Behavior Consultants

image281

Executive Director

Michelle Ragozzine, EdM, BCBA


Michelle Ragozzine is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Providence College and her Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Michelle was initially trained in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) by Dr. Alan Kazdin at Yale University and later through the University of West Florida. While working directly for Dr. Kazdin, Michelle was trained in Parent Management Training (PMT). PMT is a highly successful, empirically supported parent education model designed to reduce behavioral excesses in children.


After leaving Yale, Michelle coordinated an ABA program for children over the age three in the state of California. As the coordinator she trained and supervised other behavior analysts and direct therapy staff. Additionally she performed Functional Behavioral Assessments, completed developmental evaluations on children of all ages, and consulted regularly with school districts. While in California Michelle was trained in Pivotal Response Training (PRT), a naturalistic ABA intervention used to teach children on the autism spectrum.


Since returning to CT, Michelle has consulted for school districts and acted as the director of an ABA program in the state of CT. Additional specialties include Picture Exchange Communication (PECS), experimental analysis, staff training and supervision, program development, and positive behavioral support.


image282

Clinical Director
Britta Wehmann-Bell, MA, BCBA


Britta Wehmann-Bell is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Rochester. She then began working at the New England Center for Children in Massachusetts as a Coordinator and Program Specialist. While working at NECC Britta received her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University.

After leaving Massachusetts, she came to Connecticut as a school-based consultant. She gained experience working with children and young adults with special needs in residential programs and school settings. Britta developed and implemented behavior and academic programs for children and young adults with autism and related disorders. Britta also has experience conducting functional behavior assessments and developing programs. In addition she has provided staff training, supervision, and family training.  

image283

Director of Staff Development

Caitlan Mezerewski, MA


Caitlan earned her Master's Degree from the University of West Florida, where she completed coursework required to become a BCBA. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Mental Health from Southern Connecticut State University.


Caitlan has been providing ABA services to children of all ages with autism and related disorders since 2009. Prior to deciding to make this work her career, she volunteered for programs that provided services to children with special needs for 6 years.


Caitlan works closely with each staff member and families giving extra support on all PRT based skills. Caitlan is dedicated, enthusiastic,  and feels very fortunate to be able to work in a field that she feels so passionate about. 

image284

Behavior Consultant

Justin Lopes, MS, BCBA


Justin received Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rhode Island, with a focus on experimental design and statistical analysis. In August of 2016 he received a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from The Sage Colleges. In December of 2016 Justin received board certification from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board and currently practices as a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Connecticut. 


Justin has developed, supervised, and implemented ABA interventions in home programs, classrooms, and in the community since 2012. Prior to joining the field of ABA, he worked for 7 years as a direct support professional for adults with developmental disabilities. As a direct support professional, he discovered his passion for helping differently abled people lead happy and independent lives. Justin looks forward to continuing in this vein using the tools provided by the science of applied behavior analysis. 


Justin's current areas of interest include the functional assessment and skills based treatment of significant problem behavior, developing pivotal behaviors in early learners, and improving treatment outcomes by building parent participation into programming. 

image285

Behavior Consultant 

Kelly Vornkahl, MA, BCBA


Kelly received her bachelor’s degree from University of Bridgeport in Psychology. She worked as a therapeutic counselor for about two years and is certified in therapeutic crisis intervention. Kelly has experience working with a diverse population of children in an intensive outpatient setting in which she helped to provide individuals with alternative behaviors and coping skills. She has also volunteered at the Center for Human Services.


Kelly has received her Master's degree from the University of West Florida. Kelly is excited to continue working with children and advance her career with the MR&A team. 

image286

Behavior Consultant 

Lauren Vogel


Lauren earned her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Psychology, Sociology, and Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University. She is currently pursuing a certification as a BCaBA 

Lauren has always been passionate about working with children who have autism and is very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue that passion. She has been in the field of ABA since 2013, and has grown immensely in the field and has gained the knowledge and experience necessary to provide quality ABA services to children with autism. Lauren’s experience continues to be rewarding and gratifying and fulfills her life with enjoyment. 


image287

 

Behavior Consultant

Kinder Freedman, BCBA


Kinder Freedman is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the Sacred Heart University and her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from North Eastern University. 

Kinder began her career providing ABA services as a behavior technician at a school designed for children and teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), developmental disabilities, and related neurological impairments.  While working in the school environment, Kinder was trained directly by Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Board Certified Behavior Analysts in a variety of learning methodologies.  After four years working in the school environment, Kinder continued her career as an ABA therapist providing direct 1:1 ABA therapy for children and teenagers in their homes and community environments.

Currently, Kinder practices as a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Connecticut.  Kinder’s current areas of interest include Pivotal Response Training (PRT), functional based interventions, and verbal behavior. 

ABA Therapists

image288

Lisa Chiodi, ABA Therapist 


Lisa Chiodi is a recent graduate of Iona College, receiving her B.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology. While at Iona Lisa was responsible for creating full Speech Assessments which also included suggesting therapy for her assigned client. She also completed an internship at a public school in Greenwich as part of her Bachelor's degree. Through her tenure at Iona, Lisa’s compassion for children with developmental disabilities proved what an asset she would be to the field of ABA Therapy. 

image289

Michael Magnotta, ABA Therapist 


In 2014, Michael received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminology with a minor in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University. He is attending graduate school for his Master’s in Behavior Analysis, in pursuit of his BCBA. Michael is certified in CPR, First Aid, AED, and PMT. He also possesses a DCF Medication Certification.


Since graduating from CCSU, Michael has worked as a job coach with young individuals on the autism spectrum. In this position, he was responsible for teaching life skills and implementing behavior modification plans. Michael is a compassionate and driven person who enjoys assisting others and is an integral part of the MR&A team. 

image290

Dana Lombardo, ABA Therapist 


Dana graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2013 with a bachelors in general studies and a concentration in psychology. She has a brother with special needs and has always been a big  advocate for Autism Awareness. Growing up with a brother who is on the spectrum has changed Dana's whole outlook on life and the needs of others. She has volunteered for Special Olympics, 

special needs golf, bikes for kids and many other related causes supporting her brother and his group of friends with intellectual disabilities. She wants to continue to spread Autism Awareness to her community and society. Dana is hoping to pursue a Master's degree in Marriage & Family Therapy and eventually open her own private practice.

image291

Zuzana Daure, ABA Therapist


Zuzana has been working with children of all ages for over 20 years, in roles such as camp counselor, tutor, full time nanny, and mother of two boys 8 and 10. She graduated from UConn with a BA in General Studies and is currently working on her RBT training. Zuzana became interested in Applied Behavior Analysis after observing the life-changing impact that high quality services can have on children and their families. She loves helping kids thrive and grow to maximize their potential through ABA. 

image292

Valentina Rocha, ABA Therapist


 Valentina Rocha graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2017 studying both psychology and speech language pathology. She is bilingual in both English and Spanish. During her undergrad Valentina participated in many extracurricular activities such as the “Are You Autism Aware” club, psychology club, operation smile and national student speech language hearing association club, to name a few.   


Valentina is currently interning with Lindsay Scott SLP and is hoping to continue her studies in speech language pathology. She has also gained experience volunteering with children and teens with special needs in the Acting Up Theater Company's summer camp in Easton. Her dedication and passion will make her a great asset to the MR&A team and she is excited to see herself grow in this field! 

image293

Douglas Bonenfant, ABA Therapist

 

Doug is a recent graduate from the University of Miami where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Management. While at UM Doug was a Research Assistant where he observed children’s behaviors in classroom settings while recording data in order to improve classroom behavior. During his summers he was a director at a sports camp and was also involved in a student-run organization called Camp Kesem which is a weeklong summer camp for kids whose parents who have been affected by cancer.


Since graduation Doug has worked as a counselor for adults on the autism spectrum. In this position he was responsible for teaching and assisting individuals in performing the basic functions of independent living. He is very excited to join the MR&A team and looks forward to learning everything it takes to become an outstanding ABA Therapist. 

 

image294

Jazmine Caraballo, ABA Therapist


Jazmine received her Bachelor's Degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Iona College in 2016. While at Iona, Jazmine gained experience with children through their tutoring program which serviced local children. She was also able to complete an extended observation with a special education preschool class. It was here that she developed her compassion and love for working with children with special needs.

Since graduating from Iona, Jazmine worked as a preschool teacher in a community early childhood program in CT. While she found this work very rewarding, she ultimately decided to leave and pursue a career working with the special needs population. She is eager to learn all she can from everyone and begin her journey in the field of ABA Therapy. 

image295

Amber Reese, ABA Therapist


Amber received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Composite Sciences from East Carolina University. She is pursuing experience in ABA Therapy and striving to become an BCBA. Amber is from North Carolina where she first began working with kids with autism at the Autism Society of NC. There she found a passion to improve the well being of children with disabilities and to bring advocacy to autism within the community. Her plans in Connecticut are to grow as an ABA Therapist and travel to various places where these needs are scarce.

image296

Keith Pirraglia, ABA Therapist


Keith graduated from Western Connecticut State University in 2014 with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. He then graduated from Northeastern University in 2016 with a Master’s of Science in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis with aspirations to become a BCBA in the future.

 

Keith has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum for the last 5 years, with ages ranging from 4-21 years old. He has experience in the school, community, and home settings providing therapy and creating behavior intervention plans, writing reports, and developing academic and social programs. Keith looks forward to creating new experiences and advancing his knowledge and career with the MR&A team!

image297

Ashley Brunner, ABA Therapist


Ashley received her Liberal Studies degree with concentrations in Psychology and Biology from Western New England University in 2016. There she was also a member of the women’s lacrosse team. Ashley is now enrolled in graduate school to receive her masters in Autism & Applied Behavior Analysis. 

 

Prior to starting with MR&A Ashley worked for a public school providing one-on-one support to children with autism and other developmental disabilities. She is eager to learn from everyone and apply the knowledge she learns as she earns her degree to best help those she is working with.  

image298

Leslie Torres, ABA Therapist 


By December 2018, Leslie will have earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology under the Applied Psychology & Assessment (AP&A) track from Southern Connecticut State University. While attending SCSU, Leslie was a research assistant at the SCSU Reading Evaluation and Development of Skills (R.E.A.D.S) laboratory. As a research assistant, she has conducted standardized reading assessments and one-on-one dialogic reading (DR) interventions with children in Kindergarten through 2nd grade in a local elementary school. 

During her undergraduate career, she has presented at the undergraduate research conference at SCSU and Psychology Day at Central Connecticut State University under the supervision of R.E.A.D.S lab for their research concerning the exploration of vocabulary differences between two elementary schools. By having a background working with elementary school children in the READS lab, MR&A accepted Leslie as an intern to learn how to conduct ABA with children of different ages. Her intern experience at MR&A has been so great that she plans on pursuing a career in school psychology with MS/EdS concentration while completing her BCBA. 

image299

Katherine Dussan, ABA Therapist 


Katherine Dussan received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from West Virginia University in 2013. She is currently enrolled in the ABA Masters program at University of Saint Joseph, where she is in her second year with an anticipated graduation date of 2020. Upon graduation, Katherine plans to pursue her BCBA.

 

Once graduating from WVU, Katherine began working as a toddler teacher and then moved on to a paraprofessional/mental health worker role in a special education school. It was at that school that she began working with children on the autism spectrum and implementing behavior plans. While doing this, Katherine grew a passion for her job and became a Registered Behavior Technician. Once getting this certification, she continued to implement behavior plans while also creating academic programs. As Katherine learned more about ABA she knew that this was what she wanted to pursue a career in. Katherine is really excited to work in the home setting and continue to learn ABA hands on in the field. 


image300

Ivana Izzo, ABA Therapist


Ivana will receive her BS in Behavioral Studies with a concentration in Psychology from Manhattanville College in May. While at Manhattanville she worked for a LCSW for two years where she was able to work with children with various behavioral and developmental disabilities. During this time she realized she wanted to pursue a career working with special needs children. She has always been passionate about working with kids and is super excited to be an ABA Therapist at MR&A!


Administration

image301

 Lisa Benz, Office Manager 


Lisa studied psychology at the University of Connecticut until moving home and continuing her studies at Southern Connecticut State University. Lisa is currently a Milford resident with three beautiful children. She has prior experience as an office manager at a mid-size company. She also was an account executive and department manager at a law firm, managing multiple sites and staff members. She briefly worked in sales as a district consultant before finding a home at Michelle Ragozzine & Associates. Her passion for children and their well-being is a perfect fit for our industry. 

image302

 Daniel Kalweit, Administrative Assistant


Daniel Kalweit received his BS in Marketing from Southern Connecticut State University in 2004. Since graduating Daniel has gained work experience in a myriad of different arenas including everything from Radiology Tech Aide to General Manager of a Comedy Club. Along with being well versed in Microsoft Office Suite he is also organized and punctual. Dan has been performing stand up comedy since 2009 and can be seen at shows across the country. 

image303

Patricia Candrea, Practice Manager


Patricia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Pace University in 2014 with degrees in Sociology and Anthropology. While attending Pace University she was able to work at Blythedale Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Working at these two institutions launched her passion for the caring and health of children. After graduation Patricia worked as a low vision consultant at a retina practice in Old Greenwich. There she advocated for patients who were legally blind to obtain social initiatives and assistance for them. Patricia then went on to become a clinical team manager and surgeon’s assistant at an ophthalmology practice associated with Yale-New Haven Hospital. At this practice Patricia cared for patients in clinic and in the operating suites at Yale’s ambulatory operating room. She also managed the clinical and administrative staff of this large surgical practice. It was here that Patricia developed a passion for the behind the scenes work of practice management.