Monica Albert Still, RN, BSN
Home Care Quality Consultant
Monica received her nursing degree from Southern Connecticut State University. She began her nursing career at Yale New Haven Hospital. She found her calling in community health nursing and policy making. Through her work she became a patient advocate focusing on Medicare, Medicaid. and insurance coverage of homebased and community health services.
Throughout her nursing career she was a peer mentor for young adults with Spina Bifida and volunteered her time at the Canoe Brook Senior Center. She served on the public education committee of the Connecticut Home Care and Hospice Association. She was appointed to the board of the Connecticut Health Policy Project. Her advocacy for disability justice began shortly after her active nursing career ended. She was a founding member of the Adult Advisory Council.
She continues to work with the Spina Bifida Association of America on their Advocacy Committee, Adult Advisory Council, and Peer Navigator Council. She received the Chair Extended Service Award from the Spina Bifida Association of America in 2019. She serves on the Patient Advisory Board of the Spina Bifida Clinic of UPMC. She serves on the board of Disability Rights PA.
Rob Anderson, MSW
Director of Training, Healthy Relationships Curriculum
Wesley Family Services
Rob is the Director of Training for the Healthy Relationships Curriculum, a program of Wesley Family Services. Rob is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where he obtained a master’s degree in Social Work and has held a variety of positions in specialized education and therapeutic support. Since the curriculum was created, Rob has trained hundreds of teachers and counselors about the importance of teaching hygiene, health education, and relationships to special education students and adults using evidence -based instructional methods.
Janet Arida, PhD, RN, LCSW, CT
Outreach & Education Coordinator
Highmark Caring Place
Janet earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in social work from The University of Chicago, and a PhD in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.
Janet is currently a clinician and child grief specialist as well as the Outreach and Education Coordinator at the Highmark Caring Place in Warrendale, PA, where she oversees peer support groups for grieving children and their families. Additionally, in her role as Outreach and Education Coordinator, Janet works to heighten awareness of children’s grief through consultations, presentations, and trainings for professional and community groups. Prior to joining the Caring Place as a staff member, Janet was a clinical instructor and researcher in end-of-life issues in the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh. During her career, she has worked with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of clinical and community-based settings in both the Chicago and Pittsburgh areas.
Dr. Josie Badger
Founder, J Badger Consulting, Inc.
Dr. Badger received her bachelor’s degree from Geneva College in Disability Law and Advocacy, a master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Doctorate from Duquesne University in Healthcare Ethics. In 2014 Josie founded J Badger Consulting Inc. where she provides youth development and disability consulting services for organizations, on transition and leadership development. She is the Director of the national RSA-Parent Training and Information Center technical assistance center (RAISE). She is the Campaign Manager of the #IWantToWork Campaign, to improve the employment of people with disabilities, is a Field Organizer for the Family Care Act that supports paid family leave, and is the developer of TRAIL, a statewide advocacy and lobbying training program. She serves as a board member of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, The Woodlands Foundation, the Mary Grace Hospice Foundation, and FISA.
In 2012, Dr. Badger was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America.
Erica Caprini, M.A.,
Psychiatric Mental Health Clinician
The Watson Institute
Erica has over 15 years of experience working with families and students in various settings. She has been a psychiatric social worker for The Watson Institute Friendship Academy for more than ten years. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Social Sciences from California University of Pennsylvania.
Erica taught basic and advanced counseling courses at The University of Pittsburgh for six years in the Graduate School of Psychology and Education. She has vast experience in Family Structural Therapy and working with teens that have a dual diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and co-morbid mental health disorders.
Erica currently serves as a consultant at Upper Saint Clair School District and a psychiatric social worker for the Watson Institute.
Conor Dawley, MS, LPC, CT
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Highmark Caring Place
Conor is currently the Outreach and Education Coordinator at the Highmark Caring Place in Erie, where he oversees peer support groups for grieving children and their families. Additionally, in his role as Outreach and Education Coordinator, Conor works to heighten awareness of children’s grief through consultations, presentations, and trainings for professional and community groups.
Conor has worked with children and families in the Erie area since 2004, and has a variety of professional and clinical experiences, including working as a Child and Family Specialist, as well as a Mental Health Services Supervisor. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Level One Trainer in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Conor received his bachelor’s degree in Student Ministry from Geneva College. He went on to receive his master’s degree from Gannon University in Community Counseling.
Conor enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing disc golf, kayaking, and rooting for the Pittsburgh professional sports teams.
Cynthia Domeier, BS
FOCUS Behavioral Health
Cynthia received her BS degree from Towson State University in Sociology. She has 30 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities. She served as a Site Coordinator for The Community Learning Center for at risk students including students with disabilities at Westminster high school in Maryland. During her tenure at Westminster High, Cindy created the Robert P. Hartman Memorial Scholarship at risk students and students with disabilities. She was a Service Coordinator for the AAW in PA and an SSB for FOCUS Behavioral Health.
Cindy is currently the Legislative Liaison for FOCUS where she communicates with legislators about issues facing the adult autism community and the challenges and successes of the current services in Pennsylvania. She continues to serve as an SSB and a Zoom group leader. She serves on the FOCUS Zoom Committee and has been a part of developing the Zoom program for FOCUS.
Jacki is an Educational Consultant at PaTTAN with 25+ years’ experience in the field of education. She co-leads the Middle School Success: Path to Graduation (P2G) State Personnel Development Grant project and the PaTTAN Secondary Transition Initiative. Jacki brings secondary classroom and community-based experience from both public and private education settings.
Dr. Hillary Mangis, NCSP
Hillary is an Educational Consultant at PaTTAN Pittsburgh, where she co-leads the Secondary Transition initiative for the state. She also serves on the School Psychology, Universal Design for Learning, AACHIEVE and Intensive interagency initiatives. Dr. Mangis’ previous work experiences include serving as psychologist for Early Intervention/DART at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.
In addition, she served as contracted school psychologist for West Allegheny and district school psychologist for Carlynton. Dr. Mangis joined the team at PaTTAN in 2017, following service as the Coordinator of Special Education and Student Services for the Carlynton School District.
Lindsey Marshall, BSW
FOCUS Behavioral Health
Lindsey is a Systematic Skill Building Manager for the Western Region of Focus Behavioral Health, a company that values community, integrity and compassion. She is a graduate of McDaniel College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in social work. Lindsey has been working in child and adult Autism services for 5 years.
Lindsey shows dedication to the individuals that she works with and has made it her mission to make services easily accessible and enjoyable, even throughout a global pandemic. Lindsey not only works as an SSB Manager for her region, but in the year 2020, she also added “Zoom Coordinator”, to her job title. Lindsey assists with the planning and organizing of 30+ Zoom groups, three of which she is the host.
Lindsey is aware that during these desperate times, we have needed to take desperate measures, however the importance and quality of the services we provide to adults with Autism, should not be compromised. That is why Lindsey has assisted with adapting services to not only meet individuals where they are at but also where the world is at.
Christine Michaels, MSHSA
NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania
Christine is a mental health administrator with over 30 years of experience in case management and mental health services. She is presently the Chief Executive Officer of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, a support, education, and advocacy organization dedicated to helping children, adolescents, adults, and families affected by mental illness.
Ms. Michaels is an accomplished teacher and trainer with experience in curriculum development. She is nationally certified by NAMI as a state trainer for NAMI Family to Family, NAMI Support Group Facilitators, and NAMI Smarts. Ms. Michaels has presented at numerous regional and national conferences and she has served on many community, government, and non-profit boards.
She graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and she holds a master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois.
Deborah Murdoch, MPH
Jewish Healthcare Foundation
Deborah is a Program Manager at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. In this role, she provides leadership for the Teen Mental Health Programs and the Minority AIDS Initiative. Together with partnering youth organizations, she facilitates the youth advocacy network focused on improved teen mental health services and supports.
Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent eight years working in international public health, including two years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa and three years in Uganda working on a national HIV and AIDS care and treatment program. Ms. Murdoch earned a BS in Neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and an MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Tracy L. Scanlon, LPC, CT, CEAP
Outreach Teen & Family Services
Dr. Scanlon completed her doctoral work at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit. She received a B.S. in Human Resources Management from Geneva College and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University. She is a licensed professional psychotherapist, a professor of psychology and is certified in thanatology, employee assistance, and critical incident debriefing. Dr. Scanlon is a critical incident responder with the Allegheny County Emergency Response Team, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Allegheny County Police Department.
Dr. Scanlon has been an instructor at CCAC since 2001 and teaches both undergraduate and graduate counseling psychology at California University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Dr. Scanlon is the Clinical Director at Outreach Teen and Family Services in Mt. Lebanon Pennsylvania. She maintains a private practice in the south hills of Pittsburgh with a focus on trauma and loss.
She has spent over 25 years as an advocate examining how negative life experiences, such as trauma and grief impact mental wellness. She has been published in local magazines and newspapers many times and travels regionally and nationally providing disruptive event management consultations to business & industry.
Rachel Schwartz, PhD, BCBA-D
Education Consultant & Trainer
The Watson Institute
Dr. Schwartz has worked internationally creating and supervising programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. Rachel’s work and research interests include enhancing behavior analytic programming across environments and exploring issues related to quality of life including sexual education and choice. Rachel has published original research on these topics in journals such as Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals and Remedial and Special Education as well as presented at national, state, and local conferences.
Rachel currently serves as an education consultant and trainer with The Watson Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Youth Outreach Coordinator
Zoe is serving this year as the PEAL Center’s Youth Outreach Coordinator through the PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) fellow program. PULSE invites talented university graduates to partner with Pittsburgh nonprofits for a year of service and leadership. Zoe is a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, where she was active in the realm of education and youth mentorship.
She developed the college’s First-Year Experience Program, which supports incoming freshmen in adjusting to collegiate life. She also worked as a Student Consultant for the Bryn Mawr and Haverford Teaching and Learning Institute, collaborating with faculty to maximize engagement and inclusion in campus classrooms. Additionally, Zoe served as a volunteer for the Overbrook Arts Program, providing art classes to elementary school students who would not otherwise have access to art education.
During her time abroad in Leuven, Belgium, Zoe completed an internship with a local high school, educating students on American history and politics and fostering cross-cultural connections. Zoe is passionate about education, accessibility, and LGBTQ+ activism.
Alicia Stone, M.S., C.R.C.
Program Coordinator, CBVE Program
Pittsburgh Public Schools
Alicia is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who is passionate about inspiring and assisting transition aged youth in reaching their greatest potential. Alicia is currently the program coordinator for the Community Based Vocational Education (CBVE) Program at Pittsburgh Public Schools. In this role Alicia develops and provides vocational preparation and on-site training in both site specific and transferrable vocational skills. In addition, she provides logistical support and management of the program and its students, community partners, and employment specialists. Through her work she strives to help students discover and develop interests and skills that can help to bring happiness and meaning to their lives through work.
Alicia is a published author in the field of psychophysiology and is recipient of the 2017 American Rehabilitation Counseling Association Vision Award. Alicia is currently pursuing her Licensure in Professional Counseling. Alicia balances work life by spending time with her family and friends, reading, traveling, and attending sporting events (especially soccer and hockey).
Youth Empowerment Coordinator
Erin is the PEAL Center’s Youth Empowerment Coordinator and works with the Transition Quality Empowerment Project in partnership with the George Washington University and the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network. As someone living with a disability herself, she is able to use her personal life experience to offer peer mentoring and teach the principles of independent living to the people she supports.
Erin is the Harrisburg area branch leader for the Charcot Marie Tooth Association (CMTA) and brings community resources together to educate and empower branch members. She is also involved with fundraising efforts and is a staff member and travel coordinator for Camp Footprint, a summer camp for youth ages 10-18 living with CMT. Erin has been a champion for the youth-led, youth-driven model and has developed and facilitated youth programming in various roles in her career.
She is a member of the Pennsylvania Community on Transition leadership team and contributes to planning and facilitating transition related activities including the Pennsylvania Community of Practice Transition Conference. What she loves most about the work she does is providing interactive opportunities for young people to learn how to discover the skills and tools they already have to create sustainable change in their communities.
Sherrie Myers Wivell
Outreach & Volunteer Administrator
PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance Inc.
Sherrie has served as the Administrator and a Consultant with the PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance (PATSA) since 2007. She holds a degree in psychology from Millersville University and has extensive experience working with individuals with Tourette Syndrome and other disabilities. Prior to working at PATSA, Sherrie had a great deal of experience working with and for children. She has been a Caseworker for Children & Youth Services, a Program Specialist with Foster Care, a Community Transition Coordinator for the Department of Health, a Preschool Teacher for children with Speech Delays and a Water Safety Instructor for both Easter Seals and the Red Cross.
Over her years at PATSA, Sherrie has consulted at over 500 school and employment meetings and trained more than 250 diverse groups ranging from elementary students to Physicians. As Administrator, she is involved in all aspects of the organization including supervising staff, supporting the Fundraising Committee, planning the yearly Day at the Capital to secure our State funding, writing grants and supervising all program implementation.