Office: TRC 204
Vicki Madaus Knapp, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA is the Chairperson of the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Department at Daemen College and an Assistant Professor in the ABA Department. The Daemen College ABA Department has registered programs to provide licensure-qualifying coursework in NYS and programs designated by the Association for Behavior Analysis International as Verified Course Sequence (VCS). Dr. Knapp holds a Doctorate in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas with a specialization in ABA. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Clinical Behavioral Psychology from Eastern Michigan University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University. Currently, she is an NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D). She has been practicing in ABA to help improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including ASD, for more than 25 years. Dr. Knapp recently served on the Auxiliary Panel of the NYS Office of Professions Board for Behavior Analysis. She is currently the Secretary and Marketing Co-Chair for the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA), and has held other positions in the past, including Representative-at-Large, Education Chairperson, Conference Chairperson, and President. She has also participated with the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) as a conference committee member. She has received the Award for Excellence in Service to NYSABA (2012) and the NYSABA Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Behavior Analysis (2014). She has multiple scholarly publications and has provided several invited presentations at regional conferences and events.
Phone: (716) 839-8357
Jill Aldrich is the Practicum Coordinator and Instructor in the Daemen College Applied Behavior Analysis program.
Jill completed her Masters of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota and received her BCBA shortly after.
Jill has worked in the field of developmental disabilities in a variety of roles. She was a study coordinator at the University of Rochester for ten years working in an autism research lab. In that role, she worked on a number of studies including early intensive behavioral intervention treatment for young children diagnosed with autism, parent training, and health literacy. She has been a classroom teacher and an autism specialist for a non-profit where she provided technical support for educators and advocacy support for parents. She is currently a Behavior Analyst at Hillside Children’s Center, working with adolescents and young adults.
Her areas of interest include the reduction of problem behavior and utilizing functional communication training to aid people without vocal speech.
Jill lives in Pittsford, New York, and in her free time, she cooks and travels as much as she can. She also enjoys time with her two grown children, her husband and two cats.
Office: TRC 101
Ashley Brehm joined Daemen College in February of 2019 as an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Behavior Analysis after serving as an adjunct faculty member since the fall of 2018. After graduating from Gannon University with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary and Special Education she served as a preschool autism teacher for 3 years in Fairfax, Virginia. Ashley has her Masters in Special Education from Canisius College. Upon moving back to Buffalo she served a variety of roles, including leadership roles, at a school for children with developmental disabilities in the area. Ashley also has experience working as a clinical supervisor providing insurance based services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Her primary professional and research interests include early intervention for children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, increasing functional communication skills of individuals with disabilities and training special education staff to use evidence based practices within the public school system. She is a member of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts and New York State Association for Behavior Analysis.
Ashley resides in Collins with her husband and 3 daughters. They enjoy camping and spending time with family and friends.
Office: TRC 202
Dr. Michelle Hickman joined Daemen College this year as an assistant professor of applied behavior analysis, having most recently served as an adjunct faculty member and as director of curriculum, instruction and training at The Summit Center.
Hickman, who has more than 20 years of experience in the field of applied behavior analysis and special education, previously worked as an assistant professor of exceptional education at SUNY Buffalo State and as a clinical supervisor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Hickman’s research interests include programming for generalized learning in individuals with developmental disabilities and training special education teachers to use evidence-based practices. She also has an interest and experience in curriculum development and providing engaging and effective instruction to nontraditional college learners.
Hickman earned a doctorate in special education and applied behavior analysis and a master’s degree in special education, both from The Ohio State University, and a bachelor’s degree in biology and secondary science education from SUNY Cortland.
Outside Daemen, Hickman enjoys spending time with her husband and four sons. She also enjoys the outdoors and traveling to competitions for her sons, who are competitive gymnasts.
Office: TRC 101
Kellie Kotwicki is a full time faculty member of the Daemen ABA Department, Assistant Professor and the Daemen ABA Practicum Director.
Kellie completed her Masters of Science Degree in School Counseling from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. She then went on to obtain her Advanced Coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Florida Institute of Technology. She has been working in the field delivering insurance based and consultative services for over 9 years and is licensed and practicing in both Arizona (AZ) and New York State (NYS) via telehealth.
Her passion for this field is providing ABA in the home and school setting, delivering quality and evidence based services remotely in rural areas, working with schools to coordinate program consistency, teaching adaptive and communication skills, and reducing severe problem behavior. She also enjoys monitoring quality supervision programs for students pursuing coursework in ABA. As the practicum director, it is her hope to help guide students in learning the laws, rules and regulations set forth by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for NYS Licensure and ensure that they have a quality supervision experience.
Dr. Deborah Napolitano joined the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) faculty at Daemen College as an Assistant Professor in October of 2018. Debbi previously was on faculty as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine where she still retains a Courtesy Clinical Associate Professor appointment. Debbi also consults to the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing. Debbi obtained her Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Psychology/Behavior Analysis from the University of Kansas in 2000.
Debbi is widely published in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and behavior analysis, with peer reviewed research publications in some of the field’s premier journals such as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Debbi also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Mental Health Research in Developmental Disabilities. Debbi’s research interests are in the areas of rigid and repetitive behavior in individuals with autism, drug and behavior interactions, applications of behavior analysis in child welfare, and the assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior of persons with IDD. Her clinical interests are also in these areas, with additional focus on interprofessional collaboration and the interface between behavior therapy (e.g., Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and ABA for individuals with dual diagnosis of IDD and brain health concerns.
Debbi has spent a great deal of her career advocating for individuals with IDD, their families, and for the profession of Behavior Analysis. She serves on the Leadership Council for the National Council for Severe Autism. Debbi is currently the chair for the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) legislative committee where she works towards appropriate credentialing in the state. Debbi also is the secretary for the Severe Challenging Behavior Special Interest Group of the International Association on the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID). Debbi has previously served as President of NYSABA and as a board member for the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) Board of Directors for the previous six years.
Office: TRC 203
Phone: (716) 839-8233
Vanessa Patrone joined Daemen as a full-time faculty member of the Education Department in November of 2017 after teaching as an adjunct instructor for both the Psychology and Education departments since 2014. She is currently teaching both online and at our Amherst campus in the graduate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Program and continues to teach the undergraduate introduction to ABA as well.
Originally from Olean, NY, Vanessa received her undergraduate degree in psychology from SUNY Geneseo and went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Human Services Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. While in Maryland, she worked with individuals with severe behavior disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute of the Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Upon moving to New York State, Vanessa worked as a Behavior Analyst and Consultant for the Summit Center.
Vanessa was Board Certified as a Behavior Analyst in 2003, was licensed in the State of New York in 2015 and is currently working towards her PhD in Curriculum, Instruction and the Science of Learning at the University at Buffalo. She serves on the Board of Directors of New York State Association for Applied Behavior Analysis (NYSABA). Her research interests include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities, functional assessment of problem behavior and the impact of culture on behavior analytic service provision.
Vanessa lives in Buffalo with her husband and two daughters.
Phone: (716) 839-8323
In addition to his work as an Adjunct Professor at Daemen, Jonus is a Behavior Analyst at a residential treatment program for adolescents with dual diagnosis of intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Jonus and his family live in Rochester, NY. In his free time he enjoys spending time in the snow, gardening, and watching soccer.
Phone: (716) 839-8323
Phone: (716) 839-8323
Deborah J. Gruber, MEd, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA has been working in the fields of Applied Behavior Analysis and Education for over 30 years. She earned a doctoral degree in Behavior Analysis from Queens College and the Graduate Center/CUNY and a master’s degree in Education and Special Education from Lesley University. Additionally, Deborah is a children’s yoga instructor. Her professional and research interests include the use of behavior analytic strategies to increase physical activities for children with developmental disabilities. Her published research includes teaching yoga to young children with developmental delays with parents in the home.
Deborah is the President of Lotus Behavioral Consulting, LLC. Unique to Lotus Behavioral Consulting is its dedication to increasing opportunities for children with developmental delays to engage in physical activities with their typical peers, particularly in the area of yoga. Therefore, workshops and trainings focus on providing educational and behavioral strategies such as physical prompts, picture schedules, video modeling, and positive reinforcement in the context of yoga and other physical activities.
Deborah has been teaching graduate courses in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis since 2012.
Phone: (716) 839-8323
Dr. Vanetta R. LaRosa has dedicated her 30 year career to helping individuals with Autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, profound multiple disabilities, ADHD, behavioral challenges and more.
Vanetta completed a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a sub-specialty in human learning and development from Southern Illinois University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and is a New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst. Dr. LaRosa completed a Post Doctoral Re-specialization in 2016 under the professorship of the esteemed Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, a world leader in Neuroscience.
Vanetta has been teaching both undergraduate and graduate psychology courses for 20 years. In addition to her editorials, publications, and presentations, she also founded and leads a charitable recreational program for children and teens with Autism and developmental disabilities.
Phone: (716) 839-8323
Jennifer Morrison-Diallo earned her doctorate in psychology with a specialization in learning and behavior analysis from the City University of New York- The Graduate Center and is a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) as well as a NY State Licensed Behavior Analyst. She has worked at New York City Health + Hospitals for the last 9 years and is currently serving as a director of mental health services for a specialty adult behavioral health inpatient unit for individuals diagnosed with Autism and/or other neurodevelopmental disorders and co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses. This unit the only inpatient unit for this population in NY state and serves the most acute and high-risk individuals across NYC 5 boroughs. This unit is a collaboration to provide biopsychosocial supports with Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Office of Mental Health (OMH), and NYC Health + Hospitals. Jennifer also teaches a variety of different psychology and behavior analytic courses at Daemen College and CUNY Queens college. Jennifer also has a private practice where she supports individuals on the autism spectrum and their families throughout New York City.
Phone: (716) 839-8323
Jennifer Rumfola, MA, CCC/SLP, BCBA/LBA is a dually credentialed professional, licensed and certified as a Speech Language Pathologist and Behavior Analyst (BCBA/LBA) in NY. She possesses expertise and advanced skills in teaching language and prosocial behaviors to children on the autism spectrum. She has helped clients across the life span from Early Intervention, Preschool through School in both home, center-based, and public-school settings. Over the past 10+ years, she has successfully integrated strategies and techniques from both disciplines to help individuals with autism and their educational teams generate better student outcomes.
Jennifer works for an online company that provides continuing education and clinical products for a variety of professional disciplines. She serves as the CE coordinator that oversees ACE, QABA, ASHA, APA and AOTA certification. Jennifer conducts training for a variety of audiences including educators, related service providers, administrators, parents, para-professionals and undergraduate/ graduate students across disciplines. She serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Master’s ABA program at Daemen College in Buffalo, NY, and was formerly a part time graduate clinical supervisor and adjunct faculty at the University of New York at Buffalo in the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department.