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Meet The Team

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Laura Cwynar, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS
Board Certified Behavior Analyst | Founder/CEO

Laura Cwynar is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst that has worked in the field of autism and special education for over 15 years. Laura received her Master of Education degree from the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Early Intervention with a specialization in autism. During her studies at Pitt, Laura earned her ABA certificate and was a recipient of the Early Intervention/Autism Specialization Scholarship. Laura has worked in both the home setting and private day school setting in Pittsburgh as well as Northern Virginia. She has worked with a variety of learners ages 2-22. Laura has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with the BACB since 2009. Laura’s areas of expertise include: language development, organizational behavior management and data collection and analysis. Laura loves data! She sees it as a way of showing the successes of her clients, team members and families that she works alongside. Laura is also passionate about disseminating ABA and enjoys teaching those around her about the positive impact of ABA. In her free time, Laura enjoys gardening and spending time with her family, friends, cats and chickens.

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Kara Minsterman, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst | Ethics Officer

Kara graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She went on to achieve her Master of Education degree from the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Early Intervention with a specialization in autism. During her studies at Pitt, Kara had multiple practicum experiences with a variety of learners ranging from birth to 21 years of age. She enjoyed applying her knowledge in both home and classroom settings and is excited to continue her education and knowledge of ABA practices. Kara is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Behavior Specialist.

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Caroline McDevitt, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Caroline recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with an M.Ed in Applied Behavior Analysis. She has been working in the field of ABA since she was an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina and found a passion for early intervention services. For the past two years at ABAS, her favorite part of the job is getting to connect with the clients through play, creativity, and compassion, as well as watching them grow and succeed! In her free time, Caroline loves to travel, thrift, read, and spend time in nature.

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Mikaela Leonzio

Registered Behavior Technician

Mikaela attended Slippery Rock University where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts concentrating in Psychology. She would like to further her education in Art Therapy in the future. Mikaela got into the field of ABA after working hand in hand with kids during her time as an Undergrad and ended up loving it! She is now a Registered Behavior Technician.

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Kelly Swidorsky

Registered Behavior Technician

Kelly graduated from Penn State with her Bachelor’s in Rehabilitation and Human Services and minors in Psychology and Disability Studies in 2022. Over the past three years, she has worked as a behavior technician delivering services in the home, school, and center-based. Kelly is now attending the University of Pittsburgh where she is pursuing her Masters in Applied Developmental Psychology with a certificate in ABA.

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Holly Schlossnagle

Registered Behavior Technician

Holly is a Masters level student studying psychology with experience working in the mental health field. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside and reading.

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Amanda Venesky

Registered Behavior Technician

Amanda Venesky is from Ebensburg, PA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She is hoping to earn a Master’s Degree in ABA from Pitt. Amanda is so excited to join the ABAS team and can’t wait to see where this journey takes her!

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Annie Eckle, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS
Board Certified Behavior Analyst | Clinical Director

Annie Eckle graduated from West Virginia University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology with a Certificate in Disability Studies. In August 2015, she began her Masters Degree at the University of Pittsburgh in the Early Intervention with Autism Specialization program where she also pursued her Applied Behavior Analysis certificate. Annie sat for her BCBA exam in August 2017 and passed on the first try. She also became a Licensed Behavior Specialist in Pennsylvania. Annie has been working for Allegheny Behavior Analysis Services, LLC since December 2016 and has loved seeing the company grow through her positions as an RBT, BCBA, and now as the Clinical Director. She enjoys watching the kids learn through play every day and seeing the staff grow in their skills and confidence. She has a passion for managing and addressing burnout risks, candidate supervision, and continuing education to keep ABAS up to date with the most recent discoveries. In her spare time, Annie enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, and checking out new restaurants in Pittsburgh.

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Cara Thomson, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Cara Thomson is a Pittsburgh native who grew up in the South Hills. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Saint Vincent College in 2017 and went on to complete a Masters in Education in Child Psychology from Duquesne University in 2019. Cara also completed a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis through The Pennsylvania State University. Cara joined the ABAS team in 2019 as an RBT and worked for about 2 years while accruing the supervised hours to sit for the BCBA exam. She is thrilled to continue her career working closely with children and families as a BCBA. Cara enjoys catching up with friends, reading, listening to music and podcasts, and cheering on Pittsburgh sports teams.

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Carina Liberatore, M.A., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Carina graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Communication. While there, she worked in an inpatient psychiatric hospital for 4 years where she helped care for children & adolescents with various acute mental health diagnoses. This experience helped to shape her passion for the field and pushed her to begin pursuing her M.A. in Behavior Analysis Practice at the Florida Institute of Technology. Carina has been working as a RBT for a little over a year now. Originally from Delaware, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, and painting.

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Mia Manganaro

Registered Behavior Technician

This is Mia's second position within pediatrics, as she worked as a therapy tech at the Children’s Institute while receiving her undergrad degree. Mia is so excited to start her behavioral health career path at ABAS while working to receive her Masters in Applied Developmental Psychology with a certificate in ABA at the University of Pittsburgh. Mia is a Pittsburgh native, growing up in the North Hills area! She loves to read, cook, and travel in her free time.

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Casey Schick

Registered Behavior Technician

Casey graduated from Duquesne University in 2014 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She went on to study School Psychology at the University of South Florida and graduated in 2017 with her Education Specialist degree. In 2018, Casey became a certified School Psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania and worked in multiple schools. However, she decided that she wanted to utilize the data collection and progress-monitoring skills she obtained in graduate school on a regular basis. As a result, she is eager to apply these skills as an RBT. Casey hopes to further her education and gain the experience needed to eventually become a BCBA.

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Leanne Kintz

Registered Behavior Technician

Leanne Kintz graduated in December 2022 from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, with a B.S. in Psychology. While attending Pitt, she was fortunate to have multiple internships that focused on the well-being of children and their community which helped create a path to Allegheny Behavior Analysis Services. Leanne plans to pursue a graduate degree to become an elementary school guidance counselor in the future. During her downtime, she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, traveling, and playing volleyball!

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Dana Patenaude

Diversity & Inclusion Consultant

Dana's current role with ABAS is the Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, though previously she worked at ABAS as a Registered Behavior Technician for two years and a BCBA for two years. At this time, she is a doctoral candidate in Penn State's Special Education program. Her future goal is to be a professor in Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education related fields and to continue conducting research regarding inclusive practices, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, and social validity. Dana is excited to be continuing her work with the ABAS team to ensure all company practices are equitable for both clients and staff.

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Doreen Schoppen

Office Manager

Doreen has been working in the Human Resource field for many years, most recently at a behavioral health rehabilitation services agency for the past six years. She attended Robert Morris University and has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration. She also has experience working and volunteering with children. Doreen loves spending time with her family and friends and can usually be found attending one of her children’s activities.

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Eva Rybak, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst | Social Media & Marketing

Eva studied Early Intervention and Applied Behavior Analysis at The University of Pittsburgh during which time she accrued supervision hours through the Theiss Early Autism Program and then ABAS. After 2 years as an RBT with ABAS Eva began working as a BCBA along with eventually taking over managing the companies social media pages. In her free time, Eva enjoys listening to music and making art.

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Matt Malcolm

Registered Behavior Technician

Matt earned his B.S. in Psychology and Religion from Hillsdale College in 2022. Between semesters at Hillsdale, Matt worked as a behavior technician in Dearborn, MI, where his love for serving children with autism blossomed. After graduation, Matt was accepted into Cairn University’s M.A. in ABA program, with aspirations to become a BCBA. During this time, he moved to the Cleveland area and worked as an RBT at another fantastic center. Matt moved to Pittsburgh at the beginning of 2023 and is very excited to be working at ABAS! Originally from Michigan, Matt enjoys disc golfing, hiking with his wife, watching and playing basketball, reading, as well as playing European board games with his family.

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Stacy Reecks

Registered Behavior Technician

Stacy graduated from Thiel College with a B.A. in Neuroscience. After graduation she worked with adult clients that had different neurological disorders and diseases. She aided them in building skills that would increase their independence within their home. Through this she found passion and shortly after, she started her MA in Applied Behavioral Analysis with Arizona State University. Stacy is excited to be a part of the ABAS team and to help bring life-long enriching skills to your kiddos. In her down time, she loves to baby her cat and water her 84 house plants!

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Elena Haynes

Registered Behavior Technician

Elena graduated from the University of Dayton in 2021 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. Following graduation, she moved to Colorado and worked as a Registered Behavioral Therapist at a clinic for children with autism for a year. Throughout her time there, she discovered her passion for applied behavior analysis and wanted to pursue more responsibilities. She moved back to her hometown, Pittsburgh, and continued working as a behavioral therapist in schools, homes, and daycares. After experiencing working in different environments, she found a true love for working in the clinics and started working at Allegheny Behavior Analysis Services in October. Elena is currently enrolled in a graduate school at Simmons University to earn her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis. In her spare time, she loves to go to Penguins games, hanging out with friends and family, and skiing!

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Kilian Schilling

Registered Behavior Technician

Kilian graduated from Penn State with his Bachelors in Psychology in 2023. Growing up as the oldest of four, he was almost always helping out at home and caring for his siblings. In the past three years, he has worked with children as a Swim Instructor and Teacher. Last summer he joined Evolve – Coaching to help them with their Summer Camp for children with autism. During that time, he discovered his interest in Autism and wanted to learn more. He decided to join ABAS to gain more knowledge in the field and is currently applying to Graduate schools all over Pittsburgh, to become an LPC. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, working out at the gym, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

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