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Our Team

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Laura Cwynar, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Founder/CEO

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Annie Eckle, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Clinical Director

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Cara Thomson, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

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Doreen Schoppen

Office Manager

Queen

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Kara Hafen, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Ethics Officer

Eva Rybak, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Marketing and Media Coordinator

Jordan Bavitz
Registered Behavior Technician

 

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Lauren Button
Registered Behavior Technician

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Carina Liberatore
Registered Behavior Technician

 

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Charity Maiure
Registered Behavior Technician

Caroline McDevitt
Registered Behavior Technician

 

Caroline recently graduated from the University of South Carolina and has started school for her M.Ed in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked as a RBT for the past year in Columbia, SC and has discovered a passion for working with children. She loves traveling, spending time outside, and is most excited to begin exploring the city of Pittsburgh!

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Casey Schick

Registered Behavior Technician

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Megan Hufford

Registered Behavior Technician

Group Coordinator

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Rachel Taylor

Registered Behavior Technician

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Mikaela Leonzio

Behavior Technician

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Stacy Reecks

Behavior Technician

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Elena Haynes

Behavior Technician

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.

Annie DeBaldo has been in the field of special education for 6 years. She is a graduate of West Virginia University with her Bachelors 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 Board Certified Behavior Analysis 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. In her spare time, Annie enjoys reading, riding her bike in parks, cooking, and exploring everything that Pittsburgh has to offer.

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.

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.

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. 

After 2 years as an RBT here at ABAS, Eva is so excited to start in her new position as a BCBA. She 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. Eva also manages the company's Instagram and Facebook pages. In her free time, Eva enjoys listening to music and making art.

Jordan earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Penn State in 2020. Following graduation, she worked at an intermediate special education school for 3rd-5th graders with emotional disorders where she assisted social skills groups and maintained behavioral challenges through positive behavior support plans. It was here that she found a love for the behavior field and moved to Pittsburgh to work as a behavior technician in private schools for children with low-functioning non-verbal autism. She is currently enrolled in graduate school at Penn State to earn her Master of Education in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis. She has a strong passion for all individuals on the spectrum as well as those with emotional disorders. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to grow professionally as being a part of ABAS! 

My name is Lauren Firanski. I am a Pittsburgh native who graduated from Robert Morris University in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Throughout high school and college, I was a figure skating and hockey coach based out of the Robert Morris Island Sports Center. It was through ice skating that I found a passion for working with children of all backgrounds. My goals in the future include going back to school to obtain my masters in relation to working with children on the Autism Spectrum. I aspire to one day work as a BCBA. Until that time comes, I am thrilled to start with ABA Services Pittsburgh as a RBT. In my free time I enjoy adventuring outside and staying active! 

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. 

I graduated in 2005 from California University of PA with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. After graduating, I began working as a TSS. During my time as a TSS I worked with children with a range of diagnoses, specifically children with Autism. I then began working as a Counselor at a Residential Treatment Facility. At this facility I provided intensive therapy to  16-18 year old girls. I then moved on to work as a Family Based Therapist at a Community Mental Health Center. As a Family Based  Therapist I worked as part of a team to provide treatment to at risk youth and their families. I am currently pursing my Master’s at California University of PA in Special Education-ABA. I am eager to begin as a RBT.

Caroline recently graduated from the University of South Carolina and has started school for her M.Ed in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked as a RBT for the past year in Columbia, SC and has discovered a passion for working with children. She loves traveling, spending time outside, and is most excited to begin exploring the city of Pittsburgh!

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.

Megan Hufford graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Cum Laude with her Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education. Since then, Megan has obtained her Pennsylvania teaching license in grades PreK-4 and has taught PreKindergarten and PreK Counts for 4 years. During her teacher training program, Megan taught 4 th grade math, English language arts and social studies in special and general education settings. Currently Megan is pursuing her Masters Degree in Special Education, Pennsylvania Special Education teacher licensure grades PreK-8 and BCBA at Duquesne University.  Megan is excited to be apart of the ABAS team and infuse what she knows about education into the role of a BT/RBT. Megan has called Pittsburgh home since 2006 when she moved from Southern California with her family. In her free time Megan enjoys exploring the city, going to Steeler games, cooking new reciepes for her family, and reading self-help/motivational books.

Rachel’s first involvement in applied behavior analysis services started during an internship at a clinic in January 2019. During her time as an intern she taught social skills groups to kids with autism, assisted in providing behavioral consultations to kids with autism, and assisted in providing treatment to kids with pediatric feeding disorders. Rachel graduated from West Chester University with a bachelors in psychology and a minor in autism education in August 2019. After graduation, she was hired by the clinic in which she interned and did behavioral consultations there until March 2020. Rachel than worked in an intensive residential unit for kids with autism which focused on functional communication training. She worked there until she started to pursue her masters in applied behavior analysis at the University of Pittsburgh in August 2020 and was hired at Allegheny Behavior Analysis Services in October 2020.

I attended Slippery Rock University where I received my Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts concentrating in Psychology. I would like to further my education in Art Therapy in the future. I got into this field after getting my bachelor's degree for the experience of working hand in hand with kids and ended up loving it! Can't wait to meet your kiddos!

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!

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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