Laura E. Bray

Ph.D., Learning Sciences and Policy, University of Pittsburgh
M.Ed., Special Education, Chestnut Hill College
B.A., English, The College of New Jersey

Dr. Laura E. Bray is an assistant professor of special education at Penn State and serves as one of the lead advisers and instructors for the online M.Ed. program in Special Education. Dr. Bray's research interests draw from organizational and learning theories to explore topics and issues related to the education of students with disabilities and at-risk students. Learn more about Dr. Bray

Dana M. Garner

Ph.D., Special Education, Penn State 
M.A., Applied Behavior Analysis, Penn State 
B.A., Psychology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Dana M. Garner, BCBA-D, is an assistant professor of special education at Penn State and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with doctoral designation. Dr. Garner serves as the lead supervisor for our Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis. During her career, she has served as therapeutic support staff, a behavioral specialist consultant, parent coach, school district trainer, and supervisor for numerous professionals seeking BCBA certification. Her areas of interest include development of ABA programming and intervention analysis, staff development and supervision, and adult higher education. Learn more about Dr. Garner.

Joanne E. Gerenser

Ph.D., Speech and Hearing Sciences, City University of New York Graduate Center
M.A., Speech and Hearing Sciences, Ohio State University
B.S., Speech Pathology and Audiology, SUNY at Geneseo

Dr. Joanne E. Gerenser, CCC-SLP, is the executive director of Eden II Programs, a not-for-profit organization that serves the autism community of Staten Island, New York City, and Long Island through education, adult day programs, residential care, and numerous other services. She co-authored the interactive CD-ROM titled Behavioral Programming for Children with Autism, and she has written several book chapters and articles on autism and developmental disabilities. Dr. Gerenser has also won numerous awards for her work with individuals with autism. She sits on a number of professional advisory boards for autism service providers.

Katie E. Hoffman

Ph.D., Special Education, Penn State 
B.A., Elementary and Special Education, Juniata College

Dr. Katie E. Hoffman is an associate professor of special education at Penn State and serves as the coordinator for the online M.Ed. program in Special Education offered via Penn State World Campus. Dr. Hoffman's research interests include teacher preparation, distance education, and progress monitoring through the use of curriculum-based measures. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Hoffman was a special education teacher who worked with students with special needs at the K–3 level. Learn more about Dr. Hoffman.

Elizabeth M. Hughes

Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Clemson University
M.Ed., Special Education, Clemson University
B.A., Elementary Education and Human Development, Boston College

Dr. Elizabeth Hughes is an assistant professor of special education at Penn State. Her scholarship focuses on the role of language when learning mathematics, specifically for students with learning disabilities. Her research evaluates mathematical writing strategies, vocabulary supports, and video modeling as evidence-based practices to support learning mathematics. Learn more about Dr. Hughes.

Tom Kitchen

M.S., Special Education, Mercyhurst University
B.A., Elementary and Special Education, Mercyhurst University

Tom Kitchen, BCBA, is an assistant professor of special education at Mercyhurst University and an adjunct instructor for Penn State. During his career in the autism field, he has served as a direct care therapist, special education teacher, behavior analyst, staff trainer, consultant, and agency administrator. His research interests include effective instructional techniques, curriculum development for language and social skills, reduction of problem behaviors including severe aggression and self-injury, systems development, staff performance management, and parent/staff training.

Rick Kubina

Ph.D., Special Education, Ohio State University
M.A., Special Education, Ohio State University
B.A., Psychology/Sociology and Women’s Studies, Youngstown State University

Dr. Rick Kubina, BCBA-D, is a professor of special education at Penn State and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with doctoral designation. Dr. Kubina's research focuses on the science of individual measurement and performance/learning improvement. He is the co-author of The Precision Teaching Book and the co-founder of Chartlytics, a web application system for precisely pinpointing and recording behavior for making decisions and using repeated problem-solving to help learners experience effective and efficient learning outcomes. Learn more about Dr. Kubina.

David Lee

Ph.D., Special Education, Purdue University
M.Ed., Special Education, California University of Pennsylvania
B.S., Psychology, University of Pittsburgh 

Dr. David Lee, BCBA-D, is a professor of special education at Penn State and is the department head for Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education. He is also the director of the Applied Behavior Analysis program and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with doctoral designation. The focus of Dr. Lee’s research is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate programs to support students with or at risk for emotional/behavior disorders. His research draws upon a behavior analytic framework to create positive, function-based interventions for students, primarily in middle/high school. Learn more about Dr. Lee.

Kathleen M. McKinnon

Ph.D., Early Childhood Special Education, University of Pittsburgh
M.Ed., School Consultation, University of Pittsburgh

B.S., Special Education/Elementary Education, Penn State

Dr. Kate McKinnon is an associate professor of special education at Penn State where she serves as the undergraduate program coordinator and director of field experiences for special education majors. Her areas of expertise and research interests include early intervention and pre-service teacher preparation and supervision.

David B. McNaughton

Ph.D., Special Education, Penn State
M.S., Special Education, Penn State
B.Ed., Special Education, University of Windsor

Dr. David McNaughton is a professor of special education at Penn State. His teaching and research focuses on the development of effective educational programs for individuals with severe disabilities. He is especially interested in the effective use of technology by individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and how AAC can be used to achieve important educational and vocational outcomes. Learn more about Dr. McNaughton.

Kelly Mercorella

Ph.D., Applied Behavior Analysis, Columbia University
M.S., Applied Behavior Analysis, Columbia University
B.S., Psychology, Fordham University

Dr. Kelly Mercorella, BCBA-D, is an assistant professor of special education at Penn State and teaches a variety of courses for the online M.Ed. program in Special Education. Dr. Mercorella's research interests center around facilitating reading comprehension for elementary students with disabilities, particularly designing interventions to instruct students on visualization strategies related to reading. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Mercorella was a special education teacher in both self-contained and inclusive settings, serving students from Pre–K through fifth grade. Learn more about Dr. Mercorella.

Tracy J. Raulston

Ph.D., Special Education, University of Oregon
M.Ed., Special Education, Texas State University
B.S., Special Education, Texas A&M University

Dr. Tracy J. Raulston, BCBA, is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at Penn State. Her scholarship focuses on the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practices for children with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental delays/disabilities. Specifically, she is interested in supporting caregivers to implement behavioral interventions in home, community, and school settings. Learn more about Dr. Raulston.

Paul J. Riccomini

Ph.D., Special Education, Penn State
M.Ed., Special Education, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Mathematics, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Paul J. Riccomini, an associate professor of special education at Penn State, began his career as a middle and high school general education and special education math teacher. His research focus is on effective instructional strategies and assessments for students with dyscalculia and students with learning disabilities in mathematics. He is a co-author of Response to Intervention in Math (Corwin, 2010) and Building Number Sense through the Common Core (Corwin, 2013), as well as three math intervention programs targeting fractions, integers, and algebraic equations. Learn more about Dr. Riccomini.

Mary Catherine Scheeler

Ph.D., Special Education, Penn State
M.Ed., Special Education, Penn State
B.S., Special Education and Elementary Education, Penn State

Dr. Mary Catherine Scheeler is an associate professor of special education at Penn State.  Her research focuses on finding effective techniques to prepare teachers to work with children with special needs including the use of immediate feedback, the use of technology in teacher supervision, and generalization of teaching techniques. She was awarded the TED/Pearson Excellence in Teacher Education Award in 2019.  Learn more about Dr. Scheeler.

Jonte C. Taylor

Ph.D., Special Education, Auburn University
M.Ed., Collaborative Teaching and Special Education, Auburn University
B.A., Mental Retardation Education, Tuskegee University

Dr. Jonte Taylor (“JT”) is an assistant professor of special education at Penn State. He taught for approximately 10 years with a variety of populations from pre-K to adult in settings ranging from inclusive classrooms to residential treatment facilities. His research interests include science education for students with disabilities, evaluating innovative classroom practices, and bullying issues for students with autism, learning disabilities, and emotional/behavioral disorders. Learn more about Dr. Taylor.

Pamela Wolfe

Ph.D., Special Education, University of Virginia
M.S., Special Education, University of Kansas
B.S., Special Education, University of Kansas

Dr. Pamela Wolfe is an associate professor of special education at Penn State and the director of the Educating Individuals with Autism certificate program. Her teaching and research center on work with persons having autism spectrum disorders (ASD), severe disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. Her research includes interventions related to social skills and sexuality for persons with ASD, as well as advocacy and transition. She has presented at international and national conferences on topics such as teacher training, application of evidence based instruction, and intervention models. Learn more about Dr. Wolfe.