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AUCD - Trainee-Professional Networking Breakfast

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Location: Grand South

Session Description

On Tuesday morning, trainees are invited to grab breakfast from the continental buffet provided and engage with a diverse group of disability community professionals in a relaxed atmosphere.

One professional will be seated at each table in the ballroom, with room for up to five trainees to join as they choose. Trainees are encouraged to ask about professionals' areas of expertise, roles within their centers or programs, current research or projects, etc. Professionals are encouraged to ask trainees about their career aspirations and provide guidance based on their experiences.

A list of participating professionals is included below. More participating professionals coming soon.

Karen Applequist

Karen Applequist, Ph.D.

Topic of Expertise: Special Education

AZ - The University of Arizona LEND

Karen Applequist is a professor at Northern Arizona University where she is the Training Director of the Arizona University Center on Disabilities and a faculty member in special education. She has 12 years of experience as an early childhood special educator, and currently teaches courses in early intervention/early childhood special education. She is a faculty member of the Arizona LEND program, and is currently the PI for a personnel preparation grant from the Office of Special Education Programs that prepares early childhood special educators from rural communities. Karen is very interested in the interface between culture and special education and conducted research on a range of topics including transition and early intervention.

Julie Atkinson

Julie P. Atkinson, MS

Topic of Expertise: Sexual Health

AK - Center for Human Development

Julie Atkinson is a Research Professional at the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development. She is the program coordinator for the Friendships & Dating Program, a socio-sexual relationships curriculum. Ms. Atkinson serves as the co-chair of the AUCD Sexual Health Special Interest Group. Julie holds a Mater of Science from Utah State University, and has worked as an aide in state government on health and disabilities issues.

Joan Beasley

Joan B. Beasley, Ph.D.

Topic of Expertise: Mental Health

NH - Institute on Disability

Dr. Beasley is the Director of the Center for START Services at the UNH Institute on Disability. START is a nationally recognized best practice model for children and adults with IDD and mental health support needs implemented across the U.S. Dr. Beasley is the author and co-founder of the START program, first implemented in 1988, and has worked to promote the development of effective services for people with disabilities and their families for more than 35 years. Dr. Beasley has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and has provided training throughout the US. She serves is co-chair of the Behavioral Health Special Interest Group of AUCD. Dr. Beasley is a licensed mental health counselor and holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University.

Martin Blair

Martin "Marty" Blair, PhD

Topic of expertise: Rural areas

MT - The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities
Facebook: @ruralinstitute
Twitter: @RIIC_ED

Dr. Martin Blair began his career as a special education teacher. Following that experience, he spent the next two decades at Utah's UCEDD, the Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD), as director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program, Chair of Utah's Interagency Outreach Training Initiative, the policy director of the National Center on Disability and Access to Education, the Associate Director of the Center for Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education, and the CPD's Assistant Director for Policy and Development. He was AUCD's first Disability Policy Leadership Fellow in 2001. In 2013, Dr. Blair assumed leadership of the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Montana's UCEDD. He currently serves as a Co-Chair of AUCD's Public Policy Committee.

Jack Brandt

Jack Brandt, M.S.

Topic of Expertise: Advocacy (policy)

VA - Partnership for People with Disabilities 

Jack Brandt has been working as the Disability Policy Specialist at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University (Virginia UCEDD) since 2010. He joined the VA-LEND in 2016 to develop the Medium-Term Trainee Track to include people with disabilities and family members into the VA-LEND Program. Jack has served on various national and state commissions and committees. His interests are disability policy and leadership development for people with disabilities.

Jenean Castillo

Jenean Castillo, Ph.D.

Topic of Expertise: Psychology

NY - Westchester Institute for Human Development

Jenean A. Castillo, Ph.D., is a New York State Licensed Psychologist, the Assistant Director of Child Welfare, a LEND faculty member and a former LEND trainee at WIHD. Dr. Castillo co-developed and manages the Every Family Counts Aftercare Program, which provides intensive in-home and community-based services to all families in Westchester County who are reuniting after regular foster care placement in order to maintain safety and permanency. She conducts and oversees programs for children and families in foster care including evaluations as well as direct clinical and therapeutic services. In addition, Dr. Castillo supervises and trains graduate and post-graduate students, including LEND trainees. Her research activities include a program evaluation of the Aftercare Program and examining the psychological profiles of children in foster care. Dr. Castillo's interests include family systems, child development, child welfare, trauma, child maltreatment, culture and tradition, teaching and mentoring, and research and program evaluation.

Chanda Dunn photo

Chanda Dunn, LCSW

Topic of expertise: Social Work

TN - Boling Center
Twitter: @dunn_chanda

Chanda Dunn has served as a Clinical Social Worker at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities since November 2015. She currently provides individual and family therapy, assessments, social work consultations, and program development at the Boling Center. Chanda's experience and clinical interests includes in trauma and attachment, neurodevelopmental disabilities, civil and human rights, and social justice issues. She currently serves as a social work field instructor and LEND (Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) supervisor for both bachelors and masters level students in several Mid-South colleges and universities. Chanda Dunn obtained both her Master of Social Work and Bachelors of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia.


Daphnee A. Guillaume

Daphnee A. Guillaume, MPH, CHES

Topic of Expertise: Public Health

MD - Association of University Centers on Disabilities
LinkedIn: Daphnee A. Guillaume

Daphnee Guillaume has over eight years of experience in the public health field. Over the years, Ms. Guillaume has worked with immigrant and refugee communities, expectant mothers, adolescents, and various underserved communities. She has an extensive amount of experience in community health, designing and implementing health education programs and tools (i.e. brochures, toolkits, and facilitation guides, etc.), and facilitating community health worker trainings.
Her interests are:

  • Sexual & Reproductive Health
  • Health Disparities/Equity
  • Program Evaluation
Kristin Mayleben-Flott

Kristin Mayleben-Flott, BA

Topic of Expertise: Family

NE - Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation

Kristin Mayleben-Flott is the Outreach Coordinator and Director of Family Faculty for the Nebraska LEND Program with 25 years of experience in fundraising, non-profit, healthcare, disability and advocacy. She is the parent of a 12 year-old son with Autism and a 16 year-old daughter with special health care needs. Kristin was the first Nebraska LEND Family Trainee and was then hired as Family Faculty 8 years ago. Kristin recruits and mentors LEND Family trainees while working closely with all LEND disciplines in developing leadership plans, creating and managing the Community Learning and Leadership project, presenting at seminars and organizing annual fieldtrips for trainees to the Douglas County Courthouse and Nebraska Legislature. Two years ago, Kristin was appointed by the Governor to be the Chairperson for the Nebraska Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities. Her interests include:  parent and professional training, policy and advocacy, leadership development, community and school inclusion and family-centered care.

Sachin Pavithran

Sachin Pavithran, Ph.D.

Topic of Expertise: Assistive Technology

UT - Center for Persons with Disabilities
Twitter: @sdpavithran

Sachin is currently the Program Director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP). He keeps up with the research and development of various assistive technologies, and is involved nationally in working with legislators in the Federal and State Government to bring change in Policies that has a direct impact on individuals with disabilities. Sachin has over sixteen years of direct involvement in development, testing, and training for accessibility for assistive technology, extensive experience in lecturing and training others in accessible technology. Sachin provides technical assistance on accessible information technology for individuals and groups and serves on various national committees that are involved in the R&D of assistive and accessible technology.

 Cristina L. Pujol

Cristina L. Pujol, M.S., CCC-SLP 

Topic of Expertise: Speech-Language Pathology

FL - Mailman Center for Child Development

Cristina began her career as an elementary education teacher in a low-socioeconomic area in Miami, Florida. After teaching for 7 years, she pursued her master's degree in speech-language pathology at Florida International University. She has been in the field for 4 years and began her role in the University of Miami's LEND program as the Training Director 1 year ago. Her interests in the field include language development, literacy, articulation, bilingualism, autism, and the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). She is also involved in several interdisciplinary teams at the University of Miami Mailman Center working with families and children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Cuquis Robledo

Cuquis Robledo

Topic of Expertise: Disability Video Advocate

Coordinator: Rooted in Rights Storyteller Series
Twitter: @rootedinrights
YouTube: @rootedinrights
Twitter (personal): @cuquis_robledo
Youtube (personal): @CuquisRobledo
Cuquis' Website

My role as the Storytellers Coordinator is to teach people with disabilities how to produce their own advocacy videos. I teach them how to write a script and tips on how to speak on camera. I love to do art, dance, act, make videos, and be on camera. Anything that is creative, I enjoy doing.

Juan Carlos Vazquez

Juan Carlos Vazquez, M.S.

Topic of Expertise: Community Engagement (emphasis on Diversity, Cultural and Linguistic Competence)

UT - Center for Persons with Disabilities

Juan Carlos Vazquez has a Master's Degree in Multicultural Education from Utah State University. He has been involved in the area of education throughout his professional career. In addition to his appointment as a Diversity Specialist at USU Center for Persons with Disabilities, he is a Clinical Instructor at the College of Education and Human Services at USU. He teaches two sections of Foundations of Multicultural Education in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL). Furthermore, he has been involved for many years in the area of community engagement with historically underrepresented populations with a focus on diversity, and cultural and linguistic competence. He is a LEND trainee graduate and was a faculty member for the Utah LEND program for three years.

 Stephan Viehweg

Stephan Viehweg, LCSW, ACSW, IMH-E(IV), CYC-P

Topic of Expertise: Developmental Monitoring

IN - Riley Child Development Center
Twitter: @sviehweg

I am the CDC's Learn the Signs. Act Early. Ambassador to Indiana. This role helps me promote the use of materials designed to help parents track their children's development and access help when they have questions or concerns. In Indiana we are working hard to infuse these developmental monitoring materials into multiple settings such as physician practices, libraries, Early Head Start programs, child care settings, WIC offices, early intervention sites, and any other place/system that seems like a good opportunity to share quality information to help kids and families. We are learning and discovering creative ways to promote and distribute these materials to increase developmental monitoring efforts. Come talk/share more about these ideas and activities!