Our Team

Laura Cwynar, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, LBS
Founder/CEO


Laura Cwynar is a Behavior Analyst that has worked in the field of autism and special education for 10 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 and became a Virginia Licensed Behavior Analyst with the Board of Medicine in 2012. As of April 2015, she is also a Licensed Behavior Specialist with the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine. Laura has a Virginia teaching license in Early Childhood Special Education and a Pennsylvania Private Teaching Certification. Laura’s areas of expertise include Verbal Behavior, language development, problem behaviors, behavioral assessments, behavior plan development and implementation and data collection and analysis. Laura loves data! She sees it as a way of showing the successes of her clients and families that she works with. Laura is also passionate about disseminating ABA and enjoys teaching those around her about the positive impact of ABA.

Annie DeBaldo, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
 

Annie DeBaldo has bee 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 Decemeber 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.

Jolynn Villena, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS
Professional Development and Training Coordinator\Board Certified Behavior Analyst
 

Jolynn has worked for over 20 years as a Developmental Specialist in Early Intervention.  She has provided services in individual’s homes as well as in the community.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a dual certification in Special and Elementary Education from Slippery Rock University.  Jolynn completed coursework with Pennsylvania State University and was certified as a BCaBA.  Jolynn was enrolled at University of Pittsburgh where she earned her Masters of Education in Early Intervention with a specialization in autism.  She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is a Licensed Behavior Specialist with Pennsylvania.  She is also fluent in Spanish.

Kara Hafen, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
 

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.

Hannah Kolbeck, M.A., BCBA
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
 

Hannah graduated with an M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with an Emphasis in Autism from Ball State University in the fall of 2019. She also graduated with a certificate in autism. Shortly thereafter Hannah became certified as a BCBA in February of 2020. Hannah has five years of experience working with children with autism in a variety of capacities and settings. She worked as an RBT for over two and a half years with Allegheny Behavior Analysis Services before transitioning into a BCBA role. In this role she gained extensive experience working with a wide range of clients aged 2-18. Hannah is the recipient of the 2019 Robert F. Steiner Special Education Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to an ABAS employee who is pursuing the BCBA credential and who demonstrates a passion for ABA and special education. Hannah is dedicated to using a Verbal Behavior approach to help build language skills as well as decreasing problem behaviors by providing clients with alternative functional skills. 

Alexa Catanzarite, RBT
Registered Behavior Technician

Alexa possesses 7 years of combined experience within the mental health and behavioral health fields. Throughout her undergraduate studies majoring in psychology at Carlow University, she worked as a therapist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital among adults diagnosed with co-occuring mental health and substance abuse diagnoses. She then earned her master's degree in Applied Developmental Psychology with a concentration in school-based behavioral health at the University of Pittsburgh. During Alexa's graduate coursework, she completed a 9-month internship within a school-based program at an inpatient psychiatric setting. Following this experience, she was employed for 2 years within a school-based partial hospitalization program among children with Autism and other behavioral and emotional disorders. During this time, she accrued experience hours towards a behavior specialist license and obtained this credential in December 2014. She transitioned into a position as a licensed behavior specialist at a wrap-around agency providing in-home therapy to children and skill transfer to their families, consultation with local school districts and special education professionals, and weekly supervision to therapeutic support staff. In August of 2016, Alexa enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh seeking an Applied Behavior Analyst certificate.

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.

Nicole Rauch, RBT
Registered Behavior Technician

My name is Nicole Rauch.  I live in the South Hills with my husband, daughter, and son.  When my daughter was four years old, she was diagnosed with PDD NOS which is now called Autism Spectrum Disorder. I wanted to become knowledgeable about ASD so that I could help my amazing daughter. What started out as a quest for knowledge quickly become a passion. Recently, I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Saint Leo University. For the past three years, I have been working in the school environment as a paraprofessional. I am excited to continue my education at California University of Pennsylvania where I will be working towards my M.Ed. in Applied Behavior Analysis with a concentration in Autism. My goal is to become a board certified in Behavior Analysis so that I can continue to support and empower children with autism and other special needs. In my free time, you can find me watching a movie, reading a good book, or doing a fun adventurous activity with my family.

Dana H. Patenaude, RBT
Registered Behavior Technician

Dana H. Patenaude is a first year Masters student in the University of Pittsburgh’s Early Intervention program with an Autism specialization and an ABA certificate.  She is a 2018 graduate from The Pennsylvania State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health.Dana’s passion for the study of developmental disabilities sparked early in her time at Parkland High School where she participated in the PALs (Passionate, Accepting, and Loving students) club for four years.  There, she advocated for and befriended her peers with developmental disabilities.  From there, Dana continued to research, observe and study developmental disabilities, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders in various public and private developmental school settings.  Throughout her time at Penn State, Dana participated in Best Buddies club where she continued her advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Dana spent two years as the summer camp leader at Live Learn and Play, a sensory inclusive play gym designed for children with developmental disabilities, particularly those that include sensory disorders.  Dana aspires to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and continue her work with children with Autism and other developmental disabilities.  Eventually, Dana would like to obtain her Ph.D. in a related field to participate in research, potentially in the realms of challenging behaviors, token economies, and other motivating operations.

Ryann Press, M.Ed., RBT
Registered Behavior Technician

Ryann Press has worked in the field of Autism and Behavioral/Mental Health for the last 5 years. She received a Masters in Counseling Psychology with a focus in Infant Mental Health from Chatham University and recently earned a Masters in Education with a focus in Early Intervention and Autism Specialization from the University of Pittsburgh. Ryann has also completed a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Throughout her career thus far, she has worked in a specialized school setting as well as provided services in the home and community, which has provided her with a wide array of experiences. In December 2016, Ryann became a Licensed Behavior Specialist through the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine. In her free time, Ryann enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Nick Lapinski

Nick Lapinski is a junior in high school and lives in Pittsburgh with his dad, mom, and three sisters.  Outside of school and work, he enjoys cooking, baking, mountain biking, CrossFit, fishing, and anything computer related.  Nick is very excited to be a part of the Allegheny Behavior Analysis team and looks forward to gaining transition skills to prepare him for his future.

Virgil Wright, RBT
Registered Behavior Technician

Virgil Wright has worked with children and their families in home, school, community, and juvenile justice settings for over 18 years in North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. In his career he has worked with clients on academic, behavior, social, functional, and transition skills. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Akron and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Duquesne University, where he is also taking the approved course sequence to earn his BCBA. In his free time, Virgil enjoys video games, board games, working on his car, music, exercise, painting, and comic books.

Joanna Moreno, RBT
Registered Behavior Technician

Joanna Moreno has been working in the field of psychology for two years.  She worked for a company in Indiana, PA as a child partial hospitalization therapist before moving to Pittsburgh.  She is in the process of earning her master's degree in behavior analysis through Simmons University and plans on pursuing her RBT and BCBA credentials.  While completing her undergraduate education at Westminster College, Joanna was an intern at a center specifically focusing on children who were on the autism spectrum and, in her work experience, has conducted individual and group therapy as well as service plans.  Outside of work, Joanna has a cat and loves to spend her spare time going for walks, practicing photography, and exploring the city.

Cara Thomson, M.Ed., RBT
Registered Behavior Technician

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. She has worked with children in the home, academic and community setting, serving as a camp counselor at two area summer camps. Most recently, Cara supervised the direct care staff of children on the autism spectrum at an inclusive summer camp. She is working on earning the requisite supervised hours to sit for the BCBA exam. In her spare time, Cara enjoys catching up with friends and family, reading, listening to music and podcasts and cheering on the local sports teams. 

Casey Schick, Ed.S
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.

Drew Massey, M.S.
Behavior Technician

Originally from Minnesota, Drew attended St. Cloud State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Currently, he is a doctoral student at Duquesne University pursuing a degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. He has worked in a variety of settings with individuals with diverse abilities such as Autism Support classrooms, Level IV residential settings, general education classrooms, as well as providing direct services for in-home therapy for individuals with severe problem behavior. He has experience in Functional Behavior Assessments, parent training, problem behavior, and increasing physical activity for individuals with disabilities.

Addie Tyson
Behavior Technician

Addie Tyson is currently a graduate level student at the University of Pittsburgh studying Early Intervention with a Specialization in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. She aims to take her boards to become a certified behavior analyst after graduation. Addie has seven years of work and volunteer experience working with children. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Angela Estrada
Behavior Technician

Angela is a Chicago native who moved to Pittsburgh in August of 2019. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta and finished in 2011 with a B.A. in music performance. After, she attended Western Illinois University where she studied music therapy. She has five years of experience as a board certified music therapist in the field ranging from early childhood all the way to hospice care. She discovered her passion for the field of ABA after working closely with a team of BCBAs at Giant Steps Autism Organization in Lisle, Illinois. In her spare time Angela enjoys playing the piano and exploring the city with her husband and her dog.

Allegheny Behavior Analysis Services, LLC

3000 Mcknight East Dr Suite 102, Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Main:  (412)230-8615

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