Meet the Staff

Co-Directors


Dr. Emily A. Jones and Dr. Daniel Fienup are Co-Directors of SIBS Club at Queens College. SIBS Club sister site at LIU Post is run by Dr. Kathleen Feeley. Drs. Jones and Fienup have a combined 36 of years of experience in the field of autism with 17 years teaching graduate and undergraduate students about autism and interventions. Both are Board Certified Behavior Analysts.



Dr. Emily A. Jones

PhD, BCBA-D, Licensed Behavior Analyst New York State

Dr. Jones is Associate Professor at Queens College, CUNY. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Stony Brook University in 2002. Dr. Jones has developed programs for young children with developmental disabilities that provide intensive intervention in inclusive placements, provided consult services to schools supporting children with developmental disabilities, and helped families by providing training and developing programming for their children.
Working in homes with families, it is impossible not to witness the challenges faced by siblings of children with autism and parents and the challenges to the sibling relationship. Recognizing the limited services available to address this need is part of the driving force in developing SIBS Club. The other driving force behind SIBS Club is the need to provide students with quality training experiences that bring them into the field and refine their skills.  
Dr. Jones, along with Dr. Feeley at LIU Post, developed SIBS Club over 5 years ago. We started with funding from Autism Speaks and Doug Flutie Foundation and the dedication of a few professionals and undergraduate volunteers interested in autism. Since then, we have grown, with expansion to Queens College in 2014.
As Co-Director Dr. Jones is responsible for the programming for the children and parents, personnel, grants, and program development. She also teaches the undergraduate class that runs in conjunction with SIBS Club. Through this class students receive high quality training in the classroom and hands on experience with the children with autism and their siblings at SIBS Club.
In addition to her work in SIBS Club Dr. Jones has an active program of research examining interventions for siblings of children with autism, joint attention intervention for children with autism, applications of behavior analytic interventions to meet the critical needs of young children with Down syndrome in communication, motor, and cognitive development, and treatment intensity. Her work has been funded by the Organization for Autism Research, PSC-CUNY, Research Enhancement funds, Autism Speaks, and Doug Flutie Foundation. This research has been published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Infants and Young Children, Research in Developmental Disabilities, and Behavior Modification.  



Dr. Daniel Fienup

PhD, BCBA-D, Licensed Behavior Analyst New York State

Dr. Fienup is an Associate Professor at Queens College, CUNY. He earned his Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Southern Illinois University and his PhD in School Psychology from Illinois State University. Dr. Fienup has developed programs for a variety of children including children diagnosed with Autism, developmental disabilities, ADHD, and children with acquired brain injury.  His experiences include in-home intensive early intervention services, school consultation, and working in private schools that serve children with disabilities. While working at the Illinois State University Psychological Center, he expanded the capacity of the Autism Clinic by creating social skills groups for children with Asperger’s syndrome (e.g., Fienup, Shelvin, & Doepke, 2013) and he later expanded the clinic to provide in-home services in addition to clinic based skills instruction.  The addition of in-home services dramatically increased both the number of hours of service children received as well as the number of undergraduate and graduate students who received training through the Autism Clinic.

As co-director, Dr. Fienup assists with the development and evaluation of SIBS Club.  In addition to his work in SIBS Club, Dr. Fienup runs ACE Lab, a research lab that examines strategies for increasing academic performance of children with disabilities as well as college students.  His work has been funded by the Organization for Autism Research, PSC-CUNY, Research Enhancement, and the Workforce Development Initiative.  His research has been published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Modification, and Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities.

Personnel





Lauren Kryzak

MA, BCBA, Research Supervisor
Lauren is a doctoral student in the Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis program at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Lauren holds a BA from Binghamton University, and an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College. She started providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy in 2008 and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2011. She started supervising ABA home programs as a BCBA in 2011 and then started supervising BCBAs in 2013 as a Clinical Manager. Her research interests includes improving long-term relationships between children with autism and their typically developing siblings as well as finding ways to prevent/treat prompt dependency. Lauren helped develop the original sibling program and curricula. Lauren is currently working on her dissertation, Sibling Self-management: Improving the Long-term Relationship between Children with Autism and their Typically Developing Siblings. Lauren's long term goal is to provide service as a clinical and research director. Aside from her research interests, Lauren finds time for cooking, running, watching the NY Mets, and reading (besides textbooks!).



Mirela Cengher

MA, BCBA, Class Instructor
I obtained a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Queens College and now attend the Behavior Analysis PhD program through the Graduate Center, CUNY. To date, I have conducted research on topics such as motivating operations for verbal behavior and teaching children with Autism to engage in social referencing behavior. My primary interest is to conduct translational research that may improve the applied work of behavior analysts by incorporating efficient basic processes (e.g., transfer of function, stimulus equivalence) into teaching strategies targeting socially significant behaviors. I also have 10 years of experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities, and I am currently coordinating and supervising teams of paraprofessionals who provide behavior analytic services in home settings. 



Susie McHugh

BA, Class Instructor
Susie is enrolled in the Masters Program in Applied Behavior Analysis at Queens College. Susie holds a BA in Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook. Susie is excited to continue researching interventions for siblings of children with autism and how to improve the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their family members.




Charlene Agnew

MA, Skills Instruction Leader
Charlene Agnew is a doctoral student at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Queens College in the Behavior Analysis Training Area (BATA). She holds a BA in communications from Grant MacEwan University and an MA in psychology from Yorkville University. Charlene has 8 years of experience with children with autism and other developmental disabilities. She has worked in both home and school settings on the development of programming and behavior plans, implementation of behavior analytic techniques, and staff and parent training. Her primary research interests include the assessment and development of experimental methodology and the assessment of behavior analytic strategies for teaching clinical skills.




Ridda Sheikh

BA, Sibling Group Leader
Ridda holds a BA in Psychology from Queens College and has started her graduate career in Applied Behavior Analysis in the Master’s program. Ridda started her work with children with autism in SIBS Club and has been a Sibling Group Leader for over a year now. She hopes to build a nurturing and wholesome environment for families with a child is diagnosed with autism. She has been a research assistant in the Developmental Disabilities Lab and has assisted on several projects ranging from teaching infants with Down syndrome vocalizations and gestures to training typically developing peers to facilitate joint attention in children with autism. Her own research interests are in research training to parents and typically developing siblings of children with autism so that the skills they learn in 1:1 sessions with a therapist are generalized throughout their everyday life. Ridda is also a Behavior Therapist at Kids Learning Loft, where she provides ABA services to children with autism. Ridda looks forward to continuing her work in ABA and providing behavioral interventions for children with autism, as well as comprehensive and inclusive training for their siblings and parents.



Jennifer Kourassanis-Velasquez

MA, BCBA, Skills Instruction Leader
Jennifer is a doctoral student in the Behavior Analysis Training Area at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She holds an MA in Applied Behavior Analysis and a BA in Psychology from Queens College. Jennifer has been providing in home ABA therapy and parent training since 2009. She is one of the Directors of Kids Learning Loft, a private ABA based center that provides services to children with autism. She serves as a Behavior Consultant for several Nassau school districts where she restructures classrooms, provides staff training, conducts functional behavior analyses, and designs behavior intervention plans. She is also an adjunct professor at CUNY, Queens College and The Chicago School of Psychology. When Jennifer is not running her center or teaching, she is focused on her research. Jennifer conducted a study of peer video modeling to teach group social games to children with autism. She is continuing her research on video modeling with a study of training typically developing peers to facilitate joint attention in children with autism.



Adriana Arline

BA, Assistant Coordinator
Adriana is a Masters candidate in Behavioral Analysis at CUNY Queens College. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from CUNY Queens College as well. She started in the field of ABA through SIBS Club, where she started as a 372 student in the practicum class and continued to the 391 research class where she helped implement Behavioral Skills Training (BST). She also works in an after school based agency doing home based therapies. After receiving her Masters, Adriana plans on working and gaining experience in the field, and then following with getting her PhD.



Holly Weisberg

BA, Skills Instruction Supervisor
Holly is a first year doctoral student in the Behavior Analysis Training Area at The Graduate Center, City University of New York and a new member in the Developmental Disabilities Lab. Holly holds her BA in Psychology from Rutgers University. While there she had the opportunity to work with individuals with developmental disabilities at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center (DDDC). Through undergraduate coursework in applied behavior analysis and her experiences applying behavior analytic principals at the DDDC, she has developed a passion for using behavior analytic techniques to enhance skills in children with developmental disabilities. Holly is interested in interventions to teach joint attention and examining the crucial role this skill is thought to play in social development.



Madiha Muzammal

MA, Skills Instruction Leader
Madiha is a first year doctoral student at Graduate Center, City University of New York. She holds a MA in psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis from Queens College. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Madiha has been working with children with developmental disabilities for 4 years in center-based settings, schools, and homes. She also trains staff and parents in behavior modification techniques.



Sally Radford

MA, BCBA, Previous Class Instructor
Sally is a doctoral student in the Behavior Analysis Training Area at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She holds her BA in Psychology from SUNY Geneseo and her MA from Florida Gulf Coast University. Sally’s experience with young children with developmental disabilities began over 20 years ago. She has worked in a variety of settings including residential mental health facilities, both public and private schools, private homes, and other community locations. The focus of this work has been direct instruction of students, parent and staff training, functional behavioral assessments, and creation of behavioral and educational treatment plans. Sally has also spent considerable time working with school administrators on preventative program development to avoid problem behavior and promote active learning early on. In all her work, she places particular emphasis on communication and cooperation so that children effectively get their needs met and are able to actively and appropriately respond to their environments. As a result of her experiences, Sally is fascinated by the acquisition of verbal behavior in infants and the role that gesture plays in the development of the pivotal vocal repertoire. She is currently studying the effects of teaching sign language on speech production, intelligibility, and engagement in infants with Down syndrome. Upon receiving her PhD, she plans to continue to pursue her research interests and to teach.



Jenn Burckik

BA, Skills Instruction Leader

Jen holds a BFA in Art Direction from Pratt Institute, and is currently enrolled in the Masters program in Applied Behavior Analysis. After considering studying art therapy, she began taking Psychology courses at Queens College in 2013, which was when she was introduced to Applied Behavior Analysis. Since then, she has worked as a Teaching Assistant in a kindergarten class for children with autism, participated in SIBS club at Queens College, and provided in-home therapy to an individual with autism. She recently acquired a fellowship and is working toward her BCBA and LBA.



Theresa Fiani

BA, Research Supervisor, Webmaster
Theresa is a doctoral student in the Behavior Analysis Training Area at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She holds her BA in Psychology from American University of Beirut. She has over 3 years of experience working with individuals with autism. Theresa's main interest lies in conducting research using ABA to teach social communication skills to children with autism. She is currently working on her pre-dissertation, which focuses on examining generalization to different social-communicative contexts and responses. Her examination of generalization is associated with an intervention involving prompting and reinforcement to teach gaze shifting to 2-3 year old children with autism in the context of a small sample of social communicative contexts. Outside of school she plays volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis, squash, and taekwondo.



Zulei Vargas

BA, Coordinator
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Mark Compas

BA, Recreation Supervisor
Mark has his BS in Psychology from Stony Brook University and is currently enrolled at Suffolk County Community College fulfilling his prerequisites for pursuing a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy. He has over 10 years of experience working with children with special needs in a wide range of settings. He is currently working at a preschool and is gaining experience as a volunteer in various occupational therapy programs. As a Recreation Supervisor, Mark's goal is to challenge the children both physically and socially while providing enough support to facilitate successful growth within each session. A proud member of this dedicated team, he hopes to help SIBS Club excel by maintaining a fun and positive learning atmosphere for all siblings and individuals involved in the program.



Vanessa Patino

BA, Sibling Group Leader
Vanessa holds a BA in Psychology from Queens College. She is currently enrolled in the Certificate Program for Applied Behavior Analysis, with plans to apply to the Masters program by the end of her first year. Vanessa has worked with children in public school settings and in clinical settings, but her first experience with children with autism was as a 372 student in SIBS Club. Since then, she has developed a passion to continue working with children with autism and their families. Being a part of the Developmental Disabilities Lab has also given her the opportunity to collaborate with a couple of projects using applied behavior analysis. Vanessa now works as a behavior therapist, providing at-home ABA services to young children. She is excited to continue being a member of the SIBS Club program, and is determined to preserve a positive and significant environment to all participating families.



Service Corps

Fall 2014 - Spring 2015:
  • Angelique Bartomeo
  • Zulei Vargas
  • Christine Yaptangco




Service Corps

Fall 2015 - Spring 2016:
  • Adriana Arline
  • Christina Vandian
  • Janelle Donegal




Service Corps

Fall 2016 - Spring 2017:
  • Elizabeth Contreras
  • Alejandra Goico
  • Melody Rey
  • Karina Sanchez