Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center

Call (610) 430-5678

  • SPARC Services
  • SPARC Feeding
  • SPARC Social
  • SPARC Adult
  • Carl E. Clark II
  • COVID-19
  • Carl E. Clark II
  • Yolanda Graham
  • Leah Yaw

Tweet Share on LinkedIn Send email Print

Our Staff

Devereux SPARC is a teaching clinic with a long history of partnership with West Chester University and Temple University. SPARC also has students from other universities, including Villanova, Penn State and Immaculata. SPARC welcomes student interns from a variety of majors including psychology, special education, communicative disorders, nutrition, adaptive physical education, social work and other related disciplines. Student interns are able to fulfill field experience, research and volunteer requirements, while gaining valuable training in the field of behavior challenges and behavior analysis.

Jennifer Dawson, Ph.D., BCBA, LBS (Pennsylvania)
Director

Jennifer Dawson, Ph.D., BCBA, LBS (Pennsylvania), is the director and co-founder of Devereux SPARC. Her clinical and research expertise and interests are in the areas of behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorder, feeding disorders, parent training, treatment acceptability and behavior problems.

Raised in West Chester, Dawson earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from West Chester University. She later earned her Master of Arts and her doctorate in child clinical psychology from Louisiana State University. Dawson completed her internship at the renowned Kennedy Krieger Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She remained at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as a case manager in the pediatric feeding disorders program and as a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2006, she returned to West Chester and began working on the development of SPARC.

Outside of SPARC, Dawson enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, Amelia and Andy. She is an avid fan of Jimmy Buffett, and enjoys gardening. She also appreciates light-hearted competition, puzzles, funny memes and binging TV shows with her family.

Favorite thing about SPARC: “I love the feeling of family at SPARC. Our goal is for both team members and families to feel comfortable and welcomed when they walk through our doors. We laugh a lot, and always try to find ways of maintaining an upbeat atmosphere. Life is stressful enough SPARC should not be.”  

Dena Kelly, M.A., LPC, BCBA, LBS (Pennsylvania)
Senior Therapist/Behavior Analyst and Director of Feeding and Diagnostics

Dena Kelly, M.A., LPC, BCBA, has been involved in many areas of SPARC’s growth, and currently serves as the director of the organization’s feeding program and diagnostic team. Kelly also works with SPARC’s adult patients individually and through family therapy who have been diagnosed with autism.

Kelly earned her master’s degree from West Chester University in 2010. She interned at SPARC as a graduate student and, upon graduation, was hired as a staff therapist in January 2011.

Kelly lives with her husband and two children in Phoenixville. She enjoys hiking, swimming and watching movies with her family. Her favorite color is purple, and she often finds ways of incorporating that color into most things in her life. She loves to laugh, and others can usually hear her laughter from rooms away.

Favorite thing about SPARC: “I enjoy helping individuals reach their full and unique potential by teaching children how to expand their food varieties so they can enjoy family dinners; teaching individuals how to communicate their feelings; and providing young adults with the tools they need to acquire a job or apply for a driver’s license.”  

Desiree (Dez) Heckers, MS.ED., BCBA, LBS (Pennsylvania)
Senior Therapist/Behavior Analyst and Director of Behavioral Services and Social Skills

As SPARC’s director of behavioral services and social skills, Desiree (Dez) Heckers, MS.ED., BCBA, supervises and oversees programming for school consultation, social skills groups, SPARClers, SPARC’s after-school program, and individual behavior consultative services.

Heckers earned her Master of Science in Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Temple University. She began her career with SPARC as an undergraduate West Chester University intern in January 2015, and was hired as a student therapist in May 2016. Heckers has worked in a variety of therapeutic settings, including school consultation, home-based services, residential treatment and brain injury rehabilitation.

Heckers loves hiking and going on wilderness adventures with her Shiba Inu named Luna. She hopes they will one day hike the entire Appalachian Trail together. Heckers enjoys tending to her houseplant jungle, gardening, reading, rock climbing and cooking. She also is a certified yoga teacher.

Favorite thing about SPARC: “On my first day of intern-training at SPARC, I fell in love with the science of Applied Behavior Analysis it just made sense to me. At the same time, I fell in love with SPARC, and was determined to stay. I appreciate that the therapists think outside of the box, and are able to apply the concepts and principles of behavior analysis in everything we do. I also love that SPARC is a teaching clinic SPARC gave me the knowledge and experience of working in this field, and I feel honored to pass that on to our interns and support staff. I love our SPARC family and the wonderful work we do.”  

Brittany Doan, M.S. Ed., RBT
Therapist

Brittany Doan, M.S. Ed., RBT, is a therapist at SPARC, where she is involved in many aspects of the organization, including the feeding, diagnostic, social skills, behavioral and school consultation programs.

Doan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Temple University. She then moved to Savannah, Ga., where she began her career as registered behavior technician at the May Institute in 2014. After three years of providing direct in-home therapy services, Doan, once again, became a Temple Owl and enrolled in the school’s Master of Science in Education in Applied Behavior Analysis program. Doan joined SPARC in 2019 as a graduate intern, and was hired as a therapist a few months later. While working toward her degree, Doan provided program development and direct support in verbal behavior/low-incidence classrooms. She earned her master’s in July 2020.

Favorite thing about SPARC: “I enjoy working with my colleagues. Everyone has such lively personalities, and we all bring something unique to the table. Having the opportunity to collaborate with them has really helped me grow as a clinician and as a person.”  

Cassandra Griffiths, MSW, RBT
Social Worker

Cassandra Griffiths, MSW, RBT, serves as a social worker at SPARC. Griffiths earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy from Susquehanna University in 2018, and her Master of Social Work from West Chester University in 2020. While obtaining her MSW, Griffiths interned at SPARC, where she participated in the social skills and feeding programs and helped create SPARC support groups. During the second year of her master’s degree, Griffiths was hired as a therapist, and upon graduation, she was named SPARC’s social worker.

Prior to joining SPARC, Griffiths worked at a Wegman’s distribution center, where she became certified to run heavy equipment, such as pallet jacks and forklifts. Griffiths also has experience interning in a day care, where she was able to observe early childhood development. While attending Susquehanna University, Griffiths studied abroad in Greece. During her studies, she interviewed a Greek social worker and learned the differences between American and Greek social work systems.

Griffiths is an active alumnae in her sorority Zeta Tau Alpha. When she’s not working at SPARC, she enjoys creating videos on TikTok, baking with her grandmother, and watching makeup tutorials on YouTube. Griffiths also has a pet hamster (which has its own Instagram account).

Favorite thing about SPARC: “I love the connection our team shares, and how we are always able to think outside of the box to find solutions for our families. It is amazing to work with others who value strong teamwork and communication.”  

Audra Lubiak, B.A., RBT
Therapist

Audra Lubiak, B.A., RBT, serves as a registered behavior technician (RBT) and therapist at SPARC, and has experience working in clinical, home-based and school settings. Lubiak earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in May 2019 from West Chester University. She began as an undergraduate intern with SPARC in 2018. Following graduation, she worked for Melmark New England as an in-home RBT, applying the principles of behavior analysis. In November 2019, Lubiak joined SPARC, where she has worked in all of the organization’s programs including feeding, social skills, SPARClers, parent trainings, and has assisted in diagnostic sessions. Lubiak is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention and Safety Care.

Lubiak is enrolled in Temple University’s Master of Science in Education in Applied Behavior Analysis program, and is expected to graduate in 2022. In her free time, Lubiak loves playing with her pet mouse, practicing yoga, and spending time with her family and friends

Favorite thing about SPARC: “We are a family, and we always work together to help our families the best we can. No two individuals are the same, and we work hard to make sure those in our care meet their goals with plans that are individualized for them.”  

Angela Bush, B.S.
Office Manager

As SPARC’s office manager, Angela Bush, B.S., oversees the organization’s day-to-day office processes. Bush earned her Bachelor of Science in Pre-Occupational Therapy in 2014 from Immaculata University. Prior to joining SPARC in 2019, Bush worked as a child care provider at day care centers and as a patient representative at local medical practices. She also worked as an authorization clerk at the Chester County Intermediate Unit.

Bush enjoys playing Nintendo Wii and baking with her daughter, Michaela. She also loves to choreograph and teach dance at her local church. She is planning on pursuing her master's in Recreational Therapy at Temple University.

Favorite thing about SPARC: “We are here to help the family in every way possible. No matter how old or young you are, we have the ability and the services to help.”

Our Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Devereux SPARC is a teaching clinic with a long history of partnership with West Chester University and Temple University. SPARC also has students from other universities, including Villanova, Penn State and Immaculata. SPARC welcomes student interns from a variety of majors including psychology, special education, communicative disorders, nutrition, adaptive physical education, social work and other related disciplines. Student interns are able to fulfill field experience, research and volunteer requirements, while gaining valuable training in the field of behavior challenges and behavior analysis.