Meet The Cardinal Center Team

Each one of our dedicated staff members at The Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis is committed to providing you with the highest standard of service. Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) are highly trained and experienced, and together, we build a positive and engaging environment to ensure that your child and your family have the best possible experience possible.

Leadership

Ashley Brightwell, Clinic Director

DENNY CLARK

Director of Clinical Operations, BCBA

Denny Clark earned his B.S. in psychology from Appalachian State University, and graduated from Arizona State University with his Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis. Prior to starting his career at Cardinal in November of 2020, Denny provided behavior analysis services across a wide variety of settings where he specialized in verbal behavior, staff training, and the development of behavioral interventions for reduction of problem behaviors. As Clinical Director, Denny oversees all staff, clients, and clinic operations at The Cardinal Center.

“What I find most rewarding is seeing our clients grow and acquire the skills they need to be successful.”

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)

JONATHAN SHAW, BCBA

Jonathan Shaw

Lead BCBA

Jonathan Shaw earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He completed his graduate internship at the Murdoch Developmental Center under the supervision of Dr. Ruth Hurst. After starting at The Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis in February 2021, Jonathan assists with program development, program modifications, and training staff and caregivers in program implementation.

“The most rewarding part of my career is seeing improvements in the lives of the families we serve.”

BECK DANDE, BCBA

Beck Dande

BCBA

Beck Dande began her career at The Cardinal Center in January of 2017 as a Registered Behavior Technician. After 4 years of working as an RBT, she obtained her master’s degree from Arizona State University in applied behavior analysis and passed her exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in April 2021. In addition to working with clients, she helps mentor new staff and supervises 1:1 sessions by giving feedback, answering questions, modeling interventions, and more.

“I love watching my clients’ faces light up when they do something independently for the first time!”

HADEEL KHRAIS RBT, Group Lead

Hadeel Khrais

BCBA

Hadeel Khrais earned her master’s degree in special education from Wayne State University, and taught in public and charter schools before transitioning to a clinic setting. She has worked with children of all ages and grade levels for over a decade. After starting with The Cardinal Center in July 2019, Hadeel became one of the Registered Behavioral Technician group leads, and is currently working on pursuing her BCBA.

“I love the “aha!” moment with a client after so many hours, days, and weeks working with them to master a specific goal.”

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)

JONATHAN SHAW, BCBA

Jonathan Shaw

Lead BCBA

Jonathan Shaw earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He completed his graduate internship at the Murdoch Developmental Center under the supervision of Dr. Ruth Hurst. After starting at The Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis in February 2021, Jonathan assists with program development, program modifications, and training staff and caregivers in program implementation.

“The most rewarding part of my career is seeing improvements in the lives of the families we serve.”

BECK DANDE, BCBA

Beck Dande

BCBA

Beck Dande began her career at The Cardinal Center in January of 2017 as a Registered Behavior Technician. After 4 years of working as an RBT, she obtained her master’s degree from Arizona State University in applied behavior analysis and passed her exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in April 2021. In addition to working with clients, she helps mentor new staff and supervises 1:1 sessions by giving feedback, answering questions, modeling interventions, and more.

“I love watching my clients’ faces light up when they do something independently for the first time!”

HADEEL KHRAIS RBT, Group Lead

Hadeel Khrais

BCBA

Hadeel Khrais earned her master’s degree in special education from Wayne State University, and taught in public and charter schools before transitioning to a clinic setting. She has worked with children of all ages and grade levels for over a decade. After starting with The Cardinal Center in July 2019, Hadeel became one of the Registered Behavioral Technician group leads, and is currently working on pursuing her BCBA.

“I love the “aha!” moment with a client after so many hours, days, and weeks working with them to master a specific goal.”

Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs)

ALICE OKAMOTO, Lead RBT

Alice Okamoto

RBT Operations Manager

​Alice Okamoto earned her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at ASU. Alice has worked as a behavior technician for years in schools, homes, and clinics, and giving her clients and their families the best experiences. Alice started at Cardinal in June of 2020, where she works as a Lead Registered Behavior Technician and will sit for her board exam to become a BCBA in early 2021.

“I love getting to watch the kids grow up and getting to know their families, and always seeing them smile!”

JESSICA SHORT Academic Classroom Teacher, RBT

Jessica Short

Academic Classroom Teacher, RBT

Jessica Short has been working with children with autism and other developmental disabilities for over 10 years. She graduated from Barton College with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008. She has experience with 1:1 instruction, social skills, afterschool programs, and classroom readiness programs. Since June of 2019, Jessica’s goal has been to create an environment at Cardinal that combines fun and learning to aid in students’ development and growth.

“I love being a positive influence and working with our clients! As much as they are learning from me, I am learning from them!”

HALEY KLINK, RBT

Haley Klink

RBT

Haley Klink earned her bachelor’s degree in communication science and disorders and has worked with children with autism for over 4 years. Haley is an adventurous person who enjoys rock climbing and who has a blast working with children as a Registered Behavior Technician at The Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis, where she began in June of 2020.

“It’s so rewarding to see each kid grow independently, and seeing the progress they make each day is the reason I come to work.”

ISABEL SEVERA, RBT

Isabel Severa

RBT

​Isabel Severa is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology at North Carolina State University, and plans to pursue a master’s degree following graduation. She is passionate about helping people and making an impact in her community, and as a Registered Behavior Technician, Isabel joined the Cardinal team in February 2021 hoping to use her creativity and positivity to help her clients succeed.

“I love every aspect of this job, but seeing clients smile when they make progress is the most rewarding part.”

KENDRA SMALLS, RBT

Kendra Smalls

RBT

Kendra Smalls has a bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology from Hampton University and behavioral training from Florida Institute of Technology, and she is currently completing her master’s in psychology from Regent University. Kendra joined the Cardinal team in November 2020 and will soon be pursuing her BCBA certification after working as an RBT for over 2 years.

“I love watching children grow and exceed at something I was able to teach them – it’s forever a learning experience.”

ANDREW CRAIG, RBT

Andrew Craig

RBT

Andrew Craig earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from UNC-Wilmington and his master’s in professional school counseling from Appalachian State. He earned a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from George Mason University and is passionate about working with children with autism and helping them to be successful. Andrew is working toward becoming a BCBA and started with Cardinal in August 2020.

“Seeing the smiles on kid’s faces and working through challenges is the most rewarding experience I can imagine.”

KAYLA WHITE, RBT

Kayla White

RBT

Kayla White has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in human development and family studies. Prior to joining the Cardinal team in March of 2021, she worked as a teaching assistant in Costa Rica for six weeks, and has experience in childcare and working with diverse populations. Kayla takes great pride in creating a loving, caring, and comfortable environment for our clients to excel in.

“The most rewarding part of being an RBT is watching kids become more confident and meet their goals.”

KAYLA WHITE, RBT

Angela Martin

RBT

Angela Martin originally studied to be an English teacher then switched to Communications where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Prior to starting her career as an RBT at The Cardinal Center in March of 2021, Angela gained experience as a Preschool teacher and freelance tutor. Angela is an advocate for challenging her students/clients in positive ways that maximize their potential.

“The progress my clients make over time is the most rewarding part of my job. Watching a child have an “a-ha” moment is priceless.”

KATEY CARUSO, RBT

Lacey Malinsky

RBT

Lacey Malinsky is in her senior year at North Carolina State University where she is majoring in Biology and minoring in Biotechnology and non-profit studies. She is proud to be a part of the Goodnight Scholars Program at NC State, which is based on academic excellence, professional achievement, and civic engagement. In high school, Lacey served as a student teacher in a special education classroom, which ignited her passion to help children with special needs reach their full potential.

“It’s such a privilege to witness clients become more independent, while also fostering relationships with their peers and our team.”

KATEY CARUSO, RBT

Brian Penn

RBT

Brian Penn graduated from Oakwood University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. He spent a semester studying in Spain in 2019. Brian enjoys working with children and has worked with elementary and middle school children through his work with the YMCA Bell Program and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Summer Camp. It was these experiences that shaped his desire to one day become a Certified Clinician and eventually pursue a master’s degree in Psychology.

“Being able to help children make breakthroughs that they never expected makes me just as happy as it makes them.”

KATEY CARUSO, RBT

Kaitlyn Kinzer

RBT

Kaitlyn Kinzer has a diverse background in childcare, working as an assistant teacher with young children as well as a personal, in-home nanny prior to her current role as an RBT. Kaitlyn believes her experiences have equipped her to communicate effectively, while maintaining a calm disposition when working with her students. Because of her passion for helping children, Kaitlyn plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication Sciences and a master’s in Speech Pathology.

“I love forming special bonds with my students based on trust because it encourages them to reach personal development milestones.”

KATEY CARUSO, RBT

MAGGIE SCHNUR

RBT

Maggie Schnur has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently in a master’s program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling, as she hopes to one day be a therapist for adolescents in the juvenile system. Maggie has a brother with autism and her parents have been fostering a woman with down syndrome for the past 8 years. This personal experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities is one of the reasons Maggie is such a great fit as an RBT at The Cardinal Center.

“Being able to see a child light up when they learn something new is exceptionally rewarding. It’s why I love doing what I do!”

KATEY CARUSO, RBT

Sarah Hayes

RBT

KATEY CARUSO, RBT

VANESSA LOCKHART

RBT

Vanessa Lockhart is currently working towards earning her bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies at Grand Canyon University, and only has one year left to complete. Vanessa has been working with children since 2000. However, she found her passion for special education in 2016, which is where she gained her experience in the field of behavior analysis while working as a paraprofessional in a Pre-K classroom environment.

“Working with children with autism is so rewarding. It gives me purpose knowing I’m contributing to their growth and independence.”

Questions?

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