Faculty Spotlight

Houlton believes great faculty members make a difference. We’re constantly partnering with the best institutions and instructors to help bring you the best education possible.

  • robinson

    Dennis Robinson

    Dennis Robinson has spent nearly a decade as a passionate advocate for innovations in education. Dennis has been widely published in the fields of social sciences, humanities and ethics. Dennis’s publications address topics spanning neuroscience, the history of antipsychotics and linguistics, as well as new developments in stem-cell research, genetics and prosthetics. Dennis is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. A graduate of Northwestern and the University of Chicago, he received the Sterling Prize at Yale and was named a Galbraith Scholar at Harvard. Robinson’s present research focuses on practices in translational neuroscience, public/private partnerships and neuroethics. Robinson’s research has received acknowledgements from the Institute for Humane Studies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, The Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the National Science Foundation, the National Academies of Science, and L’Institut de Recherches cliniques de Montréal. Dennis was a member of the Technology and Ethics Working Group at the Interdisciplinary Center on Ethics at Yale University. Robinson received his Ph.d from Princeton University under Princeton’s Presidential Fellowship.

  • Torres

    Angélica M. Torres

    She completed her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology at Yale University and a postdoctoral fellowship in Child Study at the Yale School of Medicine.   She was most recently a Healthcare Research Manager at Gerson Lehrman Group, a financial services company in New York City. A native of Puerto Rico, she conducted her doctoral research in Head Start centers in Juana Díaz and Cabo Rojo, examining how environmental stress (as represented by varying levels of community violence) affects children’s development.   She has also worked in urban schools to develop more effective methods of science education. Her interests are human biology and life history, child development and social policy. She lends her considerable expertise to Houlton’s programs in health, education, and prevention.

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    Valerie Paradiz

    Valerie Paradiz, PhD is the director of the Autistic Global Initiative (AGI) of the Autism Research Institute, a program staffed by adults on the spectrum devoted to building partnerships across stakeholder groups within the disability community. Paradiz is also a director at a consultancy that designs leading curricula and provides technical assistance and strategic planning to schools, universities corporations and agencies that support individuals with disabilities. In her capacity as AGI director, Valerie serves as an NGO representative to the United Nations and as Editor-in-Chief of the ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin. Her service to boards and advisory councils include Autism Speaks’ Family Services Committee, the Autism Society of America, IDEA Partnership’s National Community of Practice in Autism, the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium, and Bank Street College of Education’s Autism Annotation Committee. Dr. Paradiz is the developer of the 2010 International Book Award finalist in education, Integrated Self-Advocacy ISA®, which includes a certification training series for educators, therapists, families and support providers who wish to foster individuals with ASD in achieving greater self-determination and ability in self-advocacy. Additional publications include Lesson Plan a la Carte (AAPC, 2011), an easy planning model that helps educators and support providers to create interventions that integrate learning objectives with therapeutic supports and accommodations directly in the classroom, the community, employment or other learning settings. Valerie is also a contributor to Scholars on the Spectrum Achieving Dreams (Auricle, 2012), a collection of essays written by adults with autism spectrum diagnoses. Her memoir, Elijah’s Cup (Simon & Schuster, 2003) is the story of the author’s experiences raising her autistic son and their involvement together in the self-advocacy community. Dr. Paradiz has been featured in the New York Times, Redbook Magazine, The Guardian, Parade Magazine, NHKJapan, MTV’s True Life and on National Public Radio. Valerie received her PhD in German Studies from City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

Program Faculty

  • Stephen L. Zawistowski

    Stephen L. Zawistowski

    Dr. Zawistowski was a founding board member and past president of the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, serves on the Harmony Institute Community Advisory Board, and the Scientific Advisory Panel of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the board of the Found Animal Foundation/ Michelson Prize and member of the board of the Alliance for the Contraception of Cats and Dogs. Dr. Zawistowski is also an adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, adjunct assistant professor with the Hunter College program in Animal Behavior and Conservation and an adjunct faculty member in the Canisius College graduate program in Anthrozoology. Dr. Zawistowski is a well known speaker on education, animal behavior, and animal welfare issues. He is a frequent guest on television and radio, and is often quoted in newspaper and magazine articles. While at the ASPCA he has authored, edited and consulted on over 20 books on animals and pet care. “Animal Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff,” edited by Dr. Lila Miller and Dr. Zawistowski was published by Blackwell Publishing in spring 2004. His two most recent books, a history of the ASPCA written with Marion Lane and titled “Heritage of Care” was published in December 2007 and “Companion Animals in Society” in January 2008. In early 2000 he appeared as the host of ASPCA Pet Check segments on PBS. Published in a number of scientific journals, he is also the founding co-editor of the “Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.” In 1989 Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PSYeta) named him Psychologist of the year for outstanding contributions to animal welfare science. St. John’s University presented him with the Patrick Daly Memorial Award for a career in education marked by compassion and commitment in Spring 2002. In 2008 he received a Public Service Award from the Department of Justice for his work on the Michael Vick dogfighting case. In 2009 he was a Green Chimneys Gala Honoree, and in 2010 received the ACCD Leadership award. Dr. Zawistowski is also listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.”

  • Torres

    Laura Young

    Laura Young holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychobiology, from University of California, at Davis with a concentration in animal behaviour and a minor in Animal Genetics. Most recently, Young has assisted in research projects on feral and domestic cat behavior at the ASPCA so that the ASPCA can determine if a cat is domesticated or feral. Young’s research has focused on personality research of equine and feline species both in a captive and natural setting to assess the variation of individual behavioral temperaments within these species. Some of Young’s research investigates the post-natal, developmental mechanisms that contribute to enduring, features of personality and the observable behaviors of personality traits that endure throughout adulthood. Young has also analyzed environmental factors that increase and decrease anti-predatory behaviors of social avian species.Young also has a background in animal husbandry, animal genetics, biochemistry and digestive physiology necessary for nutrient absorption to improve animal nutrition and overall both mental and physical animal welfare.Previously, Young worked with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums leading key innovations in behavioral and environmental enrichment. Young’s research also includes investigations of the post-natal, developmental mechanisms that contribute to enduring, features of personality and the observable behaviors of personality traits that endure throughout adulthood. Turning her attention to animal nutrition, animal genetics, and animal husbandry in 2011, she studied the biochemistry and digestive physiology necessary for nutrient absorption to improve animal welfare.

  • Torres

    Jim Wang

    Jim Wang’s research focuses on the social and economic dynamics of gerontological planning and program implementation. Professor Wang’s most recent research included a meta-analysis of epidemiological data across institutions in China and the U.S in order to learn more about how to improve methodological practices around managing program data. Professor Wang brings his expertise is epidemiology and biostatistics in order to accelerate the long-term efficacy of gerontological interventions. Wang has taught at the London School of Economics, the School of Oriental and African Studies, The University of Hong Kong, the University of London as well as at UCLA and Yale University.
    Professor Wang completed training biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong and earned a Master of Public Health from Harvard University and a D.Phil from Oxford University.

  • Jacqueline Shore

    My name is Jacqueline Shore. I have been a Special Education Teacher in District 75 since February 1987 to the present. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Baruch College and a Master’s Degree from Hunter College in Special Education.

    I began my teaching career in a self contained 6:1:1 classroom for young children, ages 5-10, on the autism spectrum. After that, I taught in a self contained classroom for middle school children, ages 11-13. The students were also on the autism spectrum. For the past 3 years I have been teaching teenage students at the high school level, ages 14-21, on the autism spectrum.

    I learned so much from older classroom teachers whom I collaborated with for science/cooking and music. It was with great pleasure that I was asked to present PD workshops in house for my colleagues on topics such as the picture exchange communication system and behavioral supports.

  • Frania Shelley

    Frania Shelley

    Frania is a graduate of the Masters Program at Hunter College in Animal Behavior and Conservation. Frania has worked in multiple and various applied settings with cats, birds, dogs, horses, monkeys, tigers, jaguars, coatimundis, lions and bears. Workplace environments range from wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers in the jungles of Guatemala to the urban classroom. She is a registered therapy animal handler, a NYS licensed pet care technician teacher, and a certified exotic animal trainer. Frania has conducted research on nestbox and tool use behaviors of thick billed parrots behavior at the Queens Zoo, assisted in research projects on feral and domestic cat behavior at the ASPCA and on the evolution and domestication of the horse and the dog in North America at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

    Frania has provided consulting on animal behavior and is a humane educator and lecturer on animal behavior and teaches the Pet Care Technician program at a vocational rehabilitation center for individuals with disabilities in New York City and the ASPCA’s Fundamentals of Dog Care course for Houlton Institute. Her work as a behaviorist incorporates positive approaches to facilitate welfare and communication in behavior modification and training and includes working expertly with all companion animals; cats, dogs and birds.

    Frania’s unique expertise in animal behavior is complimented by a skilled facility in Urban Planning; her first graduate degree is from New York University with a Masters in Urban Planning. This translates to a specialized view of urban, suburban and wild animals along with experienced insight into behavior, an in-depth understanding of the physical environments we inhabit, especially the ones we build: cities, parks, zoos or sanctuaries.

  • Andrea Lee Roundfield

    Andrea Lee Roundfield

    Andrea Lee Roundfield, PhD (ABD) MS, MA, LSCI & TCI certification, is a Special Education instructor and IEP and Related Services coordinator in New York City’s District 75, the only school district of its kind. She has also taught in Mercy College’s Graduate Teaching Fellows Program. Ms. Lee Roundfield has led inquiry studies and action research in teaching students with varying disabilities.

  • Torres

    Andrew Nelson

    Andrew Nelson, M.Ed., ISA-CI is a Positive Behavior Support Trainer with the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University where he provides Family Focused Positive Behavior Support and training to parents, teachers, and professionals on a variety of autism-related topics. He is the founder of the Autism Theatre Network and is the author of Foundation Role Plays for Autism (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010). Andrew’s work has been noted in American Theatre, The Autism File, Southern Theatre, and Tathaastu: So Be It magazines. Andrew is an Integrated Self Advocacy Certified Instructor and also serves as an assistant editor for the ARI Adults with Autism eBulletin.

  • Brenda Smith Myles

    Brenda Smith Myles

    Brenda Smith Myles Ph.D, is the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, and the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Developmental Disabilities Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award. Brenda has made over 1000 presentations all over the world and written more than 200 articles and books on ASD. In addition, she served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee; was on the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium; and collaborated with the National Professional Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, National Autism Center, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who identified evidenced based practices for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and served as Project Director for the Texas Autism Resource Guide for Teachers (TARGET). Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research (SCORE) and ASTEP – Asperger Syndrome Training and Education Program. She serves as a consultant with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) and the Ziggurat Group. In the latest survey conducted by the University of Texas, she was acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world.

  • Dr. Louise Murray

    Dr. Louise Murray

    Dr. Murray joined the ASPCA in 2004 after working as a staff internist at the Manhattan Veterinary Group/ Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists. In addition to being published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) for her research on feline hyperthyroidism, Dr. Murray has led presentations and lectures on many topics, including Cushing’s disease, endocrinology, acute renal failure, diabetes mellitus, hypercalcemia and veterinary critical care. She has been honored with several awards, and is the author of Vet Confidential, an insider’s guide to protecting your pet’s health. She has appeared on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and Animal Planet, and provided veterinary expertise to magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, USA Today, the New York Post, the New York Daily News and People Magazine. Dr. Murray is a graduate of Duke University and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Dr. Katherine (Kat) Miller

    Dr. Katherine (Kat) Miller

    Dr. Kat Miller is Director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Research at the ASPCA, and is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. As part of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team, Dr. Miller is integrally involved with the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center. She works with the Team to conduct behavior evaluations for special populations including animals rescued from puppy mills, dog-fighting rings, hoarding situations, and natural disasters, and helps to rehabilitate behaviorally challenged animals. She also guides the Team’s research regarding the assessment, care, and rehabilitation of these animals. Dr. Miller received her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis. Her research has been published in notable journals and has been presented at international conferences, and she is also quoted frequently in the media.

  • Sonia Madison Kaslow

    Sonia Madison Kaslow

    Kaslow graduated from Fordham University – Summa Cum Laude; Fordham University School of Law- Dean’s list; City College, New York City Teaching Fellows Program (“Fellows”)- completed a Masters of Science- Special Education graduating with High Honors – equivalent to Summa Cum Laude. Upon graduating from Law school, Kaslow worked at American Express, Morgan Stanley, and Deloitte and Touche. Upon starting the Fellows, Kaslow started teaching at Jane Addams High School in the South Bronx. Kaslaw has taught students with cognitive disabilities in a general education classroom setting under the collaborative team teaching model. From a collaborative team teaching setting, and is now teaching in PS79, in a District 75, self-contained setting. Kaslow teaches Autistic children and children with severe cognitive and physical disabilities.

    Kaslow continues to capitalize on my years of educational experiences and my use of Socratic expertise to ask the right questions, offer creativity, and foresight to produce a multi-contextual perspective to better crystallize and facilitate the art of being a Special Education Teacher.

  • Anne Duquette

    Anne Duquette

    Anne Duquette is a special education teacher at a New York City public school in East Harlem; she teaches adolescents who are on the autism spectrum. Anne received her B.A. at Smith College. Anne received two M.A.’s at Teachers College, Columbia University. For her first M.A., as part of a fellowship, Anne assisted with a research project on an abuse-prevention curriculum designed to empower women with intellectual disabilities to become effective decision-makers. For her second M.A., she conducted research in Kenya on sexual violence against female students with intellectual disabilities. Anne is presently working on her M.Ed. in School Leadership.

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