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Sponsorship Application Form

The Autism Conference welcomes organizations who wish to reach out to our attendees-professionals who work with individuals with autism spectrum disorders- to become sponsors. A limited number of opportunities are available including utilizing exhibition space, underwriting meals or providing promotional materials.

For more information contact Krista Hughes


Speaker Biographies

Evdokia Anagnostou
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

 Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, MD, is a child neurologist and senior clinician scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Anagnostou is also the Assistant Director of Holland Bloorview’s Research Institute; co-leading the Autism Research Centre (ARC). Dr. Anagnostou holds a Canada Research Chair in translational therapeutics in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the Dr. Stuart D. Sims Chair in Autism at Holland Bloorview. Dr. Anagnostou’s research focuses on translating genomic and systems biology findings into novel treatments for ASD. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, which is fully affiliated with Holland Bloorview.

Kevin Ayres
University of Georgia

Kevin M. Ayres, Ph.D, BCBA-D is a former middle school teacher who now serves as co-director for the University of Georgia Center on Autism and Behavioral Education Researcher. For the past two decades his work has focused on behavioral applications of technology for promoting independence and improving efficiency of instruction in classroom and community contexts.

Janice Chan
University of California, San Diego

Janice Chan, M.A., BCBA, is the lead trainer/coach for Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching (CPRT) research projects based at University of California, San Diego. As a former moderate/severe teacher and in-home ABA therapist, she is especially interested in bridging the gap between research and practice. Ms. Chan utilizes her previous experience as a practitioner to coach teachers in effective implementation of CPRT in their classrooms, and has had the opportunity to do so in Albania, China, Norway, and Russia.

Wendy Chung
Simons Foundation

Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinical and molecular geneticist who is the Director of Clinical Research at SFARI at the Simons Foundation and is the Kennedy Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and the Director of Clinical Genetics at Columbia University.  She received her B.A. in biochemistry and economics from Cornell University, her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in genetics.  She leads the Simons VIP study characterizing genetic forms of autism (https://simonsvipconnect.org/) and the SPARK study of autism (SPARKforAutism.org) and has a TED talk entitled Autism — what we know (and what we don't know yet) that has over 2 million views.  She has authored over 300 peer reviewed papers and 50 reviews and chapters in medical texts.  She has identified over 28 new genes for human diseases including 15 genes for neurodevelopmental conditions and autism.  She was the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award, the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam, and a career development award from Doris Duke.

Dennis Debbaudt
Debbaudt Legacy Productions, LLC.

Over the past 22 years, autism dad, author, reporter and autism training specialist, Dennis Debbaudt, has trained and created autism subject matter for law enforcement, first response and criminal justice professionals and agencies throughout the United States, Canada, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland (NI) and United Kingdom. Debbaudt has recently presented at the NYPD Academy, for Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Annual Training Symposium, Virginia Association of Crisis Intervention Teams conference, Florida Child Abduction Response Team (CART) conference and for the Police Service of Northern Ireland in Belfast, NI. As managing partner of Debbaudt Legacy Productions, LLC, Dennis produced and wrote the scripts for the training videos Autism & Law Enforcement Roll Call Briefing (2004), Autism, Fire-Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Video (2009) and Autism in the Criminal Justice System (2009).

Amy Esler
University of Minnesota

Amy Esler is an assistant professor in Pediatrics, psychologist in the Autism Spectrum and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Clinic, and director of the Fragile X Clinic at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Dr. Esler specializes in early screening and diagnosis of ASD and is interested in the interaction between culture, screening and diagnostic practices, and access to services. Her research focuses on autism prevalence and early detection.

Kara Gross Margolis
Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Margolis is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Columbia University Medical Center and a nationally recognized clinical expert in GI problems in children with ASD.  In addition to her clinical expertise, she is also a physician-scientist who runs a laboratory focused on the role of serotonin in brain-gut axis disorders, including ASD.  Dr. Margolis' research is funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense.  She gives talks nationally and internationally on both her research and clinical focuses.

Louis Hagopian
Kennedy Krieger Institute

Dr. Hagopian is a Professor in Behavioral Biology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM), and the Department of Behavioral Psychology Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI). e is Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and Licensed Psychologist.  He is Program Director of the Neurobehavioral Programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.  This includes the Neurobehavioral Unit, which provides intensive inpatient treatment for individuals with intellectual disabilities, who exhibit self-injury, aggression, and other problem behavior. These programs draw patients nationally and provide integrated behavioral and psychiatric treatment. Dr. Hagopian’s clinical research is focused on understanding and treating problems related to intellectual and developmental disabilities. The NIH has funded his translational research continuously since 2004. This research crosses disciplines and seeks to understand the interaction of biological and environmental factors related to problems experienced by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Hagopian has published his research in over 20 different peer-reviewed behavioral and medical journals.

Stephen Kanne 
University of Missouri, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Dr. Stephen M. Kanne is the Executive Director of the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Psychology. He received his bachelor’s degree and his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Washington University. He completed a clinical internship at the University of California, San Diego, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Dr. Kanne’s current research interests focus on children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, targeting diagnostic tools, outcome measures, behavioral phenotyping, co-occurring symptoms, evidence-based therapies, and subthreshold symptoms. In addition to publishing in the areas of autism, Dr. Kanne has also published in the areas of cognitive neuropsychology, history of neuropsychology, and pediatric traumatic brain injury. Dr. Kanne is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology.

Amanda Kelly
University of West Florida – Hawaii Cohort

Dr. Amanda N. Kelly (aka Behaviorbabe) holds a PhD in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College, a master’s degree in Behavioral Education, also from Simmons and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Shepherd University. In 2005, Dr. Kelly obtained certification in behavior analysis, becoming a BCaBA. She later became a BCBA in 2008, before obtaining the credential at the doctoral designation in 2013. In addition to her training as a behavior analyst, Dr. Kelly also maintained her licensure as an elementary teacher for over 15 years.  Dr. Kelly has experience working in homes, public and private schools (k-12), residential placements, and community settings. Dr. Kelly currently serves as the Director for Anuenue Behavior Analysts, an in-home ABA agency located on the island of Oahu, as well as operates as Director of the University of West Florida’s Hawai'i ABA Cohort. For over a decade, Dr. Kelly has worked collaboratively with stakeholders to improve educational and legal systems for children. She has been instrumental in the passage of Autism Insurance reform and Licensure of Behavior Analysts in Massachusetts and Hawaiʻi. Dr. Kelly has been recognized for her dissemination efforts, becoming the first recipient of the "Jerry Shook Practitioner of the Year Award" from BABAT in 2012.  In 2015, Dr. Kelly was awarded “Advocacy Group of the Year” on behalf of the Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA), by Autism Speaks.

Tiffany Kodak
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Dr. Tiffany Kodak is an Assistant Professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Kodak also is the Executive Director of the Center for Language Acquisition and Social Skills Intervention, which provides behavior-analytic services to children with autism spectrum disorder in Southeastern Wisconsin. Dr. Kodak is a licensed psychologist, licensed behavior analyst, and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst- Doctoral (BCBA-D). She is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Learning and Motivation, and she is on the board of editors for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. She has published more than 50 articles and book chapters on skill acquisition and the assessment and treatment of problem behavior. Her research interests in the area of early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder include increasing the efficiency of academic instruction, treatment integrity, assessment-based instruction, verbal behavior, and parent and staff training.

James McPartland
Yale School of Medicine

James C. McPartland, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. He is a licensed child psychologist and Director of the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic. Dr. McPartland’s program of research investigates the brain bases of neurodevelopmental disabilities to develop biologically-based tools for detection and treatment. He is the Principal Investigator of the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials, a nationwide effort in the United States to identify biomarkers to support intervention research in autism. His research has been continuously supported by federal and private research grants since 2007, and his contributions to the field have been recognized by numerous awards, including the NARSAD Atherton Young Investigator Award, the International Society for Autism Research Young Investigator Award, the Patterson Trust Clinical Research Award, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Klerman Prize, and the American Psychological Association Division of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Sara S. Sparrow Early Career Research Award. Dr. McPartland has published 5 books and over 90 scholarly works on autism and related topics. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and currently serves on the board of the International Society for Autism Research.

John Miller
Palm Beach County Schools

John Miller was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1968. When he was young he was misdiagnosed as intellectually disabled and did not speak till he was three. During his childhood he worked hard to overcome many academic and social obstacles. He decided to get a Masters in Special Education to help young people succeed academically and in life. During this period he was diagnosed with autism, which answered many questions (I had to be taught how to make eye contact).. For over a decade he has taught students with varying degrees of autism and settings. Beyond teaching, he has consulted, creating pragmatic and organizational programs for individuals with autism. For over a half a decade he has presented on a variety topics that deal with pragmatics, inclusion, transition, among others throughout the United States. Presently, he sits on the Florida board of the Autism Society and Florida Atlantic University CARD Constituency Committee. His book Decoding Dating received the Dr. Temple Grandin Award for Outstanding Literature.

Kathryn Peterson
Munroe-Meyer Institute – Institute of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Kathryn Peterson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. She received a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a Master’s in Behavior Analysis from The Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2013. Dr. Peterson completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Munroe-Meyer Institute with Dr. Cathleen Piazza as her mentor. Currently, she specializes in the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. Dr. Peterson served as the Editorial Assistant of Behavioral Interventions from 2008 to 2010 and was the President of the Heartland Association for Behavior Analysis from March 2014 to March 2015.  Dr. Peterson is a board certified behavior analyst and has served as a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Janine Stichter
University of Missouri

Dr. Janine Stichter is a Professor in the Department of Special Education and has worked with schools and students with autism and behavioral needs for over 25 years.  Dr. Stichter presents nationally and conducts research in the following areas: Implementation science, social competence and the antecedent strategies. She has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, provided over 120 national and international presentations, developed and published a suite of curricula(The Social Competence Curricula) focused on Social Competence K-12, and has received over $12 Million in federal grants as Principal Investigator and Co- Investigator.

Wendy Stone
University of Washington

Dr. Wendy Stone is a clinical scientist whose primary research interests are in early identification and early intervention for children with ASD. Her research focuses on understanding early developmental processes and evaluating targeted interventions to optimize outcomes for young children and their families. Dr. Stone has authored numerous scientific papers on the early identification, assessment, treatment, and follow-up of young children with autism. Her research has led to the development of the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers (STAT), a book for parents entitled Does My Child Have Autism?, and a position on the Autism Advisory Panel for Sesame Street's Autism Initiative. Dr. Stone is committed to translational science, and have worked to enhance knowledge and service capacity within community settings through research, training, and outreach activities.

Zachary Warren
Vanderbilt University

Dr. Warren received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2005 from the University of Miami and is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Special Education at Vanderbilt University. He is Executive Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s (VKC) Treatment and Research Institute on Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), Director of Autism Clinical Services within the Division of Developmental Medicine at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and Director of Autism Research for the VKC and the Department of Pediatrics.   His current research focuses on early detection and intervention for ASD as well as in the development of technological applications for potential intervention.  Dr. Warren has received funding and support from AHRQ, Autism Speaks, CDC, NICHD, NIMH, NSF, the Simons Foundation and other agencies.   Dr. Warren is seen as a national and international leader regarding ASD screening and treatment.  He was the lead content expert across the recent USPTF review of ASD screening and has completed a number of works regarding enhancing screening within community pediatric practices.

Mary Jane Weiss
Endicott College

Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Professor a Endicott College, where she directs the Master's Program in ABA and Autism and is a mentoring faculty member in the Doctoral program. She also does research at Melmark. Dr. Weiss has worked in the field of ABA and Autism for over 30 years. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 1990 and s became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 200 previously worked for 16 years at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University, where she served as Director of Research and Training and as Clinical Director. Her clinical and research interests center on defining best practice ABA techniques, exploring ways to enhance the ethical conduct of practitioner·, evaluating the impact of ABA in learners with autism, teaching social skills to learners with autism, training staff to be optimally effective at instruction, and maxim zing family members' expertise and adaptation. She serves on the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research, is on the Professional Advisory Board o Autism New Jersey, is a regular reviewer for a variety of professional journals, and is a frequent member of · Service committees for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She is also a Past President of the Autism Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, a former member of the Board of the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts, and a former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Autism New Jersey.

Thomas Zane
University of Kansas

Dr. Thomas Zane is the Director of Online Behavior Analysis programs in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas, and the Clinical Director of T e Children's Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf in Beverly, Massachusetts. Dr. Zane earned his Bachelor's and Master's degree in psychology at Western Michigan University and his doctorate in Applied Behavior Analysis at West Virginia University. He has served as a Post-Doctorate Research Associate at the University of Massachusetts, Professor at Mount Holyoke College, and Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychiatry, and Program Director of Behavior Analysis and Special Education at Endicott College. He is a licensed psychologist in New York and Massachusetts. Dr. Zane serves on the Executive Board of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, the international organization that represents the field of behavior analysis. He is also a member of the Scientific Council of the Organization f Autism Research, a group that raises money to fund innovative research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.