Our Staff

Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts

Manuela Woodruff
Founder / Clinical Director / Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Manuela holds a Master of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Jacksonville State University, Alabama and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received extensive training in Verbal Behavior programs and the treatment of severe behaviors at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, GA.

In 2009, she founded Applied Behavioral Consulting, LLC to provide quality services to individuals with developmental disorders of all ages. Using various models including staff and parent training, consultation, and direct therapy, she has offered services in the family’s home, schools, clinics, daycare centers, residential programs, and day habilitation centers.

Manuela is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA), and the Georgia Association of Behavior Analysis (GABA).

She has two daughters.

Jonas Jenkins
Regional Director – Athens / Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst

Jonas began working with children on the Autism Spectrum in 2003 as a research manager and classroom coordinator for the Pre-K classroom at the Walden School of the Emory Autism Center. Over the years, he has served as a resident counselor at the United Methodist Children’s Home, a personal caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities, and a 1:1 ABA therapist. He has worked with individuals ranging from age 2 through age 67. He specializes in social skills training, treatment of severe behavior, and parent consultation. Jonas received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Emory University and is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. He is a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis International.

Jonas provides verbal behavior programs, school consultations, and parent training in Athens, GA and the surrounding area.

Kathryn Short
Senior Board Certified Behavior Analyst / BCBA Supervision Experience Coordinator

Kathryn Short is a Senior Board Certified Behavior Analyst with Applied Behavior Consulting. She is the company’s BCBA Supervision Experience Coordinator, overseeing all candidates within ABC that are working toward a BACB credential. Kathryn also provides parent consultations for family’s interested in starting or maintaining use of communication devices or other forms of Augmentative or Alternative Communication.

Kathryn holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Georgia; she was formerly a certified Special Education teacher in the state of Georgia. Kathryn received her Master’s as part of the Collaborative Personnel Preparation in Autism (COPPA) project with a specific focus in elementary-aged students on the Autism Spectrum. She started working with children with Autism in 2007 as a behavior therapist in home-based ABA programs in Athens, Georgia.

Before joining Applied Behavioral Consulting in 2015, Kathryn lived in Nashville, Tennessee where she worked as a behavior analyst for 3 years at a private ABA company. At this position, she provided comprehensive ABA consultation in the home and school setting to children and adolescents, aged 2-12, with a focus on verbal behavior, academic, pre-vocational, and self-care skills. Kathryn also provided ongoing training and supervision to Nashville-area school district staff, parents, caregivers, and therapists. Before moving to Nashville in 2012, Kathryn taught special education in Gwinnett County in a K-2 classroom, serving students with mild ASD. She is currently a member of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) and the Georgia Association of Behavior Analysis (GABA).

Amber Baldwin
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Amber graduated from the Arizona State University with a Master’s degree in ABA in 2018. She received her undergraduate degree from of the University of Alabama where she studied Dance and Human Development. Amber has always had an interest in helping children and adults with special needs. She began her work with children with autism as a volunteer/intern with several organizations including the ABC of NC Child Development Center, The Help Group, and The Miracle Project. Where she assisted with after school programs and summer and winter camps in Los Angeles, California. Amber has gone on to become certified in Autism Movement Therapy and the Dance For All movement therapy curriculum. After a year in California, she moved back to the South to be closer to family and friends.

Candace Cashbaugh
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Candace is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with Applied Behavioral Consulting. Candace holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Georgia College and Master’s Degree in Special Education with a focus in ASD from the University of Georgia. Candace found her interest in helping children with special needs when she started babysitting a boy with Fragile X. After graduating with her masters, she first became a behavior therapist with an in-home ABA company while living in Athens then moved to Atlanta a year before becoming a BCBA and then joined Applied Behavioral Consulting in 2015. Candace has worked with kids ages 2- 12 years old and specializes in early intervention, treatment of problem behaviors, and parent training. Once her twins were born in 2017, she took two years off caring for them before returning back to ABC in 2019. She is excited to be working with clients again providing ABA therapy and training to parents and RBTs.

Jennifer Donnelly
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Jennifer received her M.Ed. in special education from East Central University and her BA in Theatre from Eastern Kentucky University. Her interest in ABA was sparked while studying special education, leading her to enroll in the Behavior Analysis Therapy program at Southern Illinois University. While completing the program, she worked with young children as an academic interventionist under the Promise Neighborhood grant before joining a private pediatric therapy center as a Positive Behavior Support Specialist and later BCBA. She has since relocated to the Atlanta area to continue her work as a BCBA.

She is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and holds a PEAK level 1 Certification. Jennifer is from Kentucky and has also lived in South Florida, Oklahoma, and Northern Ireland. She enjoys traveling, exploring new cultures, and finding ways that connect us all!

Crystal Phillips
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Crystal holds a Master’s of Science degree in Special Education with an emphasis in ABA and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Crystal has been practicing behavioral management techniques, discrete trials teaching (DTT), and verbal behavior programs since 2006. She has helped people overcome both severe and mild developmental, emotional and behavioral challenges. She has worked with both children and adults with autism as well as typically developing children struggling with behavioral difficulties. Crystal customizes her programs to the individual needs of each child, and excels in managing crises and performing successful behavioral interventions. She is also a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Chelsea Schubiger
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Chelsea began working with children with disabilities at a young age through volunteer work. Her initial interest stemmed from her relationship with her older brother living with autism as well as her mother’s occupation as a special needs Pre-K teacher. During college, Chelsea began providing nannying services to children with autism and related disabilities. She began pursuing applied behavior analysis in 2012 while studying at the University of Florida. She volunteered in various research labs and participated as an undergraduate research assistant. Shortly after graduation, she began working as an RBT and obtained her Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) credential in 2015. Chelsea continued her education and obtained her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from the University of South Florida in 2017. She passed her Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam shortly after and has been working as a full-time BCBA. Chelsea’s training has specialized in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior as well as verbal behavior skill acquisition programs. She has worked with individuals aged 3 years to 27 years and has provided services in home, community, school, and clinic settings. She completed an internship in the public school system in Florida, working as a consultant and trainer for autism classrooms and emotional-behavioral disorder centers. Chelsea is a member of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis (FABA) and the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAi). She attends annual conferences for both events and is passionate about the research devoted to advancing the science of behavior analysis. Chelsea is committed to her work and values each relationship she develops with clients and their families. She enjoys spending time with individuals with special needs and has a passion for helping others achieve their goals. She recently relocated to the Atlanta area to continue her work as a BCBA and to continue to spread awareness of autism and ABA!

Rachel Suberman
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Rachel Suberman received her MA in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from the University of South Florida in 2017. She earned her BS in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2014. Rachel has always been passionate about working with children and individuals of different cultures starting from a young age. She began studying ABA in 2013 and developed a passion for the application of this science. Her ABA experience includes working with children and teenagers with a variety of diagnoses as well as closely with families and teachers. She has extensive experience in the realms of early intervention and verbal behavior, caregiver training, and the assessment and treatment of problem behavior.

Rachel is originally from Orlando, Florida and moved to Atlanta in the fall of 2019. Rachel likes to spend time with her family and friends, exploring new areas, spending time at the beach and in the mountains, and playing tennis. Between her undergrad and grad school years, Rachel spent a year abroad teaching English in Madrid, Spain. She loves to travel and experience different cultures, especially cuisines!

Melanie Sugar
Senior Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Melanie holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Auburn University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has always had a passion for working with individuals with developmental disabilities. She became interested in behavior analysis after babysitting for several children with Autism in high school. She pursued her passion as a special needs camp counselor and ABA tutor while in undergraduate school at the University of Georgia. In graduate school, she had the opportunity to participate in many different practicums including working at an early intervention preschool, teaching a parenting class thorugh DHR, working at a residential school for teens, and consulting in a public school.

In 2010, Melanie accepted a fellowship position with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities as a Regional Behavior Analyst. This position involves overseeing behavior supports within her region. Melanie continues to work part time with the state and part time as a Behavior Analyst Consultant. She is an active member in the Georgia Association for Behavior Analysis and has held many leadership positions within the organization.

Melanie enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and children on her time off.

Yasmin Wali
Board Certified Behavior Analyst / Diversity Liaison

Yasmin Wali is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and currently provides services to a broad range of clients with Applied Behavioral Consulting (ABC). She designs individualized school and in-home ABA therapy treatment plans focusing on the acquisition of socially significant skills and the reduction of challenging behavior for children 2-12 years of age. Yasmin began working with children on the Autism Spectrum in 2008 while earning her B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Northridge. While growing in the field she implemented behavioral principles in both the public and private school setting as a 1:1 therapist, as well as a secret shadow for clients preparing for independence in social and academic settings. After obtaining a Master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Educational Studies, she began working for ABC in 2014. Yasmin finds joy in collaborating with parents, teachers, and administrators aiding in the delivery of behavior analytic principles and teaching meaningful socially important skills for unique learners.

Sunita Joshi
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst

Sunita Joshi volunteered with children with special needs in 2002 in India. After moving to the USA in 2005, she continued to work with children with autism at the Emory Autism Center on a volunteer basis. In 2008, she joined the May Institute and worked as a home-based therapist. Sunita joined the Marcus Autism Center in 2010 as behavior technician and was promoted to the position of Clinical Specialist in 2013. She left Marcus in June 2015 to join Applied Behavioral Consulting. Sunita is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst.

Therapists

 Emily Bradbury, RBT

Emily graduated in 2015 from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Visual Communications and a minor in Psychology.
While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she worked with children at EdVenture Children’s Museum as a program guide to inspire learning and creativity. This is when she grew passionate about working with kids.
Since graduating, Emily has worked with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum for four years. She began as a Line Therapist at The Early Autism Project in Columbia, South Carolina where she worked one-on-one with children on academic, social, language, adaptive, and motor skills. After a year at EAP, she was promoted to Lead Therapist at Project Hope in Greenwood, South Carolina where she aided in parent and therapist training. In 2016, she received her Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification.
Emily has now relocated to Athens, Georgia and is pursuing her Master’s of Education in Professional Counseling at the University of Georgia.

Sona Chengala, RBT

Sona graduated with her Bachelors’ in Psychology from Emory University. She has been working with children since she was a student in high school, working as a tutor and part of the Americorps Jumpstart program. She started working at the Emory Autism Center while pursuing her bachelors’ degree. After graduating, she started working as a preschool teacher, and soon after as a therapist with ABC. Sona is a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), and is currently working towards becoming a Board Certified behavior Analyst (BCBA). She looks forward to continuing her passion for working with children with ASD in the future.

Amy Davis, RBT

Amy is a graduate from the University of Georgia where she received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Amy currently holds a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Certificate. She is enrolled at the University of Cincinnati and is on track to graduate with her Master’s in Special Education: Applied Behavior Analysis in December 2020. She then hopes to sit for the BCBA exam by March 2021.

Amy was a research assistant for a year in Dr. Ronald Blount’s Pediatric Psychology lab at UGA. This allowed her involvement in many studies and hands on research at Camp Twitch and Shout. She also enjoyed running a Special Needs Bowling League for 2 years where she interacted closely with children and young adults. Amy is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children and their families. During her free time she enjoys riding horses, making functional pottery, and playing the piano.

Nesha Defoe, RBT

Nesha graduated from Troy University in 2017 with a B.S., in Psychology and a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is currently working towards her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis. She has 3 years of experience of working with children on the spectrum and problem behaviors. Her love and passion comes from  the experiences gained while working and volunteering at The Special Olympics and her experience during my practicum in undergrad. Nesha has worked with a wide array of children and teenagers, ranging from 18 months to 16 years of age throughout various settings. Nesha enjoys shopping, hanging at the beach and painting.

Whitney Dyer, RBT

Whitney received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Sociology from Samford University, her Masters of Arts in Special Education from Georgia Southern University and has been teaching for seven years. She began teaching preschool at Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center in Birmingham, Alabama where she first received ABA training and worked alongside BCBAs to provide ABA based services in the classroom. She has taught preschool, elementary and middle school in the public school systems, teaching students with ASD, ID, and developmental delays.

Emily Epperson

Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Educational Studies from Wesleyan College in 2011. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Family Therapy from Mercer University School of Medicine in 2014. She is currently working towards becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Emily began working with children with ASD and EBD while completing student teaching during her time at Wesleyan College. Emily developed a desire to work with ASD during her ndergraduate studies. She hopes to apply her MFT background to ABA while focusing on becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Emily is currently a Registered behavior Technician (RBT) and looks forward to sitting for her BCBA exam!

Brooke Evans, RBT

Brooke received her degree in human services from Duluth Business University, in Duluth Minnesota. She has volunteered at an after school program, and The Boys and Girls Club. Brooke’s desire to work with children on the spectrum was sparked while she was a full time nanny for a family with a child with autism. Brooke relocated to Atlanta for more opportunities to work in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Brooke is currently Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), she plans to return to school to further her education.

 Lauren Heres, RBT

Lauren has been working with children since middle school as a babysitter and nursery volunteer. She knew from that point that she always wanted to work with kids in some way and in high school she worked  at The Goddard School. She then graduated from the University of Georgia in 2018 with her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development & Family Science. During her time in her undergrad program, Lauren volunteered at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), where she was introduced to the realm of ABA while interning at Marcus Autism Center. In their research department, she learned more about individuals with autism which inspired her to pursue ABA in the future. After college, Lauren worked at CHOA with the psychiatry and social work team helping mental health patients. Lauren is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in ABA at Georgia State University and started working as an RBT. Lauren recently finished her Masters program in December 2020 and is working towards becoming a BCBA!

Maila Heu

Maila graduated Summa Cum Laude from Point University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She has over 4 years of experience working with children diagnosed with ASD and other developmental disorders. She has assisted with program development and has participated in research protocols in the past. Maila has provided ABA therapy to children in a variety of settings including clinic, home, and school. She sincerely enjoys being a part of her client’s life as well as seeing her clients grow and learn.

Lizzi Kirk, RBT

Lizzi graduated in 2014 from the Florida State University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Family and Child Sciences. She is currently working towards her Masters Degree in Special Education, with a concentration in Behavior Analysis, at the University of West Florida. Lizzi has been working with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum for the past four years. In 2015 she received her Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification. Throughout her time as a RBT she has provided 1:1 services in the home, school, and clinic setting for children between the ages of 2-16. She has also lead social groups and worked with BCBA’s on program development. Lizzi has always had a passion for working with children and is excited to continue to grow and learn in this field.

Kerri McDaniel, RBT

Kerri is a graduate of the University of Georgia where she studied
Human Development and Family Science. After graduating she traveled to
South Korea where she taught English as a second language. Kerri has
always had a passion for working with children in a variety of
different settings. From preschool teacher, nanny, and ESL teacher,
these wonderful experiences led her to her passion of working with
children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kerri is currently
training to become an RBT and plans to return to school for her
Masters’s degree.

Lauren Ryckman

Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Emory University and a Master’s degree in Counseling with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. She began working with children on the Autism Spectrum in 2007 as an assistant teacher at the Walden School of the Emory Autism Center. Lauren has continued to work in a variety of clinical and educational environments providing ABA services to individuals and families. She is dedicated to the success of her clients and supporting each individual’s specific needs. Lauren completed her Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis coursework in 2015 and plans to become certified as a BCBA.

Gina Schultz

Gina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Special Education with a concentration in Autism. She plans to graduate in December 2019. Gina worked as a special education paraprofessional for 5 years. In 2016, she was trained by a BCBA to work with students on the autism spectrum.

“An ABA program’s success makes life-changing differences in a child. My main purpose for each client is to help him/her have the most independent, quality of life possible by knowing how to express his or her needs and desires appropriately and independently so they can be fulfilled.”

Jendera Smith

Jendera completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2011 from Piedmont College. She obtained her Master’s degree in Psychology with a specialization in ABA in 2016 from Capella University. Jendera has always enjoyed working with individuals with special needs. However, her passion and long term goal has been to work with children diagnosed with ASD. She’s worked with adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 7 years. In 2012, she began providing direct care to adults with IDD in day programs and residential settings. She trained and assisted (groups and individuals) in daily living skills and developing community based activities that addressed skills ranging from motor, socialization, communication, lifelong learning, and employment. In 2017, Jendera was promoted to Social Services Program Coordinator and began managing adult day programs in Barrow, Jackson, and Clarke Counties. She analyzed individual programs during planning, implementation, and follow-up to verify quality and ensure activities/services achieved stated objectives and outcomes. In 2016, Jendera begin working part-time as a teacher and behavior specialist. She taught early learning skills to toddlers ages (28 months to 4 years old); organized and implemented daily activities following a planned curriculum; and observed, assessed, and provided support to children with emotional and behavioral challenges.

Jendera is currently working towards becoming a BCBA.

Alex Wallace, RBT

Alex is a graduate of the University of California Riverside and holds a Bachelor degree in Theater and Performing Arts. While at UCR, Alex received a grant through the Gluck Fellowship to create and teach classes about different elements of theater to local, inner-city schools. After graduating, Alex worked for one of Southern California’s largest ABA companies, Autism Behavioral Consultants, based in Los Angeles. During her tenure, she completed a comprehensive 90-day training program, provided in-home and at-school services, and began developing programs for clients before moving to Georgia to be closer to family. Alex finished her coursework requirements through Florida Institute of Technology and plans to become certified as a BCaBA.

Mariah Wilson, RBT

Mariah is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Psychology. She has always expressed a strong desire to aid those on Autism Spectrum Disorder. This passion drove her to volunteer at Speech Pathology Services in Atlanta GA , where she assisted in summer camps for children with cognitive and developmental disabilities. While working alongside Pediatric Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists, Mariah grew an even stronger love for working with children.

Administration

Shaun Geist
Operations Manager

Shaun holds an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. Shaun began his career in California with the public school system in 2003. In 2011 he began working for a provider in Southern California, specializing with children on the Autism Spectrum, providing direct ABA services. In 2013 he was promoted to role of Supervisor, where he thrived on parent training and program development.

In addition to his ABA experience, he has multiple years of experience working with various businesses providing strategic and tactical support. After relocating to Atlanta, Shaun joined Applied Behavioral Consulting in 2015.

Barbara Nakan
Accounts Receivable and Payroll Manager

Barbara Nakan has been a part of the ABC team since 2013.  As the Accounts Receivable and Payroll Manager, her most frequent tasks include billing and insurance claims.  She grew up and was educated in South Africa, and has called Atlanta home for 16 years.  Barbara loves animals and enjoys spending time with her family.