Meet The

Team

Leadership

Eric Rozenblat, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Executive Director

Eric Rozenblat, Ph.D., BCBA-D is the Executive Director of The Institute for Educational Achievement. He earned his Doctorate Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University. He served on the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis (NJABA), and has held numerous positions for the organization, including Representative-at-Large and President. He has presented at local and national conferences on various topics including differential schedules of reinforcement, staff training, joint attention, and promoting independence in individuals with autism. He has published work in peer-reviewed journals. His research interests include differential schedules of reinforcement, teaching joint attention skills to individuals with autism, and teaching language and social skills through script and script-fading procedures.

Donna De Feo, Ph.D.

Principal

Donna De Feo, Ph.D., obtained her MA degree from Montclair State University, her Principal Certificate from the NJ Department of Education, and her Ph.D. in General Psychology, with an emphasis in Cognition and Instruction from Grand Canyon University. Dr. De Feo has been an integral part of IEA since its opening in 1996. She was one of the original teachers and is currently both Principal and Director of the program.Dr. De Feo has extensive experience in delivering intervention services to individuals with autism, providing support to their families, disseminating information to the community, and training / supervising professional staff, including mentoring numerous Principal candidates. Dr. De Feo has played a major role in developing systems at IEA to ensure effective intervention services and has played a role in developing the employment skills of the adolescents at IEA. She has interfaced effectively with local community businesses and has been critically involved in securing a wide variety of employment experiences for the learners at IEA.

Amy Chiappa

Trainer of Applied Behavior Analysis Education Program

Amy Chiappa is a Trainer of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at the Educational Program at the Institute for Educational Achievement (IEA). Prior to assuming this role for the organization, Amy served as a certified teacher in the Educational Program. She received her undergraduate degree from Montclair State University in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, where she received teaching certifications in both, P-3 and K-8 education. Additionally, she furthered her education at Felician College, where she received a certification in teaching Students with Disabilities. Amy provides hands-on training in order to ensure effective teaching to a wide variety of new and valuable skills (e.g., self-help, independence, academic) across a variety of environments (e.g., school, home, and community).

Ana C. Alban, M.A.

Trainer of Applied Behavior Analysis Education Program

Ana C. Alban, M.A., earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University and later pursued her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Caldwell University. Prior to her role as a Trainer of Applied Behavior Analysis, Ana worked as an instructor at the Institute for Educational Achievement for almost ten years. During this time, she also fulfilled the requirements necessary to sit for the BCBA exam. She has experience providing intervention to individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in home, school, and community settings. Her research interests include promoting independence in individuals with ASD using activity schedules. Ana is committed to making a difference in children with ASD and is interested in disseminating the science, particularly in the Spanish-speaking communities.

Emma Quigley, M.A.

Trainer of Applied Behavior Analysis Adult Life Skills Program

Emma Quigley, M.A. is a Trainer for the Adult Life Skills Program (ALSP) at the Institute for Educational Achievement. She received her undergraduate degree from Stonehill College in Psychology. Emma was first introduced to IEA during a volunteer experience as a high school student. Once she graduated from college, Emma joined IEA’s team as a Life-skills Coach. Emma works with staff to teach new skills to the adults in an order to help them lead to increased levels of independence in the workplace, community, and home. She earned her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University and is currently perusing her BCBA certification.

Kristin Cassidy, M.A., BCBA

Assistant Director of Adult Life Skills Program

Kristin Cassidy, M.A., BCBA is the Assistant Director of the Adult Life Skills Program (ALSP) at IEA. Prior to joining the ALSP, she served as a certified teacher in IEA’s education program. She received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Pace University. Additionally, she received her Master’s Degree in special education and her BCBA from Ball State University. She has extensive experience providing hands-on training and presenting on topics related to staff training and development. Her research interests include teaching self-monitoring to individuals with autism, staff training and development, and effective autism intervention.

Alyssa Nelson, BSN, RN, CSN

School Nurse

Alyssa Nelson, BSN, RN, CSN, is a Certified School Nurse at the Institute for Educational Achievement. She attended Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Shortly after, she sat for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX), where she received her Registered Nurse License. Upon joining IEA in 2014, she went through additional schooling to receive her Certified School Nurse Certificate from New Jersey City University in 2016.  She effectively blends her medical experience with a behavior analytic approach to ensure students reach their fullest potential.

Marlene Haftek, CPA

Business Manager

Marlene Haftek joined IEA as the Business Manager in late 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Ramapo College of NJ and is a NJ licensed Certified Public Accountant. She has over 20 years of Accounting experience working for Fortune 500 companies. Marlene has volunteered with West Milford Special Olympics for 5 years and served on their fundraising committee.

Dawn Townsend, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Executive Director Emeritus

Dawn Buffington Townsend, Ph.D., BCBA-D is the Executive Director Emerita of the Institute for Educational Achievement (IEA).  During her 20-year career at IEA, Dr. Townsend, along with her colleagues and the Board of Trustees, developed state-of-the-art education and adult life-skills programs.  Dr. Townsend also serves as the Executive Director of the Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention (ASAI), a membership organization that promotes excellence in scientific autism intervention.  In addition, she is the Director of Prevail NJ, an organization dedicated to providing a wide array of residential alternatives to adults with autism.  She earned a doctorate in Psychology / Behavior Analysis from the CUNY Graduate School and University Center.  Dr. Townsend served as the Treasurer of the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis for 10 years, as an advisory board member for several autism intervention programs globally, as a guest editor on several journals in the field of autism, and as an adjunct lecturer at Queens College (CUNY).  She has extensive research experience in the area of autism intervention, with an emphasis on developing communication and social skills in children, adolescents, and adults with autism.  Dr. Townsend has mentored many professionals at the masters and doctoral levels.  Her research has focused on the development of social and language skills in children and adolescents with autism and she has published numerous articles in both basic and Applied Behavior Analysis journals.  In addition, she has made numerous presentations on autism intervention at local, national, and international conferences and promotes the application of behavior analysis in the effective education of individuals with autism through consultation with other programs and professionals both nationally and internationally.

Board of Trustees

Holly Manuelian, Esq., President

August A. Zenzius, CRPC ®, CPFA ®, Vice-President

Frank Salerno, Treasurer

Joanne Dowling, Secretary

Chuck Adams

David Appell

Janet G. Arena

Jeffrey Fisher, M.D.

Norm Forsyth

Diane E. Lento

Douglas G. Phelps

Lisa N. Picinic

Trustees Emeriti

Michelle Densen Fisher

Frank J. Lento

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CoVid19 update
During these unprecedented times, IEA is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all staff and students based upon the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Education (DOE), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), and Department of Health (DOH). 
For information on IEA’s Protocol for Returning to In-Person Instruction following a Health-Related School Closure, click the link below.