Hillary Adams, Ed.D., is the Employment Coordinator for The College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and a doctorate in Education with focus on Leadership. Ms. Adams has worked for The College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder since 2011. Her research on employer attitudes toward employees with ASD has led to her interest in developing transition skills for students with autism to find meaningful employment. She is focused on creating ties with local and national employers to enhance workplace environments for people with ASD while developing opportunities for graduates. Ms. Adams also has a passion for educating community members with best practices for the inclusion and support of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Licensed Psychologist and Autism Specialist
Catherine Bailey, Ph.D., NCSP is a Licensed Psychologist and Autism Specialist at the West Virginia Autism Training Center. She earned her Ph.D. and M.Ed. in School Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University, and her B.A. in Psychology from West Virginia University. Dr. Bailey previously worked as a school psychologist in North Carolina and Kentucky for five years, and she is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Her work has been published in School Psychology Review, Psychology in the Schools, and The Physical Educator. Dr. Bailey’s professional and research interests include dual diagnoses, health and wellness, and socioemotional functioning for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Student Support Specialist
Zach Bailey, M.A., is a Student Support Specialist for The College Program for the Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Concord University. Mr. Bailey completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication Studies at Marshall University. Mr. Bailey provides students with individualized supports in the areas of academics, socialization, and independent living. His objective is to cultivate a campus culture dedicated to the empowerment and success of Concord University students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Mental Health First Aid Coordinator
Dianna Bailey-Miller is the Mental Health First Aid Coordinator for The West Virginia Autism Training Center’s Project AWARE Program. Dianna is a certified Instructor of Youth MHFA and Adult MHFA, with special designations in Rural Communities, Veteran and Higher Education. Dianna oversees Mental Health First Aid courses in WV and provides support and oversight to over 70 instructors throughout WV. She obtained her Bachelors of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Fairmont State and served as an advocate for youth and families. She has worked with children and families in a variety of systems within WV over the past 14 years.
Student Support Specialist
Bianca Bragg, M.A., is a Student Support Specialist in the College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Marshall. Mrs. Bragg has worked with the West Virginia Autism Training Center since 2011, specializing is using a person-centered and individualized approach to serving college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a certified instructor of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention through The Crisis Prevention Institute. CPI interventions are designed to teach best practices for managing difficult situations and disruptive behaviors. Mrs. Bragg also has a passion for group facilitation. Her facilitation style has been influenced by many teachers and methodologies and is creative, interactive, and impactful. She is currently interest in research related to the understanding of social communication and behavior in intimate relationships for individuals with ASD.
Early Childhood Behavior Support Specialist
Amy Carlson, Ed.D. CCC-SLP, graduated with her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees in Communication Disorders from Marshall University. She worked for twelve years as a speech-language pathologist in clinical, home health, and educational settings serving patients of all ages. She graduated with her doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in teaching and higher education leadership from Marshall University. She works in collaboration with the West Virginia Autism Training Center and the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Education as the Early Childhood Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (ECPBIS) Coordinator for the state of West Virginia.
Benjamin Childers has been involved with the West Virginia Autism Training Center since 2007. He currently works among as an Autism Specialist in the southern part of the state. Some of his past duties have included facilitating skills groups such as Discovery Group at Concord University. He provides Tier 2 trainings in a variety of settings: first responders, social services, and schools. He is also a Licensed Professional Counselor within the state of West Virginia.
Jackie Clark, Ed.D., is the Program Coordinator for The College Program for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. She has experience in providing individualized and person-centered supports for college students with ASD for since 2007. She holds an undergraduate degree in History, and a Masters Degree in Teaching, and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Her dissertation research focused on the housing and residential life needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in their transition to college.
Elizabeth Coffey has been with the WV-ATC since 2009 as the Database Technician. Her duties include updating/maintaining the database and e-filing systems for the center. Elizabeth received her bachelor’s degree from Marshall University in 2012.
Tracey M. Coffman-Vincent
Mrs. Tracey M Coffman-Vincent, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Fairmont State College, she is an Autism Specialist with the Autism Training Center. Specializing in using a person centered and individualized approach serving individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Marshall University for over 12 years. She is currently interested in research investigating different visual strategies to support behavioral and cognitive challenges with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Tara Davis obtained her undergraduate degree in Social Work from MacMurray College in Illinois. She has her graduate degree in Special Education from West Virginia University. She has worked in Child Protective Services, Foster Care, and Juvenile Probation. Tara has worked for Applied Behavior Analysis agencies with a concentration on verbal behavior therapy. She went on to be self-employed as an ABA consultant before joining the Autism Training Center team.
Direct Services Assistant
Jacqueline D. Dewald, B.A. is a Direct Services Assistant. She provides clerical support for Educational Specialists and maintains the Direct Service Registry. Jackie compiles and distributes client documents and information and receives and files client information. She is responsible for supporting the overall client record structures & functions. Jackie serves to perform various clerical, organizational, filing, data driven strategies to monitor, and improve record compliance. Formally with the Drinko Academy Jackie joined the Autism Training Center in 2008.
Marc Ellison, Ed.D. is the executive director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center, located at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Dr. Ellison is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked for more than 30 years to provide person-centered support, services, and advocacy to individuals who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder, their families, and those who support them. He has supported individuals with ASD throughout their lifespan; as they moved to the community from state-supported institutions, searched for and obtained employment, entered into relationships, and transitioned into college. Dr. Ellison has authored or co-authored several publications on the topic of transition into higher education for students diagnosed with ASD, including co-authoring the chapter "The Transition from High School to Higher Education: Inclusive Services and Supports," in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Identification, Education, and Treatment (4th edition). Dr. Ellison is an Approved Licensed Professional Supervisor in West Virginia, a Board Member of the Autism Society of West Virginia, and a member of the Autism Society of America’s Panel of Professional Advisors.
Behavior Support Specialist
Jen Everhart is a Behavior Support Specialist for the West Virginia Autism Training Center’s Behavior/Mental Health Technical Assistance Center at Marshall University. She holds a Master of Arts in Education/Special Education. Jen has 9 years of teaching experience, with 7 years in special education. Jen serves 14 counties of the mountain region as part of a team of behavioral professionals that provide behavior and mental health intervention and supports throughout the state of West Virginia.
Student Support Specialist
Brent Fragnoli, M.Ed., is a Student Support Specialist for the College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He holds a bachelors of arts from Albion College, as well as a master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership, and a graduate certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorder from Oakland University. His current research interests relate to the transition between K12 and Higher Education for individuals with ASD.
Early Childhood Behavior Support Specialist
Jess George resides in Huntington, WV, where she earned a BA and MA in education from Marshall University. She holds certifications in English language arts, special education, administration, and earned National Board certification in 2015. In 2017, Jess became a certified YMHFA Instructor, a credential she used as the Special Education Director at RESA 2 and as an Academic Specialist in Cabell County. As an Early Childhood Behavior Support Specialist at the WVATC, she works with educators and administrators in the southern half of WV to ensure positive outcomes for our youngest learners.
Mrs. Haines obtained her Master’s of Special Education from Marshall University in 2005. She has over 12 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities across myriad settings including residential programs, emergency shelters, mental health centers, public and private schools, and clients’ homes. Additionally, she has over 9 years experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder using Applied Behavioral Analysis. She is passionate about fusing the rigor of behaviorism with the compassion and collaboration of team work. Julia has one son, Chandler, a sophomore at WVU; and a Miniature Dachshund, Gracie Mae.
Director of Campuse-Based Services
Rebecca Hansen, Ed.D., is the Director of Campus-Based Services for the West Virginia Autism Training Center’s College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Hansen’s dissertation research focused on understanding employment preparedness needs for college students with Asperger’s Disorder. Her area of emphasis is in student affairs issues within higher education, with specific interest in issues related to access and comprehensive supports for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Hansen holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Student Affairs Counseling. She has provided individualized and person-centered supports for students with ASD at Marshall University since 2004.
Associate Director of Training
Dr. Jim Harris is the Associate Director of Training at the West Virginia Autism Training Center located at Marshall University. Jim’s focus at the WV ATC is the improvement and expansion of services ranging for in-home programs to national partnerships. Jim has presented at a variety of conferences from the local to the international levels on such topics as behavioral intervention, parenting, positive behavior support, trauma-informed care, organizational change, and many more. He has worked with children and families throughout his career as an early interventionist, parent educator, educational consultant, and behavioral health therapist. He has worked with a variety of public and private entities including the Fred Rogers Company, United States Department of Education, the United States Department of Justice, and many more.
Student Support Specialist
Kerrie Harris, M.A., is a Student Support Specialist in the College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of West Virginia and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. Mrs. Harris has provided individualized and person-centered supports in the areas of academic, social, and independent living skills for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder for 10 years. She also provides counseling services to students who receive support from the College Program. Her initial role as a Transition Specialist provided her with extensive experience supporting incoming freshman with Autism Spectrum Disorder as they transition into college at Marshall University and navigate a new lifestyle. Her interests include research and training on the topic of how females experience ASD; in particular, how that experience compares to the experience of males.
Charlotte Hays is the Program Coordinator, Sr. for the West Virginia Autism Training Center’s North Region. Charlotte has provided individualized, person-centered, positive behavior support services for individuals and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder through West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University for the past 14 years. She holds a Professional Master of Arts degree in Clinical Child Psychology, with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, from West Virginia University and is a Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor and Endorsed Positive Behavior Support Professional. Charlotte was instrumental in developing Positive Behavior Support initiatives in West Virginia and has been active in providing individualized community-based services for over 30 years.
Behavior Support Specialist
Tiffany Hendershot is a Behavior Support Specialist for the West Virginia Autism Training Center’s Behavior/Mental Health Technical Assistance Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters of Social Work degree, both from West Virginia University. She worked as a social worker in West Virginia schools for 5 years and received her independent clinical license in 2017. She is also a Behavior Health Officer in the West Virginia Army National Guard. Tiffany will be serving counties in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
Peggy Hovatter, MA, Endorsed Positive Behavior Support Professional, is an Autism Specialist with the West Virginia Autism Training Center since 1990. She has had the pleasure of learning from people with autism for 35 years, both in a professional capacity and as "Luke’s aunt", who is an adult on the spectrum. In addition to traveling statewide to train teachers and families on how to develop and implement social clubs, Peggy provides individualized Positive Behavior Support to people with autism and their families in West Virginia.
Information Technology Consultant
Jimmy Jarrell, B.B.A., is the Information Technology Consultant for the West Virginia Autism Training Center. He graduated from Marshall University Lewis College of Business with a degree in Management Information System. He has been with the center since 2011 where he has worked with others to implement new technology. Not one to turn away a computer problem, Jimmy likes to assist others in meeting their technological needs. Other focuses of interest include video editing and computer security.
Behavior Support Specialist
Teryl Jones is a Behavior Support Specialist for the West Virginia Autism Training Center’s Behavior/Mental Health Technical Assistance Center at Marshall University. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling and Religious Studies. Teryl serves 14 counties of West Virginia’s southern district as part of a team of behavioral professionals established to implement a system-wide delivery of behavior and mental health intervention and supports throughout the state of West Virginia. Teryl has 14+ years’ experience working with people with disabilities in the field of rehabilitation counseling both as a Transition School Counselor and as a supervisor, as well as 4 years as a Mental Health Therapist.
Director of Technical Assistance
Amy Kelly, WV ATC’s Director of Technical Assistance, received her Masters of Arts in Preschool Special Needs from Marshall University. She worked in the private and public educational setting for 13 years prior to her employment with the center in 2015. She leads the center’s technical assistance efforts, including School-Wide and Early Childhood Positive Behavior Support programs, Project AWARE, and the regional Behavior and Mental Heath Technical Assistance centers.
Sarah Kunkel, BCBA, M.A., is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and an Autism Specialist for the West Virginia Autism Training Center. Ms. Kunkel has worked to improve the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder while also supporting families and professionals since 2006. She holds undergraduate degrees from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree in Psychology from Marshall University. Her interests and research focus on person-centered support development, assessments of quality of life, and comorbid issues related to autism.
Whitney Lawson is the Program Assistant I for the West Virginia Autism Training Center. She has been employed by Marshall University and with the WV ATC since 2011. A significant part of her duties involves processing travel for WV ATC staff who service clients statewide, and for staff who travel outside the state for presentations or conferences. She is the librarian for the center’s Lending Library, and assists clients with book selections and suggestions.
Bonnie Marquis, M.A., has been an Autism Specialist with the Autism Training Center since 2008. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1989 and went on to receive her Master of Arts in Special Education from Marshall University. She provides individualized person centered support for registered families, as well as training and specialized workshops to families and professionals supporting individuals with ASD. She has spent the majority of her career empowering families to improve their quality of life; through increasing their understanding of ASD and its impact and exploring potential avenues to increase independence and self-determination across the life span.
Karen Midkiff is the Administrative Secretary for the WVATC. She had been employed by Marshall University and with the WVATC since 2001 and retired in 2012. A significant part of her duties involves reception duties and serving as the voice of the WVATC when answering the phone. Karen returned on a part time basis and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
Director of Direct Services
Andrew Nelson, M.Ed., ISA-CI is the Director of Direct Services with the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University where he is also a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership Studies. In his role, Andrew leads the center’s statewide multi-tier direct service efforts that supports individuals with autism. He’s consulted internationally, and serves as a consultant with the Center for Integrated Self-Advocacy, for which he is an Integrated Self Advocacy Certified Instructor. Andrew has worked as an editor for the ARI Adults with Autism eBulletin, taught courses on autism and self-advocacy through the Houlton Institute, and traveled globally to train others to use theatre-based techniques to support actors with autism. Andrew is the founder of the Autism Theatre Network and is the author of Foundation Role Plays for Autism available through Jessica Kingsley publishers.
Tier II Service Coordinator
Julie O’Malley, M.A. is the Tier II Service Coordinator for The West Virginia Autism Training Center. She holds an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders from The University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in Special Education from Marshall University. She has experience working in clinic, home, and school environments and has special interest in providing social skills and sensory based play for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her role as coordinator, Julie develops, organizes, and delivers workshops and trainings statewide that are designed to support families and educators of those with ASD. She also maintains the state’s WV Autism Registry, and provides training about ASD to medical doctors in residence. Julie has worked at the West Virginia Autism Training Center since 2002.
Cam Pulliam, MA, is an Autism Specialist with the Autism Training Center. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from North Carolina Wesleyan and a Master’s degree in Special Education, Early Intervention from West Virginia University. Mrs. Pulliam has worked with the West Virginia Autism Training Center since 2008, providing services to children and adults in the southern counties of West Virginia. She specializes in an individualized, person centered approach to serving individuals diagnosed with Autism and is currently interested in research related to understanding the effects of autism with co-morbid diagnoses.
Gloria Sage, MA is a Senior Program Coordinator with the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University. She is a graduate of Marshall where she received her B.A. and M.A. in elementary, special education and early childhood education. Gloria directs the Positive Behavior Support Direct Services programs for the Southern region. She has taught special education in West Virginia, South Carolina and Ohio school systems and worked as an early intervention specialist, serving families and children birth to three in home-based and center-based programs. She serves on the West Virginia Birth to Three Autism leadership team and the West Virginia APBS Network leadership team. Gloria is also a 200 hr. registered yoga teacher and has taught yoga to individuals with ASD and developmental disabilities. She is interested in quality of life issues for persons with ASD.
Leigh Saville is an Autism Specialist with the WV Autism Training Center and holds a Masters in Special Education from West Virginia University with certification in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education. Leigh has extensive experience implementing positive behavior supports and is trained in the Picture Exchange Communication System. Previously Leigh taught in the public school system and was the Moorefield Elementary School Teacher of the Year in 2016. Leigh is a passionate advocate for individuals on the spectrum and is a co-founder of the Potomac Highlands Autism Support Network.
Family Coordinator Liaison
Scott Short is the Family Coordinator Liaison for the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University. He has worked in the field of autism for the past 16 years, providing professional development, technical assistance, consultation services, advocacy and resources to support individuals with ASD, their family members and those who work with them. Prior to joining the WV ATC, he spent 8 years working in Autism Spectrum Disorder and genetic research for Duke University and the University of Miami Florida. Mr. Short is also the founder and director of a non-profit organization which serves as a resource for those impacted with ASD in southeast Ohio.
Student Support Specialist
Megan Shoub, BA, is a Student Support Specialist for the College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and is currently working towards a master’s degree in Education, also at Marshall University. She has a particular interest in inclusive practices for students with special learning needs, as well as research related to the effects of traumatic experiences on academic success.
Early Childhood Behavior Support Specialist
Sara Smouse is an Early Childhood Behavior Support Specialist for the WV Autism Training Center’s Behavioral/Mental Health Technical Assistance Center. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and Family Studies and a Master of Arts in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education. She was a Pre-K teacher in Hardy County for ten years and earned National Board Teaching Certification in 2017. Sara will be serving counties in the northern half of West Virginia.
Elizabeth Tappan is the Business Manager for the West Virginia Autism Training Center. An employee of Marshall University since 1997, she started working for the WV ATC in 2007. She is primarily responsible for tracking all funding and expenditures, for maintaining compliance with federal, state, and campus policies, and for reporting financial data to ATC staff and others as needed.
Carrie Underwood is the Administrative Assistant for Project AWARE and has worked at the West Virginia Autism Training Center since 2015. She hold a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and also has a background in marketing and design.
Kelly Vance is the Administrative Coordinator for the West Virginia Autism Training Center. She has been employed by Marshall University since 2005, and with the West Virginia Autism Training Center since 2009. A significant part of her duties involves working with families to organize their attendance at the center’s multi-disciplinary diagnostic clinic. Kelly received her RBA from Marshall University in 2016 with an emphasis in Office Management and Photography. She has two children; an adult son on the autism spectrum and a teenage daughter.
Provisionally Licensed Counselor
Laura Viars, M.A., is a Provisionally Licensed Counselor and serves as the Mental Health Counselor for The College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Marshall University. Ms. Viars earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 2012 and a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2015, both from Marshall University. Ms. Viars provides therapeutic services for students in the program through individual and group counseling. Her interests include utilizing mindfulness and other Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills in individual sessions, as well as working with clients with trauma. Her current research is regarding connections between Autism Spectrum Disorder and gender identity.
Luke Walker, M.A., is an Autism Specialist working primarily to provide direct services to registered families. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Mr. Walker has provided individualized and person-centered supports for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder for over nine years. He has worked with individuals of all ages including several adults and has created social skill groups in his local community. He created a sibling program to help address the needs of siblings of those individuals on the spectrum. His interests include research into the effects of sleep, diet and exercise on individuals with ASD and channeling research into parent and professional training. He is on the board of his local chapter of the Autism society of America and volunteers with the state wide PBS Network.
Behavior Support Specialist
Alicia Ziman is a Behavior Support Specialist for the West Virginia Autism Training Center’s Behavior/Mental Health Technical Assistance Center at Marshall University. She holds a BA degree in Multidisciplinary Studies and a Master’s (+30) degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from West Virginia University. She currently serves as a resource to the 19 counties of the northern district of West Virginia by supporting their students’ behavior and mental health needs. Prior to working for Marshall, Alicia served as a Pre-K teacher in Harrison County, WV for 12 years. Alicia serves as the VP of a local non-profit that provides equine assisted therapy to people in need and is also a therapeutic riding instructor. She is married and has one son.