FAU CARD Staff
Cathy Allore, M.Ed Clinical Support Specialist
Cathy graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education with a focus on Transition Services. She has worked in both Martin and St. Lucie County Public Schools in a Varying Exceptionalities classroom setting. She previously started and ran a summer camp program in Martin County for children with developmental disabilities. She is also trained in the use and implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System.
As a parent of a young adult with autism, Cathy brings a vast amount of personal knowledge to CARD including transition, public benefits, and supporting those with significant support needs on the autism spectrum. She has a vast amount of experience in transition, public benefits, and supporting those with the Most Significant Support Needs.
Cathy has also presented at many conferences, both locally and statewide: Family Café, Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference, St Lucie County Early Learning Childhood Council, and was the Keynote Speaker at the Second Annual Treasure Coast Transition Conference.
Wanda Baldwin, MSW, LCSW Early Intervention Specalist
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.
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, Louisiana and a Master’s in Social Work from Barry University in North Miami Beach, Florida. Kelley has worked in the field of Early Intervention in Palm Beach County for the past 20 years. She has served as a trainer, training coordinator, case manager and champion for families of children with special needs. Kelley is passionate about parents, children and the professionals who serve them.
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.
For the past 10 years, Kelley has been a member of the Touchpoints™ Training Cadre with the Children’s Services Counsel of Palm Beach County.
She has collaborated with team mem bers to provide 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 local community agencies.
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 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.
Torica Exume Ph.D.,
Clinical Support Specialist
Torica Exume received her doctorate at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and completed her internships/residencies with children and adults ranging from 1 to 60 years old with various mental health disorders and brain injuries. She is now coordinating the new Florida Developmental Disabilities Grant awarded to FAU CARD to research the under-representation of Black children in autism.
Dr. Exume is an advocate for parents needing guidance and support for treatment for their special needs children. She continues to reach out to the community with various programs (i.e., parent training, school staff training, social skills group, mentoring) and behavior analytic research findings through pending journal articles. Dr. Exume continues to strive to make improvements in autistic children's lives. With extensive educational and hands-on training, she specializes in communication, social interactions, analysis and treatment of repetitive behavior disorders, safety skills, and more.
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, 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.
Rosemyrtle Jean, M.S., EDS,Research Assistant
Rose Jean is a West Palm Beach native. A first year Counselor Education and Supervision Doctoral student. Rose serves as the Treasure for The Beta Rho Chi Sigma Iota organization, the honor society of professional counseling. Rose identifies as a first generation college student; where she completed her Bachelor in Psychology at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University (FAMU) and Masters/Educational Specialist in Career Counseling at Florida State University (FSU). Rose has worked as a an Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator at FAU High School, her primary role is to recruit minority students into the high school program, by working alongside each student to develop learning plans in order to reach admission success. Prior to her time at FAU High school, Rose was employed at University of South Florida, for the Upward Bound Program, which is a federal grant funded program that aims to serve low-income first generation high school students. During Rose tenure at USF as a Program Coordinator; she spent time creating culture exposure programs by working with community stakeholders and various colleges and schools on USF campus. Rose's hope to bring an innovative component to our research team; Rose’s research interest is bridging the gap in education while analyzing the disparities with students of color with ASD. During her spare time Rose enjoys recording an episode for podcast “ Rose Colored Glasses”, working out and spending time with her two year old daughter. Rose is excited for her new role as a research assistant; the good work of research comes with dedication and passion as we collaborate to provide solutions to problems that are within our society. It is an honor to be here!
Robin Jones, M.S., M.Ed. Outreach Specialist
Robin is a native Floridian who earned a Bachelor's Degree from The University of Miami in Psychology, a Master’s of Science from Nova Southeastern University in Exceptional Student Education and a Masters of Education from Lynn University in Educational Leadership. Robin has served as a Law Enforcement Officer for the Florida Department of Corrections as well as Broward Sheriff’s Office. She retired from law enforcement to serve the special education communities from Miami Dade County Public Schools, Broward County Schools to Palm Beach County Schools. She’s been a classroom teacher of severe to mild disabilities as well as Emotional Behavioral disorders. Robin has also served as a school administrator in the public, private and charter schools. She has assisted with and opened several organizations within Broward and Palm Beach county who serve the autism community. Robin maintains licensure in Exceptional Student Education (K-12). She is a member of the National Association of Special Education Teachers. and a member of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County.
Shlomit Karasik, LCSW, MSW, Ed.S Social Skills Facilitator
Shlomit has her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Specialist degrees from Florida Atlantic University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Shlomit has 18 years of professional And Clinical experience in her field. She has worked with the children and families in the foster care system at nonprofit organizations. Additionally, she has worked in private and public school settings as a counselor as well as a Behavioral Therapist treating children with Autism through ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy and special programming. Shlomit also works privately as a Therapist in a group practice, locally.
Susanna Launder, M.Ed. Clinical Support Specialist
Susanna is a native Floridian who earned both her Bachelor's and Master's in Exceptional Student Education with an emphasis on Emotional Disturbances and Varying Exceptionalities from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Susanna worked as a Special Education Teacher in a variety of settings including inclusive general education classrooms, self-contained special education classrooms and a public school day program for students with Autism for over a decade. During her time in the classroom, Susanna, worked collaboratively with parents, fellow educators, paraprofessionals and administrators to enhance learning environments to meet the needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Susanna maintains licensure in both Exceptional Student Education, kindergarten through 12th grade, and General Education, kindergarten through sixth grade. Susanna is currently pursuing a PhD. in Special Education. Her research interests include writing instruction for students with ASD and twice-exceptionality.
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 and is currently working on a Master's in Mental Health Counseling at FAU. Don has worked at FAU for 17 year. He started in the Human Resources Department and has spent the last 8 years as the Grants/Business Services Coordinator for FAU CARD.
Gabriela Maluf Nunes, Student Assistant
Gabriela Maluf Nunes 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.
Alexzandria May, M.A., M.Ed., Ed.S. iRISE2 Assistant 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 is pursuing licensure within the state. Alexzandria is excited to continue sharing her passion and dedication for children and families with FAU CARD.
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 Percival, Ph.D., Assistant Director
Jennifer Percival is the Assistant Director of FAU CARD. She received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Florida Atlantic University in Educational Leadership and Research Methodology with a research area of Disability Studies. Jennifer is a Nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She is a community leader in transition, vocational development, and person-centered planning, while working to develop the infrastructure for inclusion through her participation with interagency collaborations, and by consulting with government agencies. Jennifer serves on the Royal Caribbean International Autism Advisory Board, the CareerSource Palm Beach County Youth Employment Board, the City of Boynton Beach ADA Board, and Palm Beach County’s Special Needs Advisory Council. Prior to working at FAU CARD Jennifer divided her career between the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Rosemary Portera, M.S., CCC-SLP Clinical Support Specialist
Rosie has her Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Florida State University. She worked at The Arc of Palm Beach County for over 20 years where she specialized in program development and implementation for children with a wide range of disabilities. During that time she founded and served as Principal of Palm Beach County's first conferred Charter School and later established a second school on FAU's Research and Development Park. She completed her career at The Arc as Director of Children and Family Services. In that capacity, she created an innovative early intervention/prevention program; expanded community based recreational opportunities for children with developmental disabilities and increased Palm Beach County's Family to Family support network assisting over 3,000 families annually.
Rosie has also served as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Martin County School District. There she worked side-by-side with teachers and therapists providing interventions for children with Autism and significant communication deficits. She enjoys working with families and community partners to create new possibilities for children with disabilities. Rosie is FAU CARD’s Clinical Specialist for Martin and Okeechobee Counties.
Maryellen Quinn-Lunny, Ph.D., Director
Maryellen Quinn-Lunny, has a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education, a Master's Degree in Moderate Special Needs and an Educational Specialist Degree in Learning Disabilities with post specialist courses in Educational Leadership. Maryellen has worked as a special educator in Massachusetts, overseas and for both Palm Beach and Martin School districts. She has worked in the field of special education for 34 years, as an exceptional student education teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as for the past 25 years as an administrator in special education. Maryellen has served as an Exceptional Student Education Program Planner, Exceptional Student Educator Coordinator and Director of Exceptional Student Education. She has taught several courses in special education at the university level and has served on two state advisory committees.
Prior to joining FAU CARD, Maryellen served as the Executive Director of Exceptional Student Education/Student Services for the Martin County School District. In her capacity as Executive Director, Maryellen was directly responsible for and supervised the research, development, and implementation of programming for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Under Maryellen's 17 years of leadership, Martin County School District, Exceptional Student Education Department was well recognized for its excellent research- and evidenced-based programming for students with disabilities. Maryellen will continue to develop her skills as she pursues her doctoral degree at FAU.
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, Ph.D., BCBA-D Executive Director
Jack Scott is the Executive Director of the FAU CARD center. He is an associate professor in the Department of Exceptional Student Education. He teaches courses on autism, inclusion and behavior analysis. Dr. Scott received his doctoral degree from the University of Florida. He has written a textbook on autism, Students with Autism: Characteristics and Instructional Programming, (2000), and has written a number of chapters and articles on autism and individualized instruction and is just finishing a new book for Woodbine House about safety for children with autism.
Dr. Scott has research interests in safety for children and youth on the spectrum. As a behavior analyst, he is active in linking behavioral analysts with emerging issues in safety and autism. In addition, he serves on the boards of several charter schools and as a board member for Reaching Potentials, a non-profit that serves children with autism and their families and Lost and Found of Palm Beach County, a non-profit that provides subsidized locator tracking devices for low-income families. He has recently been appointed to the Professional Advisory Board of the Autism Society of America.
Veronica Torres-Romero, M.Ed. Spanish Clinical Support Specialist
Veronica has been a Special education teacher for the last 15 years. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a Master's in Special Education in New York City. She is currently attending Florida Atlantic University seeking her credentials in Applied Behavior Analysis and has received her Autism Endorsement. She has worked with children with Special needs and different abilities all throughout her career. Prior to becoming an educator, Veronica was personally committed to advocating for her son who is on the Autism Spectrum.
Veronica ha sido maestra de educación especial durante los últimos 15 años. Se graduó de Brooklyn College con una Maestría en Educación Especial en la ciudad de Nueva York. Actualmente asiste a Florida Atlantic University en busca de sus credenciales en Análisis de comportamiento aplicado y ha recibido su respaldo de autismo. Ha trabajado con niños con necesidades especiales y diferentes habilidades a lo largo de su carrera. Antes de convertirse en educacion, Veronica se comprometió personalmente a abogar por su hijo que está en el espectro del autismo
Kerry Wittel, M.S., Ed. Clinical Support Specialist
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, M.S., Ed. Clinical Support Specialist
Jacqueline Wood started her career working with individuals with exceptional needs in 2007 when she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language. In her 10 years as an educator, she taught children from kindergarten through age 22 in New York and Florida. She also served as a Registered Behavior Technician for 3 years. Currently, Jacqueline is a Clinical Support Specialist at the FAU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) working with adolescents and adults with autism. She is also a student in the Special Education PhD Program at FAU, focusing her studies on the experiences of older adults with autism.