Meet Our Fellows

Cohort 2: September 2009 through May 2010

Katie Gritter, M.A.
Photo of Katie Gritter, M.A. Ph.D. candidate in Educational Psychology – School Psychology, UConn
M.A. in Education, UConn
B.A. in Psychology from Washington & Lee University

Relevant Experience:
Center for Behavioral Education and Research at UConn; school psychology intern

Treatment integrity, behavioral consultation, school-based interventions for children with ASD
Rose Jaffery, M.A.
Photo of Rose Jaffery, M.A. Ph.D. candidate in Educational Psychology – School Psychology, UConn
M.A. in Educational Psychology – School Psychology, UConn
B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology, UConn

Relevant Experience: Graduate assistant at the Center for Behavioral Education and Research at UConn; Research assistant for an NIH-fundedlongitudinal study concerning language acquisition in children with autism spectrum disorders at the UConn Child Language Lab; Research assistant at the UConn Center for Health/HIV Intervention and Prevention

Interests: Early intervention programs, positive behavior supports, home-school communication
Laura Kern, J.D.
Photo of Laura Kern, J.D. M.A. candidate in Educational Psychology – Special Education, UConn
J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law
B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies from University of Notre Dame

Relevant Experience:
Certified in Montessori for 3 to 6 year olds; mother of a son with autism

Parent education, advocating on behalf of persons with disabilities, classroom placement, least restrictive environment, parent advocacy training programs
Erin Klonoski
Photo of Erin Klonoski M.P.H. candidate, UConn
B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology from Boston University

Relevant Experience: Research assistant on a project examining the perceptual properties of ASD; sister of a young woman with autism and Down syndrome.

Interests: Improving health care access and satisfaction for those with developmental disabilities.
Wayne Miller II, M.P.A.
Photo of Wayne Miller II, M.P.A. Ph.D. candidate, Educational Psychology – Special Education, UConn
M.P.A. from Ball State University
B.A. in Sociology from Brigham Young University

Relevant Experience: Assistant Director of the Projects with Industry grant helping undergraduates with disabilities prepare for competitive employment at Utah Valley State College; conducted research and published on Wounded Warriors and postsecondary education

Interests: The transition to postsecondary education for non-traditional students with disabilities.
Dwight Norwood, M.S.W.
Photo of Dwight Norwood, M.S.W. Ph.D. candidate, Social Work, UConn
M.S.W. from UConn with a concentration in group work

Relevant Experience: Geriatric Social Worker; worked at what was formerly called the Department of Mental Retardation as a program specialist on the Hartford Project at the Mansfield Training School which sought to provide adult daycare services for adults who were returning from living in institutions to the living in the community

Interests: Cultural and personal factors that serve as positive supports for the caregivers of persons with disabilities.
Christine Raymond, B.S.N., R.N.C.-N.I.C.
Photo of Christine Raymond, B.S.N., R.N.C.-N.I.C. M.S. candidate in Nursing on the neonatal specialty track at UConn
B.S.N. from Western Connecticut State University

Relevant Experience:
Registered professional nurse and certified in neonatal intensive care nursing; senior staff nurse at Danbury Hospital; aunt of a young man with autism spectrum disorders

Serving as a bridge between different disciplines, coordinating care with parents of children with developmental disabilities, screening and referral by pediatricians for autism spectrum disorders.
Mamta Saxena, M.S.
Photo of Mamta Saxena, M.S. Ph.D. candidate in Human Development and Family Studies, UConn
M.S. in Child Development from the University of Delhi, India
B.S. in Home Science from the University of Delhi, India

Relevant Experience: Research assistant at a center for children with disabilities; instructional aide in a classroom of children with moderate to severe disabilities; taught undergraduate courses in disabilities; co-authored three educational packages for parents and community workers who care for children with special needs

Interests: Sibling support programs; the evaluation of programs that serve children with special needs.
Zheng (David) Song, M.D.
Photo of Zheng (David) Song, M.D. M.P.H. candidate, UConn
M.D. Chongquing Medical University in China

Relevant Experience:
Five years as a doctor in China working in both a clinic and hospital; volunteered at a community agency that works with children with disabilities to help them regain muscle power to communicate

Returning to China to assist with the development of a sound public health; improving care for children with autism spectrum disorders and their families in China.
Linda Thorpe
Photo of Linda Thorpe M.S.W. in Social Work, UConn
B.A., History, College of the Holy Cross

Relevant Experience: Intern at an inner city elementary school and served as part of a multidisciplinary team coordinating educational plans for students with ADD, ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder and intellectual disabilities; worked as a protective services case worker evaluating reports of neglect or abuse of seniors; hospice social work intern; the mother of a daughter with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Interests: Helping individuals with autism transition from school to becoming productive in society.
Amanda Ucci
Photo of Amanda Ucci Au.D. candidate, UConn
B.S. in Communicative Disorders from the University of Rhode Island

Relevant Experience: Clinical externship at Columbia University Medical Center; Healthy Hearing Volunteer for at the Connecticut Special Olympics; completed a practicum at the American School for the Deaf; worked at an ENT practice performing adult and child diagnostics, hearing aid programming, and cochlear implant mapping;

Interests: Working with children and young adults with hearing loss; pediatric and adult Cochlear implant testing and programming, and counseling.
Kacie Wittke
Photo of Kacie Wittke M.A. candidate in Communication Sciences with a concentration in Speech, Language, and Hearing, UConn
B.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University

Relevant Experience: Served as a preschool teaching assistant for four years; completed a one-year teaching fellowship at Lemberg Children’s Center in Waltham, MA; worked with children ages three to five in an integrated classroom of children with and without developmental and language disabilities.

Interests: Working in early intervention or preschool intervention.