Phone: 718.554.1027 Email: info@brooklynautismcenter.org    

Faculty

  • Jana Levin

    Executive Director

    Jana is an accomplished professional with over 20 years of management and marketing experience highlighted by strong expertise in communications, strategic planning, business development, business operations, market research, and branding. Throughout her career she has created integrated marketing campaigns and developed strategic alliances in the for-profit and non-profit space. Jana is a founding board member of the Brooklyn Autism Center, most recently holding the position of Secretary on the Executive Board.  She holds a B.A. in Sociology from San Francisco State University and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter Jessie, a proud volunteer in BAC's after-school peer socialization program.

  • Julie Russell, M.S., BCBA, LBA-NY

    Educational Director

    Julie holds an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts and received her BCBA in 2009. She has over 10 years experience working with children with autism and related developmental differences in centers, schools, school districts and home-based programs. Julie received her supervision hours (meeting requirements for board certification in behavior analysis) by Dr. Nathan Blenkush, Ph.D., BCBA from JRC in Boston, Massachusetts. She was a Clinical Supervisor at ACES (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis) in San Diego California and Clinical Supervisor at the ELIJA School in Levittown, NY.

  • Tom Cleary

    Director of Operations

    Tom holds a B.A. from Lehigh University where he graduated with honors. At Lehigh, Tom studied Accounting, Economics, and International Relations. He also worked as a Resident Adviser and Tutor. Prior to joining BAC, Tom spent several years in the financial services industry, working in both finance and client relations roles. 

  • Hertie Gutierrez

    Administrative Assistant

    Hertie Gutierrez hold a degree in Mass Communications from St. John’s University. Throughout her college career, she secured several marketing internships throughout New York and California. Prior to working at Brooklyn Autism Center, she was a Marketing Coordinator at a New York-based real estate office.  

  • Gabrielle Brigandi, M.S., BCBA, LBA-NY

    Associate Director of Staff Training

    Gabrielle Brigandi has a B.A. in Psychology: ABA from Binghamton University and earned her BCBA in 2015. She comes to us from the Carbone Clinic and has been providing services to children with disabilities since 2010. Gabrielle recently earned her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from the Sage Colleges.

  • Andrea Delgado, M.S., BCBA

    Clinical Supervisor

    Andrea graduated from Loyola University with a B.A. in Psychology. While studying in Baltimore, she interned at Kennedy Krieger Institute as a Behavioral Data Specialist and gained experience working with children with autism. Andrea is currently working towards her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism through the Sage Colleges.

  • Jonathan Dietz, M.S., BCBA

    Clinical Supervisor

    Jonathan holds a B.A. in Psychology from CUNY Queens College. A certified para-professional, Jonathan treated individuals with autism using ABA in the home setting. Before joining BAC, he worked at Achievement First Charter School with children on the spectrum. Jonathan recently earned his M.S. in ABA and Autism at The Sage Colleges.

  • Juliet Grillo

    Clinical Supervisor

    Juliet graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Psychology. Before working at Brooklyn Autism Center, she worked at Manhattan Children’s Center for 5 years. During that time she worked in the classroom and as part of the Vocational and Transition team for the students in the upper school. Juliet graduated with her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and is pursuing national certification this fall.

  • Taylor Gonzalez

    Behavioral Instructor, Outreach Coordinator, BAC Friends Coordinator

    Taylor has her B.S. in Family Science with a concentration in Special Education from the University of Maryland. She coordinates the BAC Friends afterschool peer socialization program in addition to her role as a behavioral instructor. Prior to working at BAC, Taylor worked with children on the autism spectrum at the Developmental Disabilities Institute, an intermediate school on Long Island. 

  • Chad Adkins

    Lead Behavioral Instructor

    Chad holds a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology with a clinical emphasis from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He worked at Autism Services Center, a local behavioral non-profit, for seven years, gaining experience in ABA and DTT. Chad is pursuing his national certification and plans to pursue a doctorate in children’s clinical psychology.  

     

  • Jessica DeFranco

    Lead Behavioral Instructor

    Jessica has a B.S. in Special Education from SUNY Cortland. Before joining us at BAC, she worked as a certified teaching assistant at ACDS, a preschool for children with special needs.  She also
    gained experience working with children with autism at Camp Anchor on Long Island. Jessica plans to pursue a Masters degree in special education.

  • Leslie Simon

    Lead Behavioral Instructor

    Leslie is a Board Certified Autism Technician (BCAT) and earned her B.S. in Kinesiology from California University Northridge (CSUN). Before becoming an instructor at BAC, she worked for two years in home-based, center-based, and school settings as an ABA therapist. 

  • Raven Stokes

    Behavioral Instructor, BAC Friends Coordinator

    Raven holds a B.A. in Psychology from St. Francis College and interned at BAC before being hired as an instructor. In addition to her role as a behavioral instructor, Raven oversees and coordinates our volunteer, peer socialization, and reverse inclusion programs and helps coordinate our after-school program.

  • Teresa Ambery

    Behavioral Instructor

    Teresa graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College. During that time she was teaching at a perparatory school for preschool students and spent a summer as a teaching assistant in a special needs school.

  • Dan Brashear

    Behavioral Instructor

    Danny holds a B.A. in Sports Management and a minor in Psychology from Drexel University. This past summer, Danny worked at the Big Apple Day Program as a counselor for children with varying levels of ADHD and learning disabilities. Danny plans on going back to school in the future to pursue a degree in Sports Psychology or a Psy.D. 

  • McCraney Ezell

    Behavioral Instructor

    McCraney attended Tulane University and graduated with a BS in Psychology. During her senior year, she served as a research assistant  on focusing on the relationship of senses and perception. Prior to working at BAC, Mccraney was an ABA Therapist at Art In Me Behavior Clinic in New Orleans. She plans on working and gaining experience to get a better understanding of the field before pursuing her masters and certification.

  • Amy Gewurtz

    Behavioral Instructor

    Amy holds B.S. in Psychology from SUNY Albany and an M.S. in ABA from Queens College. She has been working with adults and children with developmental disabilities for five years. She is working towards her national certification. 

  • Shirley Gordon

    Behavioral Instructor

    Shirley holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Borough of Manhattan Community College. She volunteered at BAC before becoming a behavioral instructor and also worked as a caregiver to a child with autism. Shirley is currently pursuing her B.A. in social work at York College in Queens.

  • Allison Johnson

    Behavioral Instructor

    Allie graduated from Ithaca College with a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation. After graduating, Allie became a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Before joining BAC, Allie was a founding team member at Blue Sky Center for Learning, a clinic providing 1:1 ABA instruction to children with Autism. Allie is looking forward to continuing to learn and evolve in order to help her students reach their highest potentials!

  • Marina Khaselev

    Behavioral Instructor

    Marina earned her B.A. in Psychology from Touro College and began her career in ABA as a teacher's assistant at a QSAC preschool. Prior to starting at BAC, she worked at an agency in Great Neck, Long Island doing ABA therapy in both center-based and home settings. She plans to pursue her master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. 

  • Sarah Koch

    Behavioral Instructor

    Sarah attended Wesleyan University where she graduated with a B.S. in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Sarah studied Education and Cognitive Development, and worked as a Child Behavioral Health Intern at the Middletown Community Health Center. Before coming to BAC, she worked at New York Center for Autism Charter School, an ABA program that serves students from 5 to 21 years old.

  • Navita Madan

    Behavioral Instructor

    Navita graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from The College of Staten Island. During her undergrad, she was involved in Autism research, ultimately earning two publications and a poster presentation in Poland. Prior to BAC, she worked at Eden Autism Services in New Jersey. Navita is currently in an M.S. program for Forensic Psychology. 

  • Christine Pallonetti

    Behavioral Instructor

    Christine graduated from New York University with a B.S in Applied Psychology. Prior to working at BAC, she worked for three years at Thursday’s Child, an early intervention ABA center for children 1.5- 3 years old. She is currently working toward her M.S in teaching at Touro Teacher’s College, with a concentration in Special Education from birth through second grade.

  • Nora Patterson

    Behavioral Instructor

    Nora graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Communicative Disorders and is currently completing her M.S. in Special Education at Southern CT State University where she also earned her special education teaching certificate. Prior to working at BAC, she worked as an early intervention specialist in an ABA Birth to Three program and also taught special education in a school for students with Emotional and Behavioral Disturbances.

  • Danielle Sliman

    Behavioral Instructor

    Danielle graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Human Development & Family Science. Before joining BAC, she worked at Total Education Solutions in Ohio where she provided center-based ABA services as well as in-home programs working with children on the spectrum. With four years of experience in ABA, she has hopes to pursue getting her M.S. in Special Education and national certification.

     

  • Selene Sosa

    Behavioral Instructor

    Selene graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Psychology and is working toward her M.A. in Education from Arizona State University and national certification. After completing her undergrad she worked for Oregon Youth Authority, where she taught adjudicated youth learn learn skills such as functional communication, emotional regulation, and independent living skills with hopes to successfully transition into the community.

  • Sadie Struss

    Behavioral Instructor

    Sadie graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Elementary Cognitive Impairment. She was a teacher for five years at AchieveKids, a school in Palo Alto, California providing individualized special education, mental health, and family support services for students ages 5 to 22. Prior to starting at BAC, she lived in London and volunteered with EmbraceKulture, which works to create more community inclusion in Uganda. She is currently working towards her M.A. in Professional Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology.

  • Michelle Zuk

    Behavioral Instructor

    Michelle obtained her M.S. in Forensic Pscyhology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for four years before coming to BAC. She works in ABA home cases and has also decided to pursue her M.S.Ed in Special Education and national certification.

  • Amy Patterson

    Intern

    Amy obtained her B.A. in Psychology, graduating with Departmental Honors from Hunter College and M.S. in Child Life from Bank Street College of Education. During her undergraduate studies, she was a research assistant, where she studied Play and Early Learning. Currently, Amy is a Certified Child Life Specialist at North Shore University Hospital, where she helps pediatric patients and their families cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability. Amy is also currently working towards her M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis with an Emphasis in Autism at Ball State University and is gaining her independent fieldwork hours towards her national certification at BAC.