postsecondary disability specialist and ADD/life coach at CRG (Children’s Resource Group) in Indianapolis, IN.  He earned a Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Connecticut.  Three decades of work with students with LD, ADHD, and ASD have included positions as a high school special education teacher, director of a private school for students with dyslexia, administrator of LD/ADHD programs at UNC-Chapel Hill and UCONN, and program manager of an NSF STEM/UDI grant project at Washington University in St. Louis.  He has conducted training on evidenced-based practices for college students with disabilities in Italy, Japan, Austria, and Kuwait.  A board member of four peer reviewed journals and former executive editor of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, Dr. Parker has authored numerous research articles, book chapters, and three books.  Along with Dr. Sharon Field, he recently co-edited Promoting Self-Determination in Higher Education:  A Key to Retention, Graduation and Post-Graduation Success (AHEAD, 2016).

Seb Prohn
Virginia Commonwealth University

Seb Prohn is a Career and Education Associate at the VCU RRTC and he serves as the academic coordinator for VCU’s ACE-IT in College Program. His research with individuals with intellectual disabilities has spanned topical areas such as transition, social inclusion, study abroad, and sexual health training. Recently he has examined college participation for student veterans with disabilities, transition outcomes for high school graduates with disabilities, and conscientiously designed environments for older adults with autism. In 2017 he produced four educational videos on college transition for students with ASD, and he assists college students with accessing academic supports and services.

Laura Rosen
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Laura Rosen began working in disability services in 2004 during her undergraduate studies at the University of Connecticut.  She continued on to obtain a Master’s degree in 2009 from the University of Connecticut in Special Education with a focus on postsecondary services for students with disabilities.  She joined the Office of Disability Services at WPI team in 2013. Laura enjoys promoting principles of self-determination and self-advocacy through the use of educational strategies and assistive technologies.

Caitlin Rothwell
Catholic University of America

Caitlin Rothwell is the Disability Support Services Coordinator at the Catholic University of America, where she supervises Learning Specialists, manages accommodated testing, and collaborates with University staff and faculty to support students. Prior to this position she worked for two years as a Learning Specialist in the office, meeting individually with students with disabilities to work on academic success strategies. Caitlin also worked as a research assistant in the Child Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Laboratory at the Catholic University of America and at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center. She received her MA in Psychology from the Catholic University of America, specializing in children with ADHD and ASD.

Josh Rucker
University of Connecticut
Josh Rucker is the Deputy ADA Coordinator at the University of Connecticut and is primarily responsible to ensure University compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other relevant federal and state laws pertaining to individuals with disabilities. As part of this role, Josh collaborates with University leadership on disability issues to develop appropriate policies, procedures and processes that respond to the needs of individuals with disabilities. He provides education, training and guidance to the University community in understanding disability access, rights, and responsibilities and is a member of the University Committee on Access and Accommodations. Josh is a certified Accessibility Inspector / Plans Examiner through the International Code Council and a member of the National Association of ADA Coordinators. Josh earned his BA in Sociology at Clark University and a Master of Nonprofit Administration at the University of San Francisco School of Management.

Jeffrey Shaumeyer
Gallaudet University

Jeffrey Shaumeyer trained as an experimental physicist. In physics, aerospace, and telecommunications labs he has implemented automated (computerized) systems and designed and executed large-scale statistical analyses of data. His recent projects have been in nonprofit educational science outreach, in particular, producing and hosting video conversations with authors of recently published books on popular-science topics called “Read Science!” He has worked with Gallaudet’s Office of Students with Disabilities since 2012 on technical reports and statistical analyses, as Communications, Research, & IT Coordinator.

Audrey Silva
University of Connecticut

Audrey Silva is the Director of UConn Interpreting Services, a specialized unit within UConn’s Center for Students with Disabilities. As a nationally certified ASL-English Interpreter, trainer, and mentor with over twenty years in the field, Audrey works with highly skilled professionals to facilitate communication access within the UConn Community.  She believes better collaboration leads to more seamless inclusion, and liaises between students, faculty, staff, and visitors to build these partnerships. Using the Integrated Model of Interpreting, her years of consulting experience, and degrees in Legal Studies and Applied Linguistics, Audrey works to design and implement programs to provide sustainable services in higher education settings.

Jackie Smith
Carlow University

Jackie Smith has earned her Bachelor’s degree (Political Science), Elementary and Middle School Teaching certificates, and Master’s degree in Special Education; Physical and Mental Disabilities from the University of Pittsburgh. She has more than 20 years of classroom teaching and Adult education experience and is currently the Disabilities Services Coordinator for Carlow University. She collaborates with faculty, staff, and students to provide supports, resources, and training in the UDL principles in accordance with ADA and Section 504 mandates. She has presented at national and regional conferences on this topic.  Jackie is committed to the Disabilities Services Office as a change agent in diversity and inclusion in Higher Education.

Ann Satkowiak
Pellissippi State Community College

Ann Satkowiak is the director of Disability Services at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee. Ann has worked at Pellissippi State since 1996, first as a coordinator in the Disability Services office and as director since 2001.  She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a BS in special education and earned a Master of Science degree from Indiana University-South Bend in education with an emphasis in learning disabilities. Ann worked as a special education teacher for sixteen years in Indiana, Florida and Ohio. She is currently the principal investigator for a $5.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy awarded in 2014 to Pellissippi State. The grant, Universal Pathways to Employment Project (UPEP), is tasked with ensuring that youth and young adults with disabilities acquire the skills, degrees, and credentials needed for high wage, high skill employment.

Jessica Szivos
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 

Jessica Szivos graduated in May 2015 with a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. During this time, she joined on the Office of Disability Services team as the Assistant Director. Jessica thoroughly enjoys working with students on executive functioning skills, specifically in the areas of transition.

Emily Tarconish
University of Connecticut

Emily Tarconish, M.S., CRC, LPC is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Connecticut working with Dr. Allison Lombardi. Her research interests include accommodation provision to students with disabilities in higher education, examining how to improve support for postsecondary students with brain injuries, as well as the effects of peer support and mentoring for these students. Emily’s previous experience includes working as a behavioral specialist, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and as the Director of Accessibility Services at Clark University, where she developed and oversaw a disability-centered student group and peer mentoring program.


Patricia Tesar
Gallaudet University

Patricia Tesar is Director for the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSWD) at Gallaudet University. She has been employed at Gallaudet for almost 30 years, spending the last 23 years with OSWD. She has served on numerous professional boards whose collective purpose is to enhance rehabilitation, employment, and educational opportunities as well as to ensure equal access for adults with disabilities. These include: Past President of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association, and the Disability Inclusion Advisory Committee and the Developmental Disabilities Council; both sponsored by the Executive Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia. She has been a member of the Association for Higher Education and Disability since 1986 and a member of C-AHEAD formally the Nation’s Capital Area Disability Support Services Coalition, and the Maryland Disability and Higher Education Network since 1990.

Jane Thierfeld Brown
Yale Medical School

Jane Thierfeld Brown is Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Child Study, Yale Medical School,  Director of College Autism Spectrum and former Director of Student  Services at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She has worked in Disability Services for 38 years. She holds an Ed.D from Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Brown consults  with many families, students, school districts and institutions of higher education.  Dr. Brown has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS News and NPR. She has co- authored “ Student with Asperger’s: A Guide for College Professionals,” (2009) Published in Japanese 2017,  “The Parent’s Guide to College for Students on the Autism Spectrum,” (2012) and “Behavior Management and Self-Regulation,” (2012) along with many textbook chapters and articles.  Dr. Brown is married and has three children, the youngest being a 26-year-old son with Autism.

Thomas J. Tobin
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thomas J. Tobin is the Conference Programming Chair at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an internationally-recognized speaker and author on copyright, teaching evaluation, academic integrity, accessibility, and Universal Design for Learning. He holds a Ph.D. in English literature, a second master’s degree in library science, the Project Management Professional certification, a Master Online Teacher certification, and the Quality Matters Peer Reviewer certification. Tom serves on the editorial boards of eLearn Magazine, InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, the Journal of Interactive Online Learning, and the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. His books include Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (Wiley, 2015), The Copyright Ninja (St. Aubin Press, 2017), and Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (West Virginia University Press, 2018) with Kirsten Behling. Tom is currently writing Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (Stylus, 2019) with Kathryn Linder and Kevin Kelly.

Dean Tzivanis
Onondaga Community College

Dean Tzivanis is the Recruitment/Outreach Specialist for the Onondaga Pathways to Careers (OPC) demonstration grant at Onondaga Community College.  Onondaga Pathways to Careers is an integrated academic and career support college program for youth with disabilities, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).  In his current position at Onondaga Community College, Dean coordinates all early outreach and partnership development with secondary schools for the OPC demonstration grant, emphasizing career exploration/awareness and postsecondary transition.   He also coordinates the OPC Scholars Program, a high school-to-college bridge program for youth with disabilities in the Central New York region.  Dean holds a Bachelor’s in Human Development and a Master’s in Students Affairs Administration, both from Binghamton University.

Melissa VanDyke
Pellissippi State Community College

Melissa VanDyke has been an advocate for people with disabilities for 25 years.  After home educating her three children with disabilities, Melissa obtained her Masters in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Tennessee.  She has worked in Disability Services at Pellissippi State Community College and Cleveland State Community College to promote educational self-advocacy through accommodations, and assistive technology.

Currently, Melissa is the Business Liaison Specialist for Universal Pathways to Employment Project (a DOL grant) working with students with disabilities on career counseling, career planning and management and work-based learning. Additionally, she is a member of the Mayor’s Council on Disability Issues for the City of Knoxville and Chair of the Knoxville Area Employment Consortium, which works to promote disability employment.  Melissa has presented at the National Rehabilitation Association National Conference and the Association of Higher Education and Disability National Conference.

Juliana C. Velasco
University of South Florida

Juliana C. Velasco is a Ph.D. student in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of South Florida.  She has earned two Master’s degrees, one in Science Education from the University of Central Florida and one in Human Development & Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.S. in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Montana State University. A Brazilian native, she moved to the United States in 2001 to seek additional medical advice for injuries sustained from a 1994 car accident. Her interest in disability studies as well as passion for advocating for inclusion and support were sparked not only from her own personal experience but also from her husband who was injured while serving in Iraq with the US Army.  Her dedication is evident with her work on the National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities, the International Higher Education and Disability, as well as multiple research projects in the disability field.  Juliana is driven to address and resolve the  challenges and obstacles placed upon persons with disabilities by the community and our systems.

Kathryn Weber-Hottleman
University of Connecticut

Kathryn Weber-Hottleman holds an M.A. in Sociology from Columbia University, a B.A. in Sociology and English Language and Literature from Gordon College, and a certification in Post-Secondary Disability Services from University of Connecticut.  In her role as the IT Accessibility Coordinator, she provides leadership and assistance to the University, ensuring the University’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility, with particular focus on the University’s websites and online learning environments.  She is also responsible for developing and implementing staff and faculty training programs related to accessible technology and instruction for students and employees with disabilities.

Mariah Whitbread-Hardman
Northeastern University

Mariah Whitbread-Hardman holds an M.S. in Special Education from Simmons College, and a B.A. in Biology from Mount Holyoke College.  Prior to working at the post-secondary level, she worked for seven years as biology and chemistry teacher at Landmark High School, a high school for students diagnosed with language based learning disabilities.  In her current role as a Learning Disabilities Specialist at Northeastern University, she works primarily with students diagnosed with a learning disability and/or AD(H)D to both ensure they have equal access to the university’s academic experiences through accommodations and encourage academic growth through instruction on learning strategies.  In addition to working specifically with students diagnosed with learning disabilities, she also co-teaches a Learning Strategies Seminar during the summer in conjunction with the Student Athlete Support Services, which is specifically offered to incoming freshman athletes.

Sarah D. White
La Roche College

Sarah D. White, M.A. is the Coordinator of Accessibility & Compliance at La Roche College. With 15 years of experience in higher education, Sarah has spent more than a decade working in Postsecondary disability services and administration at various institutional types.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Slippery Rock University of PA, and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership – Postsecondary Student Affairs at San Diego State University. Prior to her career in higher education, Sarah spent several years in the social work field, assisting children, youth, families, elders and persons with disabilities.  Armed with a strong background in social work and student development, Sarah’s passion lies in supporting students from disadvantaged populations.

James Whitfield
Texas Tech University

James Whitfield is a Texas native whose been exposed to Deaf cultural his entire life since his parents and sister are Deaf.  As an Assistant Director in Student Disability Services at Texas Tech University, his primary role includes working and supporting the Deaf and hard of hearing student population. James also manages the sign language interpreters within the department, coordinates CART services, and is the campus contact for Deaf and hard of hearing inquiries. James received a BBA from West Texas A&M University, and an M. A. (concentrations in Higher Education, Deaf Education and Audiology) from Texas Tech University. James also has a Professional Associate (PA) from the National Association of ADA Coordinators, and Master Certifications with the State of Texas and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. James’ professional experience has spanned 27 years and he looks forward to continuing work within the disability services field.

Lorraine Wolf
Boston University

Lorraine Wolf is the Director of Disability Services at Boston University. She holds a doctorate in clinical neuropsychology from the City University of New York and has over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders. She holds faculty appointments in psychiatry and in rehabilitation sciences at Boston University. She was a co-editor of Adult Attention Deficit Disorders: Brain Mechanisms and Life Outcomes (2001, New York Academy of Sciences), is the senior co-editor of Learning Disorders in Adults: Contemporary Issues (Psychology Press, 2008), and is the co-author of Students with Asperger Syndrome: A Guide for College Personnel (Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2009) and Students on the Spectrum: A College Guide for Parents (AAPC, 2011). Dr. Wolf’s interests include neuropsychology of attention disorders, and developing effective services for students with autism spectrum and other psychiatric disabilities in higher education.

Gerri Wolfe
University of Georgia

Gerri Wolfe, Liaison for the University System Georgia’s Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders and the Program Coordinator for BreakThru, a National Science Foundation project designed to provide online, avatar-based virtual mentoring to students in STEM courses, brings 22 years of experience in postsecondary disability services and administration. She specializes in transition, grant writing, policy & program development, alternative media, and working with students with disabilities. Dr. Wolfe earned her doctorate in Rehabilitation and Special Education from Auburn University and was instrumental in organizing the Alabama state organization for disability service providers. She is published in peer reviewed journals and presents at the local and national levels.

Kendra Wolgast
The Pennsylvania State University- Monto Alto

Kendra Wolgast, a faculty member and Director of the Academic Support Center at The Pennsylvania State University- Mont Alto, has been working with pre-college and first-year students for more than 20 years. As the director of the ASC, she directs the tutoring center, Student Disability Resources, summer bridge program, early entrance experience, and teaches a variety of courses including First Year Seminar and Marketing.  Kendra assists students with the academic transitional issues they face in the collegiate environment, particularly students with transitional issues such as first generation, low-income, at-risk, developmental, and disabilities. With her MBA degree, Kendra applies the methodologies to her work in managing and promoting the services of the Academic Support Center. In the classroom, Kendra gives students an interactive experience that challenges their cognitive learning process and requires a higher level of thinking. She also provides student leadership opportunities through peer tutoring and mentoring.

Amelia Wright
Tufts University

Amelia Wright is the Learning Specialist at Student Accessibility Services at Tufts University. Amelia received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Secondary Education at Lesley University and since joining the Tufts SAS team has been pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Studies. As the Learning Specialist at SAS, Amelia works directly with students to support managing their disability within the college environment, specifically around time management, developing college-level academic success strategies, accommodation support, and cultivating self-advocacy skills. In addition to student support, Amelia also collaborates with a variety of campus partners in providing trainings, facilitating workshops, and supporting specific students’ needs.