Pamela Wolfe, PhD
Associate Professor of Education, Academic Program Director of the Professional Development Certificate Program in Autism, Penn State
Dr. Wolfe is an associate professor of special education at Penn State. Her research interests center on persons with autism, severe disabilities, and cognitive disabilities. Dr. Wolfe recently co-edited a book, The Autism Encyclopedia, and co-directs a federally-funded grant to provide education on autism to preservice professionals in special education and work with speech-language disorders. She is the academic coordinator for the professional development certificate in autism, a distance education program offered jointly by Penn State and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She is a member of a number of editorial boards having to do with persons with disabilities.
Joanne Gerenser, PhD
CCC-SLP, Executive Director, The Eden II Programs
Dr. Gerenser is the executive director of the Eden II Programs in Staten Island, New York. She is an adjunct associate professor at Brooklyn College as well as at Penn State. She received her doctorate in speech and hearing science from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Organization for Autism Research. She is on the boards of the Partnership for Autism Education, the Interagency Council for Mental Retardation, and the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Gerenser is co-author of the interactive CD-ROM entitled Behavioral Programming for Children with Autism, and she has authored several book chapters on autism and developmental disabilities. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis. She sits on a number of professional advisory boards for programs serving children and adults with autism.
Thomas Kitchen, MS
BCBA, Director, Lake Erie Autism Diagnostic, Educational, and Research Services (LEADERS) Program
Achievement Center/Mercyhurst College
During his career in the autism field, Kitchen has served as a direct care therapist, public school special education teacher, behavior analyst, staff trainer, educational/behavioral consultant, program coordinator, graduate program teaching faculty, and agency administrator. As a consultant and provider of graduate education, he has worked with families, grad students, and professionals from around the country. Through LEADERS, he provides direction, consultation and supervision to behavior analysts and educators working with children with autism in an organization serving thousands of children. He also teaches three courses within the five-course behavior analysis certification graduate program at Mercyhurst College, in addition to organizing/supervising Mercyhurst's Intensive Practicum for behavior analysis.
Prior to his current work as the director of the LEADERS program, Kitchen served as the designer, developer, and coordinator of a widely-recognized intensive school program for children with autism. Along with LEADERS co-director Robert Gulick, he developed a parent and practitioner training model as a result of a grant he and Mr. Gulick received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the results of this project was the duo's co-authorship of the book and accompanying CD-ROM, Effective Instruction for Children with Autism, An Applied Behavior Analytic Approach.
Kitchen has frequently been interviewed in print, television, and radio media about his work in autism, and he has served as an “expert” witness in due process proceedings regarding children with autism. His areas of interest within the field lie primarily with effective instructional techniques, curriculum development for language and social skills, reduction of problem behaviors, systems development, staff performance management, and parent/staff training.