Jennifer Dawson is a licensed clinical psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in child clinical psychology from Louisiana State University. She completed her internship at the renowned Kennedy Krieger Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Dawson remained at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as a Case Manager on the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program and as Faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2006, Dr. Dawson returned to West Chester and began to work on the development of SPARC. Dr. Dawson's clinical and research expertise and interests are in the areas of behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorders, feeding disorders, parent training, treatment acceptability, and behavior problems. Dr. Dawson also serves as an adjunct professor in the department of psychology at West Chester University.
Cherie Fishbaugh is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She earned her M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Ohio State University. Cherie worked as a Case Supervisor at Children's Hospital's Intensive Behavior Intervention Clinic in Columbus, Ohio until 2006. She then served as an Education Consultant for the May Institute, Mid-Atlantic region. Cherie's clinical and research expertise and interests are in the areas of behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorders, behavior management, social skills training, and positive behavior supports. Cherie also serves as an adjunct professor in the department of early childhood education/special education at West Chester University.
Dena is a licensed professional counselor. She earned her Masters degree from West Chester University in 2010. Dena interned at SPARC as a graduate student and upon graduation was hired as a staff therapist in January 2011. Dena works in many aspects of the clinic. She serves as an outpatient feeding therapist and one of the evaluators in SPARC's diagnostic testing evaluation. Dena also conducts interviews for potential student volunteers/interns, leads SPARC's parentauxiliaryand heads many of SPARC's local fundraising efforts including the annual 5k, Strides for SPARC.
A talented group of West Chester University undergraduate and graduate students work with us to serve our clients and their families. These students are trained and supervised by our clinical staff. They conduct some therapy sessions and work in our social skills and peer buddy programs. Our students bring energy and enthusiasm to our therapy sessions. The majority of our student therapists come to us from the psychology, special education, and communicative disorders programs.
SPARC is a teaching clinic. SPARC's affiliation with West Chester University affords many opportunities for the training of new professionals. University students from a variety of majors serve as student therapists, peer mentors, and volunteers for our clients. Students are able to fulfill field experience, research, and volunteer requirements while gaining valuable training in the field of autism and behavior analysis. These experiences in turn allow for a highly qualified base of future professionals to graduate from West Chester University from many disciplines such as psychology, special education, communicative disorders, and adaptive PE.