• Devereux Pennsylvania

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Autism Leadership Team

Megan Robinson Joy, Ph.D., BCBA
Director of Autism Services

Megan Robinson Joy, Ph.D., BCBA, joined Devereux Pennsylvania in June 2017 as the director of autism services. In her role as state director, Dr. Joy provides clinical oversight of Devereux’s autism programs and services in Pennsylvania, including: the Center for Autism Research and Educational Services (CARES), the CARES consultation program, and the Community Adult Autism Partnership Program. She also oversees the implementation of the Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (D-PBIS) Autism model across our Pennsylvania centers.

Prior to Devereux, Dr. Joy was the regional director of Home and School Consultation at the May Institute in Randolph, Mass. There, she provided clinical and operational oversight to more than 70 clinicians providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children with autism in homes and in public schools.

Dr. Joy earned a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University under the mentorship of Dr. Edward Carr, one of the founders of Positive Behavior Support. She also holds a Master of Arts in Psychology from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hamilton College, Summa Cum Laude. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Dr. Joy’s work focuses on using the principles of ABA to develop contextually appropriate interventions to teach skills and reduce problem behaviors in natural settings. She has presented at a number of regional and national ABA conferences on supporting families with children with autism, functional behavior assessment, training therapists and educators on the principles of ABA, and using multi-tiered systems of support to develop effective staff training and supervision models.

Cathleen Albertson, M.A.
BCBA Clinical Coordinator, Devereux CARES

Ms. Albertson is the Clinical Coordinator for Devereux CARES in Downingtown, PA where she oversees all clinical aspects of the school and transition program. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA and her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2006.  Ms. Albertson’s began her career at Melmark and was appointed Director of Children’s Residential Services, where she was charged with the oversight and management of complex special education programming. Ms. Albertson has presented at national and regional conferences.  Areas of interest include staff training, transition services, collaboration with multiple disciplines, and feeding disorders.

Richard G. Allen Psy.D., BCBA-D, NCSP
Director of Clinical Services, Devereux Children’s IDD Services, Community Services Division

Dr. Allen is presently the Director of Clinical Services for Devereux Pennsylvania’s Community Services Division, where he oversees the clinical services for home, school and community based programs serving both children and adults on the autism spectrum and as well as other developmental disabilities and/or mental health concerns.  Dr. Allen has extensive experience providing psychological assessment, consultation and clinical supervision in community programs serving individuals with autism.  He completed his doctoral degree in School Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and both his BS and MS in psychology at Saint Joseph’s University.  Dr. Allen has presented on research studies involving quality of life, data-based decision making, strength-based assessments and client satisfaction.  Dr. Allen has also conducted professional workshops on functional behavior assessment and positive behavioral interventions.  He currently teaches autism-specific courses at the Saint Joseph’s University Kinney Center for Autism as well as applied behavior analysis at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Christine Ivanick, M.S.
Educational and Behavior Consultant, Devereux CARES

Christine Ivanick has been a professional in the field of autism since 1986 and has been a part of both community-based direct service programs and consultation and training programs throughout that time. Since coming to Devereux CARES in 2007, Ms. Ivanick has provided community-based consultation and training to educational, vocational and residential agencies and families for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) across the life-span. In addition, Christine assists with the coordination of as well as participation in the CARES Autism Summer Institute, a three-day workshop and training series.  Christine received her Masters of Science Degree from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro in Child Development and Family Studies and a BA in Psychology and Human Development from Indiana University in Bloomington.  Christine received her training in Positive Behavior Support through the Research and Training Center, a national network of positive behavior support training in 1990 while working as an educational consultant at the Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Ongoing interests include increasing skills for individuals on the autism spectrum using positive behavior support, community involvement for individuals with ASD across the lifespan, especially into adulthood, and social skills research and interventions for individuals with ASD.

Carol Anne McNellis, Psy.D.
Clinical Director, Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s IDD Services

Dr. McNellis is the Clinical Director at Devereux PA Children’s IDD Services (CIDDS) in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Devereux CIDDS provides residential treatment services for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and/or intellectual disabilities who also present with concomitant psychiatric and behavioral concerns. CIDDS recently expanded to include a highly specialized short-term autism intensive residential services program as well as an Autism Diagnostic Center. As Clinical Director, Dr. McNellis supervises a team of 22 clinicians and clinical consultants. Dr. McNellis is a member of the Devereux Autism Resource Team and Devereux National Autism Committee. Dr. McNellis is a licensed psychologist who received her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Immaculata University and has presented nationally on a variety of topics related to the specialized assessment and treatment needs of ASD and ID clinical populations. Most recently, Dr. McNellis co-authored an article entitled “Residential Treatment of Serious Behavioral Disturbance for Children with ASD/ID” which is published in the January 2014 edition of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America.

Stewart Shear, Ph.D.
Senior Clinical Director, Devereux and Director of Clinical Services, Devereux Pennsylvania Adult Services

Stewart M. Shear is a licensed Psychologist in the State of Pennsylvania and for the past 16 years has worked as the Director for Clinical Services for Devereux’s Pennsylvania Adult Services (formerly the Whitlock Center). Dr. Shear earned his Master’s Degree in Psychology with a clinical concentration from Marywood University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the State University of New York (SUNY), Binghamton campus. He earned his Ph.D. from Lehigh University with a specialty in School Psychology. 

In his role as Clinical Director, Dr. Shear oversees the implementation of clinical services for adults with intellectual disabilities, dual diagnosis and brain injury. Dr. Shear also supervises the implementation of clinical services for Devereux’s community-based wrap around services and day programs. He has recently been appointed as a Senior Clinical Director for Devereux to provide oversight, consultation and assistance to regional and state-wide programs serving individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, emotional/behavioral disorders and brain injury. He also is a supervising Psychologist for Devereux’s Doctoral Internship Program, serves on the IRB Research Review Committee, is a member of Devereux’s National Ethics Committee, and is an advisory board member for the Pennsylvania Communities Faith Leadership Project.

Prior to his position at Pennsylvania Adult Services, Dr. Shear served as the Devereux Administrator for Community Services for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities in New Jersey and was the Pennsylvania Clinical Director for children with intellectual disabilities.

Currently, Dr. Shear’s interest is in applied research related to self management as well as the practice of faith and quality of life issues for adults with disabilities. His research has resulted in various publications and presentations at local and national conferences

Dr. Shear is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists.

Kristen M. Villone, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Director of Consulting Services
Devereux Pennsylvania

Kristen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA and her pre-doctoral training with Drs. Ivar Lovaas and Tristram Smith at UCLA’s Clinic for Early Intervention. She received both her Master’s Degree in Behavior Analysis and her Doctorate in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas. Her advising professor at the University of Kansas was Dr. Donald M. Baer. At UCLA, Dr. Villone provided home-based, behavioral therapy with young children with autism in a variety of capacities (behavior therapist, senior therapist, clinic supervisor, workshop consultant) with families and school districts across the country. At the University of Kansas, she served as a supervisor across a variety of settings, including a residential treatment facility for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a home-based behavior therapy program with court-mandated families, and a university preschool classroom in the Edna A. Hill Child Development Center.

Upon graduation, Dr. Villone served as Clinic Supervisor for a UCLA early-intervention replication site in Rockville, Maryland. In 2001, Dr. Villone and a colleague developed the School Consultation Department at Bancroft NeuroHealth, which provided classroom-based behavioral training, workshops/in-service training sessions, program development and individualized behavior-support plans for children with a variety of disabilities (Autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, Down’s syndrome, language delays) in New Jersey and Philadelphia-area school districts. In 2003, she continued to provide these types of services as Melmark’s Director of Consultative Services, where she also conducted program evaluations and provided expert testimony across the country and in Canada. In 2008, Dr. Villone served as Senior Clinical Behavior Analyst at the Melmark School, training and supervising staff to provide clinical and educational programming for students with severe challenging behaviors.

Dr. Villone has presented at major universities (Georgetown, University of Maryland, University of Kentucky, Howard University, American University, Auburn University), national-level conferences (Association of Behavior Analysis, Association for the Education of Young Children), state-level conferences (New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community, Alabama’s Department of Education, New York State’s Board of Cooperative Educational Services), and international-level conferences (Manitoba Families for Effective Autism Treatment, Association of Behavior Analysis-Toronto). In 2007, Lorman Educational Services published her manual “Developing Behavior Plans for Aggressive Children.” Dr. Villone is Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis and the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.