Meet the Team at Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research
Our team is comprised of experienced, qualified, and compassionate individuals who serve children and families affected by autism and similar disabilities. We partner with individuals and families affected by autism to improve their quality of life through effective and efficient diagnosis, assessment, and behaviorally based treatment. Click ‘View Bio’ below for more information about our team members.
Jeana joined the Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research in 2014 as the Clinical Director. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University (WMU), a master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from WMU and a Ph.D. degree in Behavior Analysis from WMU. Jeana has worked in a variety of settings with individuals with developmental disabilities providing direct services to individuals and developing management systems for staff providing direct services. Jeana is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Before starting at the Great Lakes Center, Jeana worked at the Kellogg Company in the Sales Learning and Development department. Jeana’s research interests involve staff management techniques, performance management processes in human service settings and verbal behavior approaches to language
Ph.D., Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate, LBA, Executive Director of Autism Services
Jeremy holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2008. Jeremy has held a number of leadership positions in human service organizations throughout his career. He has also been in consultant, direct care, and clinical roles across multiple age ranges and in various states. Jeremy’s professional interests are improving organizational systems, performance management, and treatment of challenging behavior.
M.A., Board Certified Behavior Analyst, LBA, Outpatient Services Director
Taylor holds a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Taylor became a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst in 2018 and in November 2019 joined Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research in the Intensive Residential program. In May 2022, she became the Clinical Supervisor of Licensed Settings. She has worked with many different populations including adults, adolescents, and children diagnosed with Autism. For these individuals, Taylor has worked developing and implementing ABA programs in group homes, day programs, and outpatient settings. Additionally, she has worked extensively with all age groups within a psychiatric hospital setting. Her areas of interest include assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors and staff training.
Kristi joined the outpatient team at the Lawrence Autism Center, a Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research (GLC) site, in May 2018 as a Qualified Behavioral Health Professional, and received her Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification in the fall of 2018. She received her Bachelor’s in Behavioral Science from Western Michigan University (WMU) in 2016 before continuing on through the same institution to receive her Master’s in Behavior Analysis in 2018. While attending WMU, Kristi focused her studies in applying behavior analysis to teach young children with autism and other developmental disabilities critical pre-requisite skills in order to better prepare them for their next academic transition. Kristi’s career interests include early intervention, social skills training and development for adolescents, program writing, and staff training and supervision. She’s excited to join the other clinicians and staff at GLC to provide quality ABA services to children and adolescents in the Southwest Michigan area for years to come.
Joey joined Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research (GLC), in 2013, as a behavior technician in the Intensive Residential Treatment Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University, a master’s degree in Special Education from Oakland University, and is a Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Joey has experience treating adolescents and children diagnosed with autism in center-based, home-based, and outpatient programs. His related interests include staff training systems to ensure fidelity within treatment as well as staff retention programs.
Danika joined Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research in January 2022. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s degree in Social Work from Wayne State University. Danika has over five years of experience working as a direct care staff and a case manager serving adults with developmental disabilities. Additionally, she has worked as a case manager for over four years with children in the foster care system. Danika has experience working with the Behavior Treatment Committee (BTC), and with providers specializing in psychiatry, mental health education, and treatment. Danika’s passion is working with families and individuals to coordinate care needs ensuring the best treatment is provided so that the individual has the opportunity to experience a meaningful quality of life.
MSW, Residential Licensed Settings
Stefanie joined the outpatient team at the Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research in October 2016 as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Stefanie received her bachelors in psychology from Western Michigan University before earning her Masters of Science in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIU) in 2013. While at SIU she focused on application of behavior analysis and research of behavior analysis principles across the lifespan. After graduating, she moved to Kansas City where she worked as a Behavior Analyst providing in-home therapy services, center based services, and consultative services with residential group homes. Stefanie’s professional interests include teaching engagement and social skills, maintenance of obtained skills across the lifespan, and staff/parent training. She enjoys seeing the application of behavior analysis make an objective and significant difference in the lives of the individuals and the families that she works with.
M.S., Board Certified Behavior Analyst, LBA, Outpatient Clinical Team Supervisor
Kari holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and joined Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research in their intensive treatment program in January 2014. Before coming to the Center, she worked in various settings providing early intervention and behavioral consultation services to children diagnosed with autism. Additionally, she has provided behavioral services for families within the child welfare system. Her areas of interest include assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors and behavioral applications for health and fitness.
M.A., Board Certified Behavior Analyst, LBA, Outpatient Clinical Team Supervisor
Erin joined the Great Lakes team in 2016 as an ABA-Tutor in the outpatient program. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Detroit Mercy and her Master’s degree in behavior analysis from Simmons University. Upon graduation in 2020, she became a Qualified Behavioral Health Professional with the Great Lakes team. In January 2021, Erin was board certified by the BACB and became licensed in February 2021. Her areas of interest include skills assessment, early intervention, and research.
Gretchen joined Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research (GLC), in 2012, as a team member of the Intensive Residential Treatment Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University (WMU), a master’s degree in Family Life Education from WMU, and a master’s degree in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. She has worked collaboratively with the behavior clinical team, the medical community, and the families to coordinate the treatment for the individuals served at GLC. She has worked with adults, adolescents, and children with developmental disabilities in both school and residential settings. Gretchen is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Her interests include the treatment of challenging behavior, parent training, and community integration.
Chris received his bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from Western Michigan University in June 2012. Shortly after obtaining his degree, he was welcomed as a part of the GLC team when it opened in fall 2012 as a behavior technician. During his time as a behavior technician, he worked in the intensive program as well as in the outpatient program before taking time off to finish his master’s level research. Chris received his master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Western Michigan University in May 2015, and has since worked in many counties in northern California and southwest Michigan. His experience has brought him into the lives of a broad range of individuals of varying skills levels, ages, and interests where Chris has designed, trained, and implemented behavioral therapies in various settings to address a number of highly-individualized needs. Chris’s experience has fostered a passion for treatment designs which are inclusive of family member education and training and verbal behavior development. Chris’s research interests are in the area of social skills training and development in children and adults, as well as in the area of staff training and performance management systems.
Niki received her bachelor’s degree through Western Michigan University and Master’s degree and certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis through The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Niki has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2018 and joined the Great Lakes Center for Autism team in April of 2022. Niki started her journey in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in 2014, working as a Residential Behavior Technician in Great Lake’s Intensive treatment program, quickly making working with challenging behaviors her area of passion. In 2015, Niki left Great Lakes to pursue her Master’s degree, and in 2016 moved to Traverse City, Michigan to work for Acorn Health. While at Acorn Health, Niki worked closely with Dr. Greg Hanley and his team to implement behavior reduction and functional communication treatment strategies known as Tolerance Training. In 2019-2020, Niki worked with Dr. Frances Paris and a team of Clinicians to provide specialized training in Applied Behavior Analysis for school personnel in various school districts around the state of Michigan. Interests include playing guitar and singing in her spare time, practicing yoga, gardening, and kayaking.
M.A., Board Certified Behavior Analyst, LBA, Outpatient Site Supervisor
Chaka Darden earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Communication with a Minor in Human Resource Management from Western Michigan University. Chaka has worked in Compliance addressing quality, policy and federal and state law issues. She has worked in compliance with organizations such as Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health, Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network and Beacon Specialized Living. Chaka has also worked with initiating, renewing, negotiating and terminating contracts with Community Mental Health’s and International Corporations such as Kellogg Company.
Chaka’s future plans are to earn her certification from Western Michigan University in Leadership and Development and later attending WMU, Thomas Cooley Law program.
B.S., Contract and Compliance Manager
Darci has been employed at Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research as the Business Development Manager since August 2013. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University and received her master’s degree in Business Administration from Spring Arbor University in 2015. She has over 15 years of managerial, training, and sales experience in the health care industry.
M.B.A., Business Development Manager
Team Members of the Intensive Residential Treatment Program
Lindsey Benedict, Educational & Behavior Analysis Support Specialist
Kayla Boyd, A.S., Intensive Case Coordination Specialist
Justin Hunt, M.A., Intensive Services Manager
Rebekha Kirk, Intensive Assistant Coordinator
Bryce Miller, Intensive Assistant Coordinator
Team Members of the Elaine Avenue Skill Building Program
Emma Morales, B.S., Program Coordinator
Amber Slager, Assistant Coordinator
Chaquonta Smith, Assistant Coordinator
Team Members of the Outpatient Programs
Lauryn Coffey, B.S., Behavioral Analyst Support Specialist
Josue Miranda-Gonzalez, Outpatient Program Coordinator
Tia Portrum, B.S., Behavioral Analyst Support Specialist
Connor Velasco, B.A., Outpatient Treatment Plan Specialist
Cheryl Zerbel, B.S., Outpatient Treatment Plan Specialist
Sam Kohn, Outpatient Support Specialist
Meghan Macomber, B.S., Intake and Support Specialist