FAU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities Staff

Wanda Baldwin

Wanda Baldwin, MSW, LCSW Early Intervention Specialist

Wanda Baldwin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a strong commitment to supporting families of young children and the professionals that work with them. She received her M.S.W. from Florida State University and her BSW from the University of West Florida. As the very first Coordinator of the Early Steps Program of Palm Beach County, she worked for over 20 years with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.  Most recently she was the Director of Child Development at the Children’s Home Society- BRIDGES, a place-based initiative located in neighborhoods associated with poor child outcomes. She acted as the project subject matter expert on child development and family dynamics. Currently she is member of the Touchpoints™, Infant Mental Health and Triple P seminar Training Cadre with the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.  She has training and experience in using reflective practice in community settings to increase staff engagement with young families. As a mother, she understands the critical role families play in the development of children and works tirelessly to help families improve outcomes for their children.  

Beth Barney

Beth Barney, M.A., CCC-SLP Clinical Support Specalist

Elizabeth “Beth” Barney is Speech-Language Pathologist. Originally from Canton, Ohio, she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree from Mount Union College, and went on to receive her Master’s degree from The University of Akron. She has presented at conferences, written articles, and hosted support groups for families, focusing on the needs of those with hearing loss and communication difficulties. She is also experienced in providing teletherapy services. Beth moved to Florida in 2015, where she served the students in Martin County Schools. As a Speech Language Pathologist, Beth worked with students whose ages ranged from 3 to 22 years, with varying exceptionalities and levels of communication abilities. She has extensive experience in working with children and young adults with language delays, including those with pragmatic language deficits and nonverbal children. Beth is skilled at supporting children with Assistive Technology, including the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices. Most recently in the school district, Beth’s role was that of ESE Program Specialist, where she supported the Speech and Language program as well as Assistive Technology and Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs. Beth has provided a myriad of training to staff, support to parents, and targeted therapy strategies to students. She is passionate about providing people the tools to effectively communicate to build meaningful relationships with others.

Kelley Bastien

Kelley Bastien, MSW Clinical Support Specialist  

Kelley Bastien is a native Floridian. She has a Bachelor‘s of Arts in Psychology from Loyola University in New Orleans and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Barry University in North Miami Beach. For the past 25 years, Kelley has worked with Palm Beach County families who have children with autism spectrum disorders and others special needs. Kelley presently serves as a Clinical Support Specialist with FAU CARD based on the Jupiter FAU Campus. She provides clinical consultation, training and support to Northern and Western Palm Beach County families who have children with autism. Kelley also works closely with educators and ASD professionals in the community. Prior to joining FAU CARD, Kelley served as the Training Coordinator for Easter Seals Treasure Coast Early Steps Program. In her capacity as Training Coordinator, Kelley monitored the local Early Steps training process, facilitated staff development opportunities, conducted outreach and community awareness activities and organized meetings with community partners. While serving as a Family Service Coordinator, Kelley provided case management services for developmentally delayed and disabled children ages birth to three, with particular interest in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

She has collaborated with team members to provide Touchpoints Individual Level Trainings for front-line practitioners serving children and families in Palm Beach County. Kelley has also facilitated reflective practice and Integrating Training Through Reflection sessions at the Children’s Services Council office and at local community agencies.

Luann Bertaux

Luann Bertaux, M.A., BCBA Clinical Support Specialist  

Luann Bertaux is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has worked with children and adults on the Autism Spectrum in school, home and community-based settings for more than 30 years. She received her BA in Psychology and Art from Marietta College and her MA in Education from the Ohio State University. She started her career as a teacher, and worked for many years as a Behavior Analyst and District Autism Support Specialist in school districts on the Treasure Coast, as well as providing home-based behavioral services. Luann has an adult sibling with ASD, and is committed to helping families build effective partnerships with schools, service providers, and other community supports to help individuals on the spectrum build happy and productive lives.

Sabrina DegGoias

Sabrina DeGoias, B.A., Bilingual Clinical Support Specialist

Sabrina will be leading FAU CARD’s outreach efforts to the Hispanic and Latin community across the FAU CARD 5 county region. She will be providing training, consultation, and support to Spanish speaking parents and families, of children identified and suspected of autism. Additionally, Sabrina will provide awareness and public education of the under-representation of Hispanic children with autism to the community. Sabrina has a BA in Psychology from FIU. She is fluent in Spanish and comes to FAU CARD with five years of experience working with children with autism, as a Registered Behavior Technician and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Special Education with a Concentration in Behavior Analysis from St. Joseph’s University.

Cheryl Checkers

Cheryl Checkers, M.S., LMHC, NCC Clinical Consultant

Cheryl Checkers, M.S., LMHC, NCC, is a Licensed and National Board-Certified Mental Health Counselor in private practice specializing in the treatment of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring mental health diagnoses. Cheryl received her Master of Science Degree in Psychology and Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She holds advanced certifications in autism, anxiety, trauma, and ADHD.

Cheryl serves on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) and National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) Dual Diagnosis Training Advisory Committees and is a frequent conference presenter on dual diagnosis of autism and mental health. Cheryl received the 2022 NAMI Florida Clinician Champion award in part for her advocacy on behalf of individuals with autism and co-occurring mental health conditions. She serves as President of the Board of NAMI Palm Beach County, and on the Neurobehavioral Hospital Foundation Board.

Torica Exume

Torica Exume Ph.D., Clinical Researcher

Dr. Torica Exume, who obtained her doctorate from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, has a diverse background in working with individuals with various mental health disorders across ages of one to 60 years old.

Currently, Dr. Exume leads multi-year projects for the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC), serves on multiple national boards, teaches applied behavior analysis courses for the FAU's Department of Special Education as an Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) verified instructor, and is the Vice President of the Council for Exceptional Children Division for Emotional and Behavioral Health - Florida Chapter (CEC DEBH-FL).

Dr. Exume's areas of expertise include autism spectrum conditions, community-partnered participatory research, first responders' collaboration, dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices, outcome measures, and racial/ethnic disparities.

Caitlin Fielding

Caitlin Fielding, M.S. Ed., Clinical Support Specialist

Caitlin Fielding is originally from East Hampton, NY. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education with a dual certification from Dowling College in Oakdale, NY, and a Master’s of Science in Educational Leadership from Barry University in North Miami Beach, FL.

Caitlin has worked in the field of special education serving the ASD population for the past 10 years. She has experience with all age ranges and has served as a private behavior specialist, as well as an ESE teacher, clinical mentor, and testing coordinator at The Learning Academy at the Els Center of Excellence. She brings experience in the area of transition to adulthood.

Daniel Goldstien

Daniel Goldstein, CCC, Social Media Assistant

Daniel Goldstien graduated from palm beach state with a college credit certificate in computer programming back in 2017. Danny work at FAU CARD in FAU Boca Raton Campus, college of education building. He previously worked as a scorekeeper for West Boca Basketball community league for several years. He also graduated from West Boca Raton Community High School back in 2014. He is excited to continue his job with FAU CARD.

Susanna Launder

Susanna Launder, Ph.D., Assistant Director

Dr. Susanna Launder is a dedicated educator and researcher specializing in the field of special education, particularly focusing on serving students with autism. With a master’s degree in Exceptional Student Education from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Special Education from Florida Atlantic University, with an emphasis on virtual instruction for students with autism, Dr. Launder has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing the field through both academic study and practical application.

Throughout her career spanning over two decades, Dr. Launder has amassed a wealth of experience in various educational settings. With over ten years spent in the classroom, she has honed her teaching skills and developed innovative strategies to support students with diverse learning needs, particularly those on the autism spectrum. Her passion for empowering students with disabilities has been evident in her dedication to creating inclusive and supportive learning environments where all students can thrive.

Dr. Launder's expertise extends beyond the classroom, as she has also spent a decade at the FAU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. She has been instrumental in providing resources, training, and support to individuals with autism and their families. Her work at the CARD has enabled her to bridge the gap between research and practice, ensuring that evidence-based strategies are effectively implemented to improve outcomes for individuals with autism.

As a researcher, Dr. Launder's interests are multifaceted, with a particular focus on twice-exceptionality, writing instruction for students with autism, and virtual instruction. Her groundbreaking research in these areas has contributed significantly to the field, providing valuable insights, and informing best practices for educators and practitioners alike.

Dr. Launder is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with autism through education, research, and advocacy.

Don Lawless Coker

Don Lawless Coker, M.Ed. Grants Coordinator

Don has a Bachelor's of Arts and a Master's of Education degree from the University of Florida. Don has worked at FAU for over 26 years. He started in the Human Resources Department and has spent the last 17 years as the Grants/Business Services Coordinator for FAU CARD.

Jeffrey Lucas

Jeffrey Lucas, B.A., Clinical Associate

Jeffrey Lucas is the Haitian Creole-speaking Clinical Associate with FAU CARD. He has a background as a Family Service Specialist with the Early Learning Coalition, and a Family Advocate with the Early Head Start Program. Jeffrey’s focus in the community was to help individuals obtain subsidies to free childcare in Palm Beach County. He also helped start the initiative for father engagement with the Early Head Start program. As a Clinical Associate with CARD Jeffrey will be reaching out to families interested in support and consultation within the Haitian community and educating them about FAU CARD.

Janet Madri-Flores

Janet Madri-Flores iRISE2 Mentoring Program Assistant

Janet Flores received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from FAU, after transferring From Palm Beach State University with her AS and AA degrees. In her undergraduate, she interned at FAU CARD, working with Wanda Baldwin in the Little Owls program. While pursuing her Master of Social Work, she interned at Palm Beach State University, working as a student counselor. She graduated from FAU with her Master of Social Work degree in May 2021, and has worked in the FAU iRISE2 Mentoring Program, as the program assistant, ever since. She enjoys matching families with mentors and being a part of watching these relationships blossom.

Gabriela Maluf Nunes

Gabriela Maluf Nunes, Graduate Student Assistant

Gabriela Maluf Nunes provides support to the FAU CARD FDDC research grant assisting the research team in meeting grant deliverables. She came to the U.S after finishing High School in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She earned an Associate in Arts degree from Palm Beach State College and transferred to FAU to get her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. She worked at FAU Student Accessibility Service as a student assistant prior to working with Dr. Scott as an undergraduate assistant for CARD. After gaining some knowledge about autism, she decided to engage more in the field and she is also working to get a certification as a Registered Behavior Technician. She is looking forward to helping children with ASD and making a difference in their lives.

Gabriela Maluf Nunes chegou aos EUA depois de terminar o ensino médio em São Paulo, Brasil. Ela obteve um diploma de Associado em Artes pela Palm Beach State College e se transferiu para a FAU para obter seu diploma de bacharel em psicologia com especialização em Justiça Criminal. Ela trabalhou no FAU Student Accessibility Service como assistente de estudante antes de trabalhar com o Dr. Scott como assistente de graduação do CARD. Depois de obter algum conhecimento sobre o autismo, ela decidiu se envolver mais no campo e também está trabalhando para obter uma certificação como um técnico de comportamento registrado (RBT). Ela está ansiosa para ajudar crianças com TEA e fazer a diferença em suas vidas.

Alex May

Alexzandria May, M.A., M.Ed., Ed.S., LMHC iRISE2 Mentoring Program Coordinator

Alexzandria May is a native Floridian who earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Minors in Education and Communication Studies from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. She returned home to Boca Raton to pursue a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology specializing in Developmental and Social Psychology from Florida Atlantic University. While completing her Master’s Degree, Alexzandria was a Graduate Assistant in Florida Atlantic University’s Weppner Center for LEAD and Service-Learning. She assisted with the planning and marketing of student volunteer opportunities locally as well as aiding in the recruitment and maintenance of student volunteers. Prior to FAU CARD, Alexzandria worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties where she was an Enrollment and Match Support Specialist in both Community-Based and School-Based Mentoring Programs. She interviewed and assessed mentors and children and families for their suitability to the program and conducted monthly match support to ensure quality and safety within each of her matches. While with FAU CARD, she has also completed her Master’s and Education Specialist Degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and has completed licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor within the state. She completed her practicum with Palm Beach State College Counseling Center, her internship with FAU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and her post graduate hours at The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders. Alexzandria is excited to continue sharing her passion and dedication for children and families with FAU CARD.

Chandra McKinney-Clarke

Chandra McKinney-Clarke, MS.Outreach Consultant

Chandra McKinney-Clarke is a UCF graduate, where she earned a BA degree in Organizational Communications and Troy State University, where she earned a MS in Human Resource Management. She is an Adjunct Professor and has worked within the Higher Education field for several years in a variety of different capacities, including Academic Advising and Career Services.

Chandra will be leading FAU CARD’s outreach efforts for the black/ African American community across the FAU CARD 5 county region. She is an advocate for black health equity, conducts a great deal of volunteer work for her church, and throughout the community in general. Chandra works heavily as a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., a premier advocacy organization for persons of color who are impacted by ASD amongst other initiatives. She is originally from Florida and is a former military/ army brat. She is a wife and mother of 3 children, one of which has a developmental disability. Chandra has several family members on the ASD spectrum and has a heart for increasing ASD awareness.

Mercedes Scott Pagano

Mercedes Scott Pagano, B.A. Coordinator Information & Publication Services

Mercedes Scott Pagano has over 6-year track record in graphics design, marketing and online brand development. She has helped connect people and products through various media to increase the bottom line. Mercedes has a vision to impact audience with fresh, innovative concepts, “If you can visualize, you can create." Her passion is to inspire, provoke and increase brand awareness through different channels in different markets.

She was born in Colombia but grew up in Miami, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Marketing. Before working at FAU she spent 4 years working as the Marketing Director for a leading provider of telecommunications services connecting residents and corporate clients around the world. As the marketing director of RingVoz, she developed and implement global marketing initiatives for North America and South America. Mercedes is eager to share her talents and strengthen the awareness of FAU’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD).

Jennifer Pollack

Jennifer Percival, Ph.D., Director   

Dr. Jennifer Percival holds a Doctorate from FAU in Educational Leadership and Research Methodology with a research area of Disability Studies. She is the Associate Director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, is a Nationally Certified Disability Rehabilitation Counselor, and has expertise in transition and employment. Dr. Percival is the author of Autism Friendly Business: Neurodiverse Customers (Routledge 2023), Autism Friendly Cities: How to Develop an Inclusive Community (Routledge 2022), and Families Creating Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: Understanding the Contribution of Familial Entrepreneurship (Routledge 2021).

Dr. Percival is an award-winning researcher in disability studies, and participates on national and regional advisory boards, inclusion work groups, and grant-related administrative oversight that includes: Royal Caribbean International, CareerSource Palm Beach County, the City of Boynton Beach, the Palm Beach County Inclusion Network. Dr. Percival was the State of Florida’s Workforce System’s Barbara Griffin Workforce Excellence Award winner in 2017, FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society Lunafest Scholarship recipient in 2017, and FAU’s College of Education North Campus Student of the Year in 2016. She has been a public servant for over 20 years and prior to working in higher education, divided her career between the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Florida Department of Children and Families Division of Child Welfare. Dr. Percival is a community leader who develops infrastructure through her work and collaborations, while assisting organizations with funding strategies, diversification, program improvement, and strategic planning.

Emily Scadlock

Emily Scadlock, Social Skills Facilitator

Emily is a certified ESE teacher with her Autism Endorsement and a Registered Behavior Technician. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with her Bacherlor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Since graduating, Emily has worked with students with varying exceptionalities spanning from kindergarten to transition age. Emily has been working with students, ages 14-22, with autism for the past 8 years. With having two children on the spectrum, Emily brings personal and professional knowledge to the team.  

Jack Scott

Jack Scott, Ph.D., BCBA-D Executive Director

Jack Scott is the executive director of the Florida Atlantic University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. He is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education and teaches courses on autism, inclusion, and behavior analysis. Dr. Scott received his doctoral degree from the University of Florida. His most recent book, Safeguarding your child with autism, is published by Woodbine and provides a toolkit for parents to reduce risks their child with autism will face.

Dr. Scott has research interests in individualized instruction, suicide prevention for autistic people, police training and elopement prevention. He also has several grants examining the rates of participation by African American children in school autism programs and for educating parents of newly identified children with autism. As a behavior analyst, he is active in linking behavioral analysts with emerging issues in safety and autism. He serves on the boards of several charter schools and as chair of the Panel of Professional Advisors and as a board member for the Autism Society of America.

Rachelle Tolliver

Rachelle Tolliver M.Ed., Ed.S. Clinical Support Specialist

Rachelle Tolliver joins FAU CARD with 30 years of experience in special education supporting students with disabilities. She received her BS from Florida International University, M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina in Specific Learning Disabilities, and Ed.S. from Florida Atlantic University in Educational Leadership.

Before joining FAU CARD, Rachelle served as a general education, a special education, an ESE literacy specialist, an ESE curriculum coordinator, an ESE Program Specialist in both Indian River County and St. Lucie Counties, and an educational consultant for the Treasure Coast region.

Rachelle concentrated her work on providing direct support to classroom teachers, district-level staff, and administration. She focused on promoting instructional practices for students with disabilities and specialized instruction for special education students including those with significant cognitive abilities including students with autism.

Rachelle presented at state and local conferences and has been involved in committees, advisory boards, and community agencies all with the lens of continuing support and advancing opportunities for students with disabilities.

Nicholas Torres

Nicholas Torres, Social Skills Facilitator

Nicholas received both his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Exceptional Student Education from Florida Atlantic University. He has been a behavior technician for the past three years in the North Broward aread, though he currently works in providing ABA services with children with ASD in the West Palm Beach area. Nicholas has worked with individuals from early intervention ages up to 18 years old.

Kerry Wittel

Kerry Wittel, Ph.D., Clinical Manager

Kerry Wittel earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Florida International University.

For over a decade Kerry has taught students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related disabilities throughout Palm Beach County. During her time teaching Kerry co-authored the Palm Beach County School Districts English Language Arts Adaptive Curriculum, mentored undergraduate and graduate students from local universities, as well as new teachers in the school district. Prior to moving to Florida from Connecticut, Kerry taught at a private special education hospital-based facility for students in grades K–12. Kerry maintains licensure in Exceptional Student Education (K-12), Prekindergarten/Primary Education (age 3 through grade 3), Elementary Education (K-6), as well as endorsements in Autism and English as a Second Language. Kerry is also a doctoral student at FAU in the Exceptional Student Education Department. Her research focuses on teacher attrition, retention and preparation. She is dedicated to supporting children, families, teachers and the community.

Jacqueline Wood

Jacqueline Wood, Ph.D., Assistant Director

Dr. Jacqueline Wood is an Assistant Director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, deeply dedicated to empowering individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. Her academic journey began with a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood and Special Education from SUNY Geneseo, followed by a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Nazareth College, and culminated in a Doctorate of Philosophy in Special Education from Florida Atlantic University.

Over the span of a decade, Jacqueline taught students with varying exceptionalities from kindergarten through age 22 in New York and Florida. She taught in various settings, including inclusive general education classrooms, self-contained special education classrooms, and small group pull-out settings. During that time, she also worked as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), harnessing behavioral strategies to foster growth and development.

At FAU CARD, Jacqueline leads the Secondary and Adult Team and facilitates safety initiatives, such as law enforcement and first responder training, and wandering and elopement prevention. Her research focuses on promoting social and community access and inclusion for adults with autism. She is passionate about collaborating with individuals with autism, their families, community members, and professionals to drive positive change and enhanced quality of life.