MEET OUR STAFF

Occupational Therapists

Click on each picture to read a short bio about our staff!

Dr. Angie: Owner and Founder of In2Great!
Manny Herrera, M.S., OTR/L
Rachel Cuya, MOTR, OTR/L Director of Occupational Therapy
Emma Williams COTA/L
Melissa Podrazik, M.S., OTR/L
Dallas Bastillo, M.S., OTR/L
Claire Hadley, MOT, OTR/L
Pooja Patel, OTD, OTR/L
Angela Kruse, MOT, OTR/L
Weronika Zuczek, OT
Weronika Zuczek, OTD, OTR/L
Dr. Melissa Donegan, OTD, OTR/L. Director of Occupational Therapy
Elena Presta, MOT, OTR/L
Lindsey Martinez, OTR/L Director of Occupational Therapy
Sidney Rose, MOT, OTR/L
Sheena Vallesterol, OTD, OTR/L
Nikki Thomas, MSOT, OTR/L
Madelyn Farag, MOT, OTR/L
Maggie Cram, MOT, OTR/L
Rachel Tomazin, OTD, OTR/L
Daisy Castillo, MOT, OTR/L
Karen Conckle, OT
Annalisa Minaert, OTR/L
Anna Harmon, MSOT,OTR/L
Raena Bennett, OTD, OTR/L

Speech Therapists

Gwen Reilly, M.A., CCC-SLP/L Clinical Director
Siyana Todorova, SLP-CCC
Carmelita King, M.A., CCC-SLP
Brittany LaCursia, M.S., CCC-SLP/L
Elena DiSanto, M.A., CCC-SLP
Josie Greenemay, M.A. CCC-SLP
Nimra Burney, M.A., CCC-SLP, Director of SLP
Elyse Szymanski, M.S., C.F. -SLP
Julie Crossen M.S., CF- SLP
Marie Chemmachel, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Emily Greenberg, M.A. CCC- SLP
Kayte Colleran, M.S. CCC- SLP
Michelle Diatte, M.S, CCC- SLP
Angelika Gniady M.S. CCC- SLP
Nick Petrus, MS, CF

Mental Health Therapists

Megan Cunningham, MSW/LSW Director of Mental Health Services
Carol Cowen, LCSW
Ashley Kangail, LCSW
Morgan Galvin, MSW/LSW
Maddy Rudd, MSW/LSW
Jamie Moler, LCSW
Lucy Atsaves, LPC
Kara Johnson, LCSW
Shelby Olita, MSW/LSW
Amanda Haugh, MSW/LSW, Marketing Manager
Jen Walenga, LSW
Amanda Hilmer, LSW
Francesca Alvarado, LSW

Physical Therapists

Norah Springgate
Norah Springgate, PT, C/NDT
Patricia L. Nootbaar, PT
KC Ubayubay (PT)

Office Staff

Diana Lamberis, Office Manager
Jocelyn Edmonds, Human Resources
Leo Harisiadis, Executive Director
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Monika Hanna, Administrator Director
Caitlin Lavigne, Intake/Office Coordinator
Melissa Diaz, Operations Coordinator
Talia Barajas, ABA Billing Specialist
Chloe Black, Social Media & Website Manager

ABA Department

Jackie Jung, RBT
Sam Lapinski, BCBA, Assistant ABA Director
Jenna Elliott
Jenna Calabrese, BCBA
Reyna Stevens, BCBA/ABA Case Manager
Riley Pazen, Behavior Technician
Myranda Rico, RBT
Yami Garcia, RBT/ABA Scheduler
Aubree Earnest, RBT/ABA Operations Manager
Lourdes Ramirez, RBT
Kira Lentino, Behavior Specialist, RBT
Taylor Leach, RBT
Destiny Campos, RBT
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Thalia Espinoza, Behavioral Technician
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Emily Carlson, RBT
Sam Serviss, RBT
Maddie Maze, BCBA
Katharine Schwarz, RBT
Paulina Rzepecki, RBT
Crystal Garcia, RBT
Katelyn Kashnowski, RBT

Have a Question?

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Please contact us and someone will get back with you as soon as possible.

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Dr. Angie: Owner and Founder of In2Great!

Dr. Angie Harisiadis has been a practicing occupational therapist for over 17 years. She was the first occupational therapist to receive her doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy in the state of Illinois from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is passionate about her work, sensitive to every family’s needs and is always willing to go above and beyond to make sure her clients are satisfied and getting the quality therapy they deserve. Dr. Harisiadis knows first-hand the difficulties in raising children with regulatory challenges, and so she understands parents’ concerns and worries. She and her staff are trained in the field of pediatric therapy. Their goal is to improve the physical, emotional, developmental and social needs of their clients, all while engaging them in a playful and motivating environment. Dr. Harisiadis believes that a child’s primary occupation is to play! Learning is best accomplished in a playful and supportive environment. Dr. Harisiadis is proud and confident in her team and in the quality of their work. Opening her own clinic in Buffalo Grove has been one of her most rewarding accomplishments, and she looks forward to continuing to meet the needs of many more children and their families.

Manny Herrera, M.S., OTR/L

Manny has been an occupational therapist for over 20 years. He received his BA from UIC in 1988, and then his BS in Occupational Therapy in 1998. In addition to In2great!, Manny has worked at Alexander Lee Center for Autism for the past 10 years. He has also worked at the infamous Camp Avanti for 2 years in addition to the JCC Summer camps for many years.

Manny is a fun-loving, energetic, patient and collaborative therapist. He has been working with children his entire career and can’t picture himself doing anything else. When he is not working, he enjoys gardening, engaging in-home repairs, traveling to Florida and sitting on the beach. He also loves spending time with friends and family.

Rachel Cuya, MOTR, OTR/L Director of Occupational Therapy

Rachel graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Biokinetics at Bethel University and received her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Minnesota. She has extensive experience working with kids, from previous OT positions and experiences while in grad school to working as an aid for several families with children with various disabilities, specifically living with one family with a young boy, taking him to therapy sessions, and being able to understand the true “lived” family experience of life outside of therapy sessions. Rachel grew up in Wisconsin, moved to Minnesota for 7 years for school, then moved to Illinois to work at In2Great and be closer to family. Rachel has completed her 10-month training to become a DIR®-FCD/Floortime Provider (Developmental Individual Relationship-based) as well as is Therapeutic Listening trained and certified. She is also our Co-Director of the occupational therapy department. She enjoys meeting with new families and taking referrals to help provide services to meet each child’s needs. She takes a true relationship-based approach to help children progress along the developmental ladder and create meaning and intention within their world to gain life-long skills through meaningful play. She loves using play to help kids learn as well as individualizing each session based on kid’s interests. In her free time, she enjoys baking cookies and pies, spending time with her aussie doodle named Colby, traveling to new places, and playing card/board games with friends and family. Another fun fact, Rachel’s husband is also an OT, but he works in hand therapy!”

Emma Williams COTA/L

I discovered my love for OT at a young age after hearing stories from my grandmother who was an OT herself. I began shadowing the profession in high school and discovered that my love for OT grew after shadowing in pediatric settings. I have over 15 years of experience working with young children ages 3 months to 14 years old. Following hundreds of hours working with children and shadowing in the field, my dream of working as a pediatric occupational therapy practitioner was solidified. I received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Children’s Studies from Illinois State University in 2016 and an associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant from Fox College in 2019. A passion for facilitating the unique development of each individual child is deeply rooted in my core values and I strive to create an environment that is both engaging and instructive! I love to learn and I plan of furthering my education in the OT field in the near future. A few things that everyone should know about me are that my favorite animal is an alpaca, I love super colorful socks, and I have TONS of pets at home!

Melissa Podrazik, M.S., OTR/L

Melissa was born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and minor in Psychology. She then received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Melissa has always had a passion for working in pediatrics and has worked with kids ages 2.5 through 17 with a wide variety of diagnoses. Her background includes extensive volunteer work at Pathways and other pediatric clinics, working with the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab’s Modified Constraint-Induced-Movement-Therapy camp for kids with cerebral palsy and stroke, as well as working at sensory integration based clinic, where she discovered the importance of using sensory integration and DIR-Floortime models in her treatment sessions. Melissa is a strong believer in the occupation of PLAY!

In her free time, Melissa enjoys cooking, board games, puzzles, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and watching TV shows on Netflix.

Dallas Castillo, MS/C, OTR/L

Dallas Castillo has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Following his graduate work, Dallas began his career working at a therapeutic day school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, sensory processing difficulties, physical disabilities and other related disabilities. Dallas has also worked as an occupational therapist at a University hospital in Chicago working with patients with complex psychiatric, psychosocial, and medical needs. Dallas is Level 1 Certified in Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism and took part in the Illinois Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program, a 1-year intensive training program that prepares scholars who will serve children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities and their families through coordinated, culturally competent, and family-centered care, in addition to public health services and policy systems change. Dallas is now also a part of the In2great! team. He has a strong interest in family-centered care practices and working with children with a variety of needs to promote participation in all areas of life. Dallas currently lives in Chicago and, in his free time, enjoys playing indoor and beach volleyball, traveling, and spending time with his nieces, Chloe and Norah, and 3 nephews, David, Nicholas, and Anthony.

Claire Hadley, MOT, OTR/L

My name is Claire and I am a licensed Occupational Therapist. I graduated from St. Louis University with my Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and had always dreamed of working in pediatrics. I am passionate about relationship-based therapy and I love getting to know each and every child I work with to find out what makes them special and unique! I am a firm believer that people learn and grow the best when they are having fun, so I make it a priority that the children I work with look forward to coming to In2Great!. Some areas that I specialize in
are sensory processing disorders, fine and visual motor delays, and feeding. Additionally, I am certified in Therapeutic Listening, Astronaut Training, and trained in Handwriting Without Tears. I use a bottom-up approach in my treatment planning to ensure that no stone is left unturned in a child’s development, and I love collaborating with the parents of my clients along the way. In my free time, I love to play the piano and the guitar, draw, read, and spend time with my dog Lola!

Pooja Patel, OTD, OTR/L

Pooja is a graduate from The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where she received her Bachelors in Health Sciences and Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Her doctoral capstone project focused on mindfulness meditation and the effects it had on stress and sleep quality among college students.

Pooja has always had a passion for working with children and has a variety of experience working in the pediatric setting working with diagnoses including cerebral palsy, ASD, sensory processing, ADHD, etc. In her free time, Pooja enjoys reading, watching tv shows, and hanging out with my friends.

Sara Bennett
Angela Kruse, MOT, OTR/L

Coming soon…

Weronika Zuczek, OT

Weronika graduated with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her doctoral project focused on working with and supporting teens and pre-teens with developmental and intellectual disabilities in preparing for life after high school. Weronika has additional specialized training in primitive reflex integration, The Astronaut Training Program, play-based therapy, and incorporating autism-specific, strengths-based interventions. She has used a variety of interventions based on the needs of the child, such as sensory-based strategies, Handwriting Without Tears, the Zones of Regulation program, and the Social Thinking program. Weronika has worked with children and young adults with a variety of diagnoses, including autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, developmental delays, genetic disorders, and physical disabilities. Weronika is dedicated to working with the whole family to best support their child and strives to make therapy fun and meaningful through using a child-centered and play-based approach as play is the “work” of childhood.

Dr. Melissa Donegan, OTD, OTR/L. Director of Transitional Programming and Marketing/PR

Dr. Melissa Donegan is a recent graduate from Midwestern University and received her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy. She received her bachelor’s in kinesiology with a focus in exercise science and health promotion at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Her doctoral project focused on establishing evidence through program evaluation and research to demonstrate the value of occupational therapy’s role in community mental health-based practice.

During her time at Midwestern University, she received the Tiered Occupational Therapy (TOT) Scholarship, a 1-year training program designed to prepare occupational therapy scholars to address the mental health needs of children and youth. The TOT Scholarship strived to prepare scholars to engage in holistic and trauma-informed care practice. Melissa is dedicated to performing evidence-based, client-centered treatment with a passion for inclusivity, advocacy, and addressing mental health. She hopes to combine her passion for the pediatric-based practice and program development to create groups that can address the needs of the community of Buffalo Grove and the surrounding areas.

Melissa loves traveling and embracing new cultural experiences. While in undergrad, she traveled and lived in Dublin, Ireland completing a sports psychology research program at the University College Dublin. During graduate school, Melissa traveled to Belém, Brazil to research occupational therapy’s role in community-based practice. When not in the clinic, you’ll find Melissa enjoying a morning run, board games, yoga, and a good meal with friends.

Elena Presta, MOT, OTR/L

Hi! My name is Elena Presta and I am a licensed occupational therapist with a passion for pediatrics. I graduated from UIUC with a Bachelors of Science In Human Development and Family Studies and received my Masters in Occupational Therapy from North Central College. I have experience working with children of various ages and abilities, including children with sensory processing disorder, ASD, cerebral palsy, ADHD etc. I love using the DIR-Floortime approach to create meaningful interactions with each child to help them reach their fullest potential. I strongly believe that utilizing a child’s strengths through their main occupation of play will allow them to thrive as an individual with unique abilities. I am excited to get to know you and your child throughout this journey!

Lindsey Martinez, OTR/L Director of Occupational Therapy

Lindsey graduated from Concordia University with her Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitative Science and received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Lindsey has 10 years of experience working in pediatrics and nursing homes as an OT and 10+ years working in respite care for disabled children and adults in the home and in a camp setting. Lindsey grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and currently lives in Racine, Wisconsin. Lindsey is currently completing her training to become a DIR/Floortime Provider (Developmental Individual Relationship-based, she is also SOS certified (sequential oral sensory), and has taken the NDT 5 day course (neuro-developmental treatment). She is also our Co-Director of the Occupational Therapy Department. Lindsey has two children who have/currently receive therapy (OT, PT, ST) so she enjoys connecting and meeting new families and being able to help give real life experiences with juggling a child who receives services with everything else you have to do as a working parents. She loves finding activities and using play to help kids learn as well as individualizing each session based on kid’s interests. In her free time, she enjoys playing games and doing crafts with her children, spending time with her nieces and nephews, going to the beach and zoo and is almost always looking for a new book to read! A fun fact about Lindsey is that she lives next to the zoo and lake in Racine!

Sidney Rose, MOT, OTR/L

Sidney fell in love with OT in high school and has never looked back. She knew she wanted to spend her career working with kids after years of babysitting, coaching soccer, and working as a therapy aide in multiple pediatric settings. In previous jobs, Sidney has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including ASD, Down Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Fragile X, etc.

Sidney played collegiate soccer for 4 years and received her Bachelors in Exercise Science and Master’s of Occupational Therapy at Elmhurst University. During graduate school, she had fieldwork experience in a school-based setting with a variety of children with sensory, behavioral, and fine motor limitations. Sidney started her career as an occupational therapist in an elementary school working with K-8th grade students. Within the school setting, Sidney works within instructional classes that provide sensorimotor groups and individual occupational therapy sessions while collaborating with other professionals to help students reach their full potential.

Sidney’s different experiences working with kids has helped her develop the skills necessary to work with children of various ages holistically and address the various environments that they will be exposed to as they grow. She values working with families on their personal goals for their children and making sure that occupational therapy interventions are meaningful to the child and their families. Her goal as a therapist is to create a positive and fun environment that promotes growth and allows for new and engaging play-based experiences. In Sidney’s free time, she loves traveling anywhere with dolphins, learning to cook healthy food, and exercising!

Sheena Vallesterol, OTD, OTR/L

Sheena is a graduate from Midwestern University in Downers Grove IL where she received her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Through her clinicals, she gained experiences in different settings like schools, inpatient acute care, and mental health. Sheena has always had a passion for working with children and has over 5 years of experience working with children with Autism as an RBT prior to being a licensed Occupational therapist. In her free time, Sheena enjoys watching cooking shows, reading, and going to Pilates!

Nikki Thomas, MSOT, OTR/L

Hi, I’m Nikki! I graduated with my bachelor’s in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and with my master’s in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I’m so excited to be part of the team here at In2Great. I have several years of experience working with children of all different abilities. I have always had a love for working with kids, I have known since high school that this is the career that was meant for me 🙂 I am so excited to work with and get to know you and your child! In my free time I love to do anything outside, stay active, listen to live music, drink iced coffee, and spend time with my dog, family, and friends!

Madelyn Farag

My name is Maddie and I am a certified and registered Occupational Therapist! I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Exercise Science at Grand Valley State University and received my master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from North Central College. I have worked with children my entire life, through babysitting, working at camps and coaching soccer. I fell in love with occupational therapy after observing a pediatric clinic and knew that this is what I was meant to do. I have a variety of experiences within the pediatric setting working with diagnoses including ASD, sensory processing, cerebral palsy, ADHD, etc. In my free time I like to go to concerts, go out to eat with friends and play with my dogs!

Maggie Cram, MOT, OTR/L

Maggie has recently graduated from Governors State University with her Masters in
Occupational Therapy. She received her Bachelors of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology and a
certificate in South Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. During her
graduate work, Maggie conducted research on OT’s role in facilitating and enhancing quality
care transitions for our clients between care settings. Maggie and her fellow researchers
presented their findings at the 2023 American Occupational Therapy Association annual
conference.

Maggie is passionate about working with your family to help your child do the things they want
to do, need to do or have to do through occupational therapy using a client-centered and play
based approach! She has experience working with children of all ages using a strengths based
approach meeting their diverse needs. She gained this experience by spending her summers
volunteering at Camp Awesum, a youth camp for children who have autism, her undergraduate
internship at a therapeutic respite center, hippotherapy volunteering, and graduate fieldwork
experience at a pediatric outpatient clinic.

When not at In2Great, Maggie enjoys baking sweet treats, hanging out with her two birds,
game nights with friends, and crocheting stuffed animals! Maggie looks forward to learning
about you and your child and working together to accomplish your family goals.

Sara Bennett
Rachel Tomazin, OTD, OTR/L

Rachel is a graduate from Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine where she received her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. She completed her doctoral capstone at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab where she contributed to rehabilitation outcomes research for neurologic populations. Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University where she was a student-athlete and swam collegiately for 4 years.

Rachel has always had a passion for working with children and has over 7 years of experience as a swim coach working with all ages and abilities. Her approach to therapy is to create a fun, safe, and welcoming environment to build on strengths, address areas of concern, and support growth holistically and collaboratively. In her free time, Rachel enjoys fitness, reading, and coffee.

Daisy Castillo, MOT, OTR/L

Daisy Castillo received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in Spanish from Illinois State University. Later she received a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Indiana State University. Daisy has always had a passion for working with children with over 8 years of experience in different setting including early childcare centers, therapeutic day schools and volunteering at camps. Through her experience, Daisy has worked with children with ASD, sensory processing disorders, physical disabilities, and other pediatric conditions. Daisy is an empathetic, patient, dedicated therapist who enjoys watching children achieve their goals! Daisy loves to spend time with her family, friends, pets, and also enjoys yoga and working out, trying new restaurants or recipes, and traveling.

Karen Conckle, OT

Coming Soon

Annalisa Minaert, OTR/L

My name is Annalisa and I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia and obtained my master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Elmhurst University. I have extensive experience working with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, including several years working with children, both in a DIR focused pediatric OT clinic setting and in daycare. I grew up in Maryland, outside of Washington, DC, and have also lived in New Orleans, New York City, DC proper, and my parents live in New Hampshire where I visit as often as I can! I moved to Chicago in 2018 to attend grad school and be closer to my now husband. In addition to being a certified occupational therapist, I am also certified as a yoga instructor. I previously worked in the hospitality industry and find great joy in meeting and learning about new people and their families. I take a relationship-based approach to my therapeutic style and encourage individuality through play. When I’m not supporting kiddos in their therapeutic life journey, I enjoy spending time with friends and my husband, high school aged stepchild, and our 3 cats, Bonnie, Alastair, and Otis. I also love reading, researching topics that interest me, yoga and Pilates, cooking elaborate meals with my husband, eating out at all the incredible restaurants Chicago has to offer, and traveling as often as I can!

Anna Harmon, MSOT,OTR/L

Anna is a recent graduate of University of Illinois Chicago where she received her Master’s of Science (M.S.) in Occupational Therapy. Her clinical experience includes working with clients with sensory processing differences, executive functioning challenges and physical disabilities.  Prior to attending OT school, Anna worked in the school system for 2 years where she fell in love with working with children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.  Anna is passionate about utilizing a neurodiversity-affirming approach to support her clients and promote meaningful participation in all areas of life. When she isn’t at In2Great!, Anna loves to snuggle with her cat, listen to audiobooks, and watch live music!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raena Bennett, OTD, OTR/L

Hello! My name is Raena Bennett and I graduated from Marquette University with my Doctorate in occupational therapy. I completed my doctoral capstone project which focused on creating a community-based program for caregivers of children with special needs, to promote their mental health and reduce caregiver burden.

I have clinical experience working in the pediatric setting, where I have treated children with diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, CP, Down Syndrome, etc. I truly enjoy working with children and helping them to achieve their goals!

In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, reading, binge-watching TV shows, and spending time with my family, friends, and dog.

Gwen Reilly, M.A., CCC-SLP/L Clinical Director

Gwen Reilly, Licensed Speech and Language Pathologist, has been a practicing clinician for the past 20 years. She received her master’s degree from Northern Illinois University and specializes in working with children on the Autism Spectrum. Gwen has experience working with a diverse population, and a variety of speech and language disorders, including language disorders, apraxia of speech, speech sound disorders, social-pragmatic disorders, and regulation disorders of sensory processing.

Gwen embraces the DIR (Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-Based) Model. Using this model, she brings a genuine and positive therapeutic approach to her clients to help them feel empowered by all forms of communication and build on the strengths of their own and unique developmental foundation. Gwen believes that therapy is an individualized process and loves to help others grow in all capacities of life.

Gwen has received her Trainer Certificate in the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based Model through Profectumä. In addition, she is trained and certified in Therapeutic Listeningâand bone conduction, Interactive Metronomeâ, PROMPTã, and Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizingã.

Gwen enjoys spending time with her family and friends whether it is at home or on a vacation adventure to some warm place. She loves to travel, watching football, gardening, coffee, Pilates, and going for long walks (especially on a beach). Her favorite thing to do though is spending time with her two best girls, her daughters, Claire and Paige.

Siyana Todorova, SLP-CCC

Sisi received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from Northern Illinois University. She is a bilingual speech language pathologist; able to provide services in English and Bulgarian. Sisi has experience assessing and treating a variety of speech and language domains such as speech sound disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders,  pragmatic language disorders, and voice disorders. During her free time, Sisi enjoys exercising, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Carmelita King, M.A., CCC-SLP

Carmelita is a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist with 35 years of pediatric experience in the school and clinical setting as well as a private practice. She completed her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology at Elmhurst College and her Masters’s Degree in Communication Disorders at California State University in Long Beach.

She has worked with a variety of age levels from Early Intervention through Adult. She has worked primarily throughout her career with children with a variety of communication needs within the school setting in pre-school through high school. Her experience includes working within the therapeutic day school and residential setting. She has a strong understanding of the special education process. Previous work experience also includes working with children and adults at Grant Hospital in Chicago as well as deaf and hard of hearing adults at Santa Ana College in California. She has assessed and treated children with a variety of speech and language disorders. Her specialty is pediatrics; treating children with autism, pragmatic/social language skills, hearing impairments, severe apraxia, articulation/phonological delays, voice disorders, fluency disorders and severe language and auditory processing deficits. She has also utilized a co-treat model with occupational therapists for children with severe sensory needs and autism. Her favorite part about being a therapist in the clinical setting is the opportunity to work closely with families.

Her specialized training includes the Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention and Lindmood Bell Visualizing and Verbalizing. She also brings experience on how to strengthen literacy and written language skills for children elementary through high school.

Carmelita has three grown daughters. She currently lives in the northwest suburbs with her husband. She loves to spend her free time with her family, traveling and volunteering. She is on staff at Northwest Community Hospital as a volunteer in the Animal Assisted Therapy Program with her therapy dogs.

Brittany LaCursia, M.S., CCC-SLP/L

Brittany is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist and received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University. During her clinical internship, she worked at Lurie Children’s Hospital treating children with sensory feeding and swallowing disorders.

In Fall of 2014, she started her career working at an Elementary School where she gained invaluable experience working with children in grades K-6. Within the school setting, she treats children with autism who receive their education in a self-contained classroom. In the self-contained classroom setting, Brittany co-treats with classroom teachers, social workers, and occupational therapists. She also has the opportunity to work with children in the general education population who receive services to address speech and language disorders. Some of these speech and language disorders include, but are not limited to: articulation/phonological disorders, language processing, social/pragmatic language, and fluency. During her free time she enjoys traveling to Chicago, reading, and cooking!

Elena DiSanto, M.A., CCC-SLP

Elena DiSanto received her undergraduate degree in communication disorders from Northern Illinois University and her Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Urbana Champaign. She is a licensed speech-language pathologist who currently works at a therapeutic day school in the northwest suburbs, where her focus is implementing comprehensive alternative and augmentative communication systems for students to become active participants in their educational environment. She is passionate about the use of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) to supplement and expand on students developing communication skills. Elena has specialized training in LAMP (Language Acquisition through Motor Planning), PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems) and Switch Access -for children who require switches to access their capacities to communicate. Elena believes that play is fundamental to a child’s development and is pivotal in the development of language and social communication skills. Her favorite part of being a therapist revolves around interacting with children and giving them the means to communicate with those around them. In her free time, Elena enjoys both gardening and reading.

Josie Greenemay, M.A. CCC-SLP

Josie has been with the team since November 2019. She is a neurodiversity affirming speech language pathologist who has experience in both the school and pediatric clinic setting. She spent 4 years in an elementary school servicing students in a low incidence program supporting expressive, receptive, and pragmatic language as well as articulation and phonology. Josie has experience with, training in, and a passion for AAC. She is familiar with autism, ADHD, gestalt language processors, mixed expressive receptive language delay, phonological processes, speech sound disorders, and fluency disorders. When not working, Josie is also a part time spin instructor, travels home to St. Louis, MO, and loves spending time with her family, friends, and puppy!

Nimra Burney,, M.A., CCC-SLP

Nimra received Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degree in Speech and Hearing Science with a focus on Speech Language Pathology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (GO ILLINI!). She is a bilingual speech language pathologist; able to provide services in English, Urdu, and Hindi. Nimra is the Clinical Director of Speech and language services at In2great!. She has been working at In2great for the past three years, in addition to working at the clinic, Nimra has experience working in the schools with a focus on early childhood and at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab with a focus on inpatient rehab with TBI and Stroke patients. Nimra enjoys taking a relationship-based approach towards treatment helping clients and families find meaningful ways to communicate via play-based therapy. She finds it very important to collaborate with her families, medical teams, school professionals, and other disciplines to enhance client’s success. In her free time, Nimra likes to travel, spend time with her family/friends, exercise and discover new coffee shops/bakeries. 

Elyse Szymanski, M.S., C.F. -SLP

Elyse attended Northern Illinois University for her undergraduate degree where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, along with minors in Family and Child Studies, and Psychology. She recently completed her Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Speech-Language Pathology, while also completing her certificate in Assistive Technology and Accessible Design. In addition to working at In2Great!, Elyse works full-time in the Palatine school district in their elementary Autism SIP program. She has experience working with clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Intellectual Disability, Angelman Syndrome, Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, genetic disorders, learning disorders, and speech sound disorders. Elyse has a passion for working with children of all abilities, in areas including augmentative and alternative communication methods, social skills, expressive and receptive language, fluency, and articulation. In her free time, Elyse enjoys curling up with a good book and her 11-year-old dog, drinking too much coffee, and spending time with friends and family.

Julie Crossen M.S., CF- SLP

Julie Crossen has been an SLP-CF with In2Great team since July and is passionate about helping others find, build and healthily maintain their own voice. Her path to Speech-Language Pathology (MS, Western Kentucky University, 2022), was influenced by her background in music (MA Music-Vocal Pedagogy, Northeastern Illinois University; Teacher Attendee at Summer Voice Institute, 2019, Northwestern University) and theatre (BA Theatre Arts, University of Iowa).

As a music and theatre teacher, Julie has prepared singers for professional careers in theatre, recording sessions, live gigs, and fine arts conservatory programs. She has performed professionally as a singer, actor and musician as well as serving as music and vocal director in Chicago, regional and high school theatre. Julie has worked as an adjunct and guest teacher (SLP student clinician, general classroom, music) at NSSD 112 and Township HS 113(Highland Park), Maine East High School (Park Ridge) and Niles West High School (Skokie), where she was part of the arts program which received the National Kennedy Center Award for Artistic Excellence.

Julie also served 7 years as summer music director for “Babes on Broadway”, Northbrook Park District, working with 4-8 year olds learning through music and theatre games, and producing 2 30-minute musicals for the 8 week sessions. She a is a proud member of NSSLHA Speech, Language and Hearing Association; NATS, the National Association of Teachers of Singing; and AEA, Actors Equity Association.

Julie has 2 grown kiddos, Kaleb, a recent graduate of Indiana who is preparing for law school, and Jadyn, a sophomore at CLC studying social work and psychology. When she is not at In2Great, you can find her doing yoga, hanging out with her cat Gwendolyn, tickling the ivories on her piano, Ludwig, and playing violin with the Ravenswood Community Orchestra in Chicago.

Marie Chemmachel, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Marie is a licensed speech-language pathologist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences & Disorders with a minor in Children’s Studies from Illinois State University. She received her Master of Education in Speech-Language Pathology from Valdosta State University.

Marie has had experience evaluating and treating individuals in outpatient clinic, private practice, public elementary schools and early intervention. She has worked with clients with speech & language impairments, apraxia, social-pragmatic language disorder, autism spectrum disorder, cognitive disorder, fluency disorder, and eating and swallowing disorder.

In her free time, Marie likes to hang out with her family and friends, enjoy nature, and watch TV shows and movies.

Emily Greenberg, M.A. CCC- SLP

Emily Greenberg earned her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology & Audiology from Miami University in Ohio before completing her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Michigan University. In addition to working at In2Great, Emily works full-time in the public school setting. She has experience working with students in both self-contained and general education classrooms as well as in center-based programs. Emily has worked to support growth expressive, receptive, and pragmatic language skills as well as speech skills from Early Childhood programs through transition-age. During her free time, Emily loves to read, run 5ks, and spend time with friends and family.

Kayte Colleran, M.S. CCC- SLP

Kayte Colleran earned her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Central Michigan University before completing her Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology at Elmhurst College. Kayte has three years experience working at an elementary school with children from pre-k to 6th grade. Within the school setting, she treated children with developmental language delays, Autism, Down syndrome, behavioral difficulties, and other health impairments. She worked with students in self-contained classroom setting co-treating with teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT). Kayte also has four years experience working with the geriatric population with focus on stroke and dementia patients. Kayte enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, exercising, and helping out with the local Ukrainian youth group. She also enjoys Ukrainian dancing at her church and traveling with her husband.

Michelle Diatte, M.S, CCC- SLP

I am is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist. I received my Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences & Disorders with a minor in Psychology from Elmhurst University where I continued on to receive my Master of Speech-Language Pathology where I had a research focus in Functional Communication for People with Cognitive Disorders. I have experience evaluating and treating individuals in outpatient and private practice clinics. I have worked with clients with speech & language impairments, articulation difficulties, social-pragmatic language disorders, Autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and developmental language delays. In my free time, I like be with my family and friends. I enjoy spending as much time as possible outside and love to take walks with my nieces and sister to new coffee and lunch spots.

Michelle Diatte
Angelika Gniady M.S. CCC- SLP

Angelika is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Elmhurst College and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Lewis University. During her clinical practicum experiences, Angelika has worked with a wide variety of age groups ranging from preschool-aged children transitioning from Early Intervention to the geriatric population who have experienced impairments due to age-related difficulties or deficits occurring post-stroke or traumatic brain injuries. However, she has found her passion working with the pediatric population.

Angelika has experience assessing and treating various areas including speech sound disorders, expressive and receptive language, social-pragmatic language disorders, fluency disorders, cognitive functioning, and feeding and swallowing disorders. She has a background in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy and has worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Additionally, she has worked with clients with Down Syndrome, Intellectual Disability, Selective Mutism, developmental language delays, and learning disorders.

Angelika has experience working with the pediatric population in schools, outpatient, and private practice clinics where she co-treated with occupational therapists, registered behavior technicians, and teachers. She has a passion working with children of all abilities and has dedicated her time to expanding her knowledge in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

Nick Petrus, MS, CF

Nick is passionate about his work as a speech-language pathologist. He began working with autistic children as a volunteer back in 2013, and after getting his bachelor’s degree in psychology, spent 4 years working with adults as an RBT. While working as an RBT, Nick became very interested in supporting communication for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD); this led him to pursue his master’s degree in speech-language pathology. As a therapist, Nick ensures that his sessions incorporate the interests of the child to keep kids engaged and motivated to communicate! Nick has been a musician since childhood, and often incorporates music in sessions to work on communication. In his free time, Nick enjoys playing Greek music on his lute.

Megan Cunningham, MSW/LSW (Director of Mental Health Services)

Megan is a Licensed Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Loras College (Go Duhawks!), and her Master’s in Social Work from Indiana Wesleyan University. Megan has been working with children for almost 10 years in many different settings.  She has extensive experience treating children on the Autism Spectrum.  

 

Megan embraces the DIR (Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-Based) Model.  Utilizing this model, she brings a relationship-based therapeutic approach to her clients helping them to be empowered. Megan believes that building a strong relationship, and obtaining regulation is the key to a successful therapeutic process. She promotes utilizing play and an individuals’ strengths to further support their ability to process different emotional themes.  Megan is passionate about helping others learn and grow to build higher emotional capacities and understanding. Her goal in working with individuals is to make them feel strong and capable in order to establish independence in all aspects of life. 

 

In her free time Megan loves spending time with her friends, younger sister, parents and large extended family. As well as her fur babies, Miley her dog, and Minnie her cat. She loves traveling, going for walks, and taking cycling classes.

Carol Cowen, LCSW

Carol Cowen has been practicing individual, group and family therapy for over 35 years. Her main objective is to create trusting, respectful relationships with her clients, in order to help them feel good about themselves and their lives. She works from a strength-based perspective, continually reinforcing skills, habits and behaviors which are working for them. She teaches healthy adaptive coping strategies and communication skills. Carol has an extensive background working with ADHD, Anxiety, Adoption/ Attachment, Depression, Developmental Delays, and Parenting through Life’s Transitions. Carol assists clients in helping to identify their goals and needs. She works collaboratively with her clients to recognize where they are facing obstacles, which keep them from getting what they want.

After receiving an MSW from the Loyola University of Chicago, Carol has pursued her career in family service agencies, mental health clinics and private practice settings. Primarily; however, Carol has worked within the public school system as a school social worker. She gained extensive pediatric experience with all age levels, from preschool through High school and a multitude of special education and general education populations. Carol uses an eclectic but individualized approach, using components of play therapy, CBT, family systems and self-psychology. Her style is empathic yet direct. She is a strong advocate for clients and a huge proponent of collaboration with In2great staff. She believes in a well-coordinated comprehensive treatment plan for families. Carol also has expertise in IEP and 504 programmings. She helps clients to be heard by schools. Carol recognizes that part of her role is to help families develop and use support systems in their worlds.

Ashley Kangail, LCSW

Ashley in a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work, with an emphasis in early childhood development. from The Erikson Institute. She has worked with children and families for 4 years. Ashley started off in the field working in The Early childhood/DCFS program, providing developmental screenings and biopsychosocial assessments to children and families. She has provided individual and group therapy to adults, families, children, and adolescents who have experienced domestic violence and other relational trauma. Ashley has worked extensively in residential care, providing therapy to adolescents and teens struggling with a wide range of developmental and behavioral difficulties. Ashley has also supervised both a therapeutic supervised visitation program, as well as an outreach/assessment team in long-term care facilities. While Ashley has worked with individuals across the lifespan, she is most experienced and passionate in working with children

Morgan Galvin, MSW/LSW

Morgan is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) here at In2great!. She obtained her Masters’s in Social Work from Aurora University and has a BA in psychology. Morgan has had around 10 years of experience working with children. During her Masters’s program, she primarily focused on working with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disorders. She has run social groups and health groups as well as individual therapy for those with developmental disorders.

Morgan also has a background in ABA therapy and working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She has found a true passion in helping children reach their goals and their fullest potential! There is no better feeling than seeing a child be proud of their accomplishments!

Most of her work has utilized social-emotional learning tools and curriculum. She is familiar in using these curriculums to promote emotional recognition as well as emotional regulation. Morgan prides herself on helping kids better understand themselves and the world around them. She also loves to encourage independence in children as a way to strengthen self-confidence. Morgan understands the importance of building a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients as well as creating a safe and nurturing environment.

In her free time, Morgan loves to spend time with her fiance and catch up on her reality tv shows. She also loves traveling and trying new foods.

Maddy Rudd, MSW/LSW

Maddy Rudd is a licensed social worker (LSW). She received her Bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Holland Michigan and her Masters degree from University of Illinois Chicago.

Maddy also has her Personal Educations License (PEL) and started her career as a school social worker. Maddy has worked as a school social worker before coming to In2great. Maddy has experience working with kids from birth to 13. Maddy believes in building strong therapeutic relationships and providing safe spaces for her clients. Maddy utilizes a variety of social-emotional tools and play therapy approaches when working with her clients.

In her free time, Maddy loves to bake desserts and decorate cakes, spending time with her family, listening to music, and spending time outside.

Sara Bennett
Jamie Moler, LCSW

Jamie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Juvenile Justice from Illinois State University (Go Redbirds!), and her Master’s in Social Work from Governors State University. Jamie then went on to receive her Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health from the Erikson Institute in Chicago, IL. Jamie has been working with children and families for almost 12 years, mostly in the Child Welfare System. Jamie utilizes the DIR (Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-Based) Floortime Model and was certified in this model through the IMH (Infant Mental Health) program at the Erikson Institute. Jamie focuses on building strong relationships and attachments with clients through play in order to help them grow developmentally and emotionally. Jamie comes from a trauma-focused lens and specializes on working with children ages birth to 8. In her free time Jamie loves spending time with family, rescuing pitbulls and coaching her daughter’s softball team. She loves traveling, being outdoors and working out on her Peloton.

Lucy Atsaves, LSW

Lucy Atsaves is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has many years of experience working in a variety of mental health settings. She completed her bachelors in Psychology from DePaul University in 2008 and received her Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2015. Lucy specializes in working with adolescents and teenagers. Having worked as a clinician within the child welfare system, Lucy has a unique experience and specialized set of skills to help children and their families navigate uncertainty and thrive in the process. Lucy’s foundation in therapy is a client centered approach inclusive of unconditional positive regard, patience, and compassion which creates a safe environment for change. Once Lucy establishes a collaborative therapeutic relationship with her clients she is able to provide support and validation needed to process anxiety, depression, and trauma. Lucy helps her clients understand their trauma and also identify triggers and appropriate coping skills. Lucy utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and other evidence based practices to assist her clients with understanding how their trauma impacts their day to day living. In her free time Lucy enjoys crafting as much as possible. She can make soaps, lotions, candles, bath bombs, and even sew. Reading is a nightly pastime and when the weather permits, she enjoys hiking.

Kara Johnson, LCSW

Kara is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been practicing for over ten years. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from Hope College and her Master of Social Work degree from Grand Valley State University.

Kara also holds her Professional Educator License and spent a large portion of her experience as a school social worker. In addition to her direct time with her clients, Kara is passionate about supporting families as they navigate the educational system. Kara believes that families should never have to feel confused or voiceless when interacting with their child’s school.

Kara loves to have fun and utilize play while facilitating opportunities for clients to take the lead with their own strengths and interests. Kara employs a number of therapeutic approaches, social-emotional tools, and curriculums to support her work. Kara has experience working with a wide range of presenting needs and enjoys any opportunity to incorporate use of American Sign Language into her work. Ultimately, she believes that creating a safe space and developing a strong and supportive therapeutic relationship is the most important component to effective engagement with any client.

Kara’s decision to enter the field was driven by her experiences having a sibling with Down Syndrome and this continues to influence her work every day! When she isn’t at the clinic, Kara is likely spending time with her own littles at home. She enjoys drinking coffee, baking, camping, and being in or near the water.

Shelby Olita, MSW/LSW

Shelby is a Licensed Social Worker. She received her Master’s in Psychology from Saint Xavier University and her Master’s in Social Work from University of Illinois at Chicago. Shelby has been working with kids for almost 9 years in many different settings. Most of Shelby’s experience is working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Shelby also has a background in ABA therapy and working with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Shelby loves working with children and seeing them reach their goals. Shelby believes that building a strong relationship is key to working with kids successfully. She promotes play and the child’s strengths to build that relationship and support the child’s ability to process their emotions. Her goal when working with kids is to see them be successful and feel stronger and become more independent in their lives.

In her free time, Shelby spends time with her niece, friends and family. She loves spending time outside and going on walks. Shelby loves spending the day cuddling on couch with her cats Hepburn, Tarot, and her dog Evee while reading a good book.

Amanda Haugh, MSW/LSW, Marketing Manager

Amanda is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) at In2Great. Amanda received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University Of Chicago (Go Ramblers!) Amanda has experience working in schools, family shelters, and in non-profit organizations.
Amanda embraces the DIR (Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-Based) Model and approaches her sessions with a relationship based focus. She believes strongly that all children should have a safe and judgement free environment to explore their world around them. Amanda has been trained in the therapeutic listening which is a sound-based intervention that was developed to support people of all ages who experience difficulties with sensory processing. It provides stimulation to the auditory system through the use of specifically altered music. She also has a passion for being out in nature and providing sensory supports throughout her sessions! In her free time, Amanda loves to be out in nature, traveling, pottery, going on hikes and being with her orange tabby cat Simba!

Jen Walenga, LSW

Jen is a Licensed Social Worker and is 13 years experienced. She received her master’s in social work from Loyola University Chicago.

She has worked in all different settings including inpatient hospitals with various ages and diagnosis. She has experience in individual , group, and family crisis counseling. In addition to her direct time with clients, Jen is passionate about helping families navigate through life’s transitions and has experience with varied family dynamics. Jen is passionate about advocating and connecting families to resources and education.

Jen believes in building strong therapeutic relationships and providing safe spaces for my clients. She uses a variety of social-emotional tools and play therapy. Jen encourages independence to strengthen self -confidence.

In her free time Jen enjoys spending time outdoors , traveling and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through hiking, golfing, and fitness classes. Jen is very involved in her community and local non-profits.

Amanda Hilmer, LSW

Amanda is a licensed social worker at In2Great! She received her Bachelors in Psychology at North Central College, and her Masters in School Social Work at Dominican University. In addition, she has her PEL (Professional Educators License), and works full-time as a school social worker. Most of her experience is working with children with behavioral disabilities and autism. Amanda has many years of experience working with kids from birth to 18. She implements her passion of helping others through working with children and their families on a daily basis. Using a strengths-based approach, Amanda utilizes her innate ability to connect with children, process their emotions, and reach their full potential. In her free time, Amanda loves spending time with her family and traveling new places!

Francesca Alvarado, LSW

Francesca is a Licensed Social Worker at In2Great! She received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from New Mexico Highlands University. Shortly after graduating, she moved out of state and received her Master of Social Work degree from Walden University. Francesca has experience working with children and young adults in various settings including outpatient behavioral health and private clinic. She utilizes play therapy techniques and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy strategies to build meaningful therapeutic relationships and implement positive change within her clients including their families. In her freetime, Francesca enjoys spending time with her husband and pets, reading, and exploring the outdoor scenery.

Norah Springgate, PT, C/NDT

Norah has spent the last 28 years working in various pediatric settings, after receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Marquette University. While her husband was stationed in Germany, she was employed by the military in their Exceptional Family Member Department working in multiple schools and an outpatient setting and was also part of the development of the Early Intervention program. Upon returning to the States, Norah worked for Easter Seals in the schools and clinic and staffed their Hippotherapy program. In her time there, she also collaborated with orthotics and a local orthopedic surgeon to start a free orthopedic clinic. She then went on to develop the Hippotherapy program at Trinity Services in Joliet. Seeking to return to a more clinical setting, Norah went to work at Milestones for Kids’ Success in Downers Grove where she was a senior physical therapist involved in clinic development, mentoring, and early intervention, and collaborated to present a continuing education course on The ABCs of Dyspraxia. While working at Milestones, Norah completed her pediatric NDT certification. With a move to the south suburbs, Norah then worked for Children’s Therapy Services in Frankfort, IL where she focused her attention on treating neuromotor and sensory disorders in children ages 0-15 years. Over the past year, Norah has been an independent contractor teaming with a speech therapy practice to develop a physical therapy portion to their services.

Patricia L. Nootbaar, PT

Pati Matras-Nootbaar received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Illinois in 1976 and Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy at Northwestern University School of Physical Therapy in 1980. She was employed at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Advocate Children’s Hospital from 1981 through April 2017. During that time, she was a staff physical therapist with interests in neurology and pediatrics. She was an integral part of developing pediatric physical therapy at that time. She has been a pediatric supervisor, pediatric team leader and mentors to many professionals and student physical therapists throughout her career. She spent that time evaluating and treating in-patients and out-patients; infants, children and young adults with many varieties of diagnoses including prematurity, congenital anomalies, congenital syndromes, chromosomal abnormalities, cerebral palsy and a myriad of neuro-motor dysfunctions. She developed and trained many therapists at Lutheran General, especially in the evaluation, treatment, and management of the child with cerebral palsy and their pre-and post-operative intensive physical therapy rehabilitation. Pati has been a primary coordinator of physical therapy of children seen at Advocate Lutheran General’s “Martha Washington Clinic” and “Spina Bifida Clinic.” She was integral in the development of competencies for NICU, PICU, in-and out-patients according to levels of acuity. She has also been an invaluable teacher, mentor and in-house lecturer to medical developmental pediatric resident physicians.

Pati has 38 years of pediatric experience; is NDTA-trained in basic pediatrics and Baby since 1985. She has been a TES practitioner since 1998, is certified in early intervention and has been a pediatric certified specialist through the ABPTS of the APTA for 20 years.

Pati’s primary interest is her intuitive knowledge of developmental biomechanics of gait in children and its direct implication in their overall long-term walking goals regardless of their age or level of disability/ability. Pati is adamant in her desire to integrate her physical therapy skills to help her clients achieve “wholeness” and their optimal level of physical, emotional, and neuro-motor function.

Pati lives in Buffalo Grove with her daughter, Heather, a recent zoology graduate from The Ohio State University. When she is not working, Pati’s passion is dragon boating. She is a left-paddler and sterns man with the Greater Chicago Dragon Boat club.

KC Ubayubay (PT)

KC received her bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy at Cebu Doctors’ University in the Philippines. She was born and raised in the Philippines and have been coming to the United States since she was 12 years old, she officially moved after completing her bachelor’s degree in 2021. While doing more classes and transferring her credentials to the United States, she has worked as a Physical Therapy Tech in an outpatient pediatric facility in which she fell in love with. That is when her growing interest in working with kids came too light and knew she will be a pediatric physical therapist. KC has worked in different physical therapy settings– school physical therapy, adults, geriatric, and aquatic therapy.

In her free time, KC loves to hang out with her boyfriend going for walks, trying different adventures, and they are in a hunt to find the best frozen custard concrete!

Diana Lamberis, Office Manager

Hi, my name is Diana Lamberis. I was born and raised in St. Paul Minnesota and moved to the Chicago land area in 2003. I have my Masters in Education and worked for 14 years as a high school guidance counselor. After taking some time off of work to be at home with my two young boys, I decided to go back to work, with children and adolescents in a different capacity. I love kids and enjoy being part of a team where the focus is to help them meet their full potential! I am the wife of a priest and am therefore very involved in my church. I help run various youth ministries and support my husband as much as I am able. I enjoy hiking, reading, traveling, swimming and spending quality time with my family

Diana Lamberis
Edmonds, Jocelyn

Hi! My name is Jocelyn, lots of my friends and family call me Jolly. I love working with kids of all ages-I was a nanny for about 8 years and enjoyed it more than ever! Working here at In2great has been such a wonderful opportunity to help both children and their families. 

Outside of work I love to stay active! I enjoy playing a variety of sports, mainly being softball though-I played competitively for 12 years of my life! Now I play in rec leagues in the summer and fall. I love working out too! Anything from cardio to lifting heavy weights, I love it all! Cooking is something else I love to do. I really enjoy making meals for friends and family while getting to spend time together. 

I am an absolute animal lover. I have 2 dogs of my own; 2 girls, Lola who is a catahoula leopard/lab mix, and Nori, who is a complete mutt (but of course a very cute one). A dream of mine is to have enough land and resources to rescue dogs of all ages and give them the best life they can live.  One day…. 🙂 

Leo Harisiadis, Executive Director

Comming Soon!

Monika Hanna, Administrative Director

Hello! My name is Monika Hanna and I am an administrative assistant with billing and coding experience. I am originally from a small town in Poland and have lived in the United States since 2006. I spend most my off time with my husband and daughter. I love reading books, working out and hanging out with my girlfriends!

I enjoy using my skills to contribute to organization and maintaining daily tasks to ensure we are running smoothly. I hope to continue growing my skill set.

Caitlin Lavigne, Intake/Office Coordinator

My name is Caitlin, I was an RBT for 3 years before moving into more administrative roles in the field and have been working with individuals on the spectrum and with mental and physical delays for about 6 or so years now. In my free time I am an avid advocate for mental health services and ending the stigma surrounding mental health and when I am not advocating in my community I am spending my time with my dog, Nova, reading a book or spending time with my niece and nephew.

Sara Bennett
Melissa Diaz, Operations Coordinator

As our operations coordinator Melissa assures that our clinic stays neat and organized. Prior to joining our team in September 2023, they worked in retail management for 6 years. In their free time they enjoy going camping, listening to music and spending time with their loved ones. Melissa hopes to someday have a business of their own but for now they are excited to help our team and clients succeed!

Talia Barajas, ABA Billing Specialist

My name is Talia, I am Certified Medical Biller and Coder with nine years of experience and five years dedicated to ABA. I am committed to supporting families living with autism and other developmental disorders by ensuring their access to essential services. I am deeply committed to making a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families who benefit from ABA therapy. I am always looking for opportunities to learn new skills, take on challenges, and advance within my role.

Outside of work my world revolves around my four kids and we enjoy spending time outdoors. I also enjoy cooking with my husband and we are both avid home cooks who enjoy experimenting with a wide range of cuisines.

I find inspiration and motivation in both my professional and personal life, and I am thrilled to be a part of the dynamic and forward-thinking team. As a passionate Medical Biller, I bring energy, dedication, and a commitment to contributing to the success and growth of In2Great.

Chloe Black, Social Media and Website Manager

Coming soon!

Jackie Jung, RBT

Jackie Jung is an RBT with a passion for connecting with children to help them build their communication skills and foster autonomy. She finds great joy in helping children learn to communicate their needs and desires effectively. She has experience in childcare between ages newborn to twelve years old. In high school, Jackie worked as a daycare aide and a Montessori aftercare aide. Prior to her position at In2Great!, she worked as a nanny for a family of two. Jackie is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Elmhurst University with the goal of becoming a pediatric speech and language pathologist. Jackie hopes to provide neurodiversity-affirming speech and language services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) users in her future endeavors. When she is not working, Jackie can be found creating art, crocheting, baking, working out, or spending time in the sun.

Sam Lapinski, BCBA

Sam has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since November 2021. While receiving her undergraduate degree at Illinois State University, she enrolled in a course that provided services to preschool-age children with autism, which started her love for the field. She went on to receive her Master of Education in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College, where her professors emphasized the importance of quality and compassionate care. Sam’s approach to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is to lead with concern for others and teach from a place of joy while prioritizing meaningful outcomes that result in an enhanced quality of life. Sam has experience working with learners ranging from 2 to 13 years old. She has a passion for event-based teaching, which brings learning into the naturalistic environment. Sam is happy, relaxed, and engaged (HRE) while hanging out with her Golden Retriever and fiance, being outdoors, connecting with friends, traveling, cooking, trying new restaurants, working out, and expanding her knowledge about compassionate ABA.

Jenna Calabrese, Behavior Specialist

Jenna Calabrese is a Behavior Specialist and Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). She graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2020 with a degree in Public Health and Sociology. While receiving her undergraduate degree, Jenna enjoyed working with neurotypical and neurodiverse children ages 12 months to 11 years. Those experiences helped her grow as an individual and led her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She is currently enrolled at Ball State University and will sit for her BCBA exam later this year. When she is not at In2Great or focusing on school, you can find Jenna reading, knitting, traveling, or hanging out with friends and family.

Reyna Stevens, BCBA/ABA Case Manager

Reyna Stevens is a Registered Behavior Technician at In2Great! She graduated from Judson University with a degree in Psychology and a concentration in Child and Family Development. From volunteer experiences at camp, counseling children of all ages to working in the ABA field, this led her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Her passion is working with kids all ages (experienced with 2-18 year olds). Reyna values the opportunity to meet kids where they are at, and uniquely help navigate their road to independence. She is currently enrolled at Purdue University and will sit for her BCBA exam early next year. When she is not at work, she loves to work out, meeting new people and spending time with her friends, family, and fiancé!

Riley Pazen, Behavior Technician

Hi my name is Riley, I am a behavior technician working on becoming registered. I’ve been in this field for around 11 months. My next goal is to become an OT and work within this field. I go to school at Wilbur wright college and am from Chicago, Illinois. In my free time I like to hang out with friends and family, working out, and work on cars.

Myranda Rico, RBT

Myranda is an RBT that has been in the field for 2 years in both clinic and home settings. Myranda has experience with children ranging from 2 to 10 years old. Myranda enjoys learning each child’s learning style and approaching every child as their own individual. Myranda loves enhancing her knowledge and learning new ways to teach children through ABA. She has a special interest in speech and communication and helping children have a voice. Myranda is dedicated to teaching all children to communicate, despite their modality of communication. Outside of ABA, Myranda enjoys spending time with her son and fiancé while exploring new activities.

Sara Bennett
Yami Garcia, RBT

Yami has been an RBT for about a year. As an RBT Yami has worked with children ranging from the ages 2-6, but is excited to work with children a little older as well. Yami went to school for Psychology at Southern Illinois University. Prior to being a RBT Yami worked in a group home setting with adults. In her free time Yami likes to go shopping, enjoys doing outdoor activities like hiking or going for walks. Yami also enjoys journaling and is trying to get back into reading.

Aubree Earnest, RBT

Aubree has been an RBT for almost a year now and fell in love with the field right away. As an RBT, Aubree has worked with children ages 2-11 in both clinic and home setting. Prior to working in ABA, she was a lead loan servicing officer at a Credit Union in Illinois for 5 years. Aubree is very passionate and dedicated to the field of ABA. She strives to form solid relationships with every child she works with and is devoted to being their biggest supporter. On the weekends, she tutors children in Elementary education. When Aubree is not working, she loves spending her time doing yoga, painting, and hanging out with friends. To relax, she enjoys reading and movie marathons. 

Lourdes Ramirez, RBT

Lourdes has been in the ABA field for 2 years and as an RBT for a year. Lourdes has worked with children ranging from 2-7 years old. Lourdes has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bellarmine University. Lourdes has also worked as a paraprofessional for a school. Lourdes enjoys watching a variety of shows, going for walks, and reading during her free time.

Kira Lentino, Behavior Specialist, RBT

Kira Lentino is a Behavior Specialist & Technician at In2Great! She graduated from DePaul
University with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis. After working in ABA for 2
years, she began her practicum experience at Simmons University in 2021.  She will be
graduating with her Masters of Science degree in ABA in the Summer of 2023. Her goal is to sit
for her BCBA exam before the end of the year on the path to become a Board Certified
Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Kira enjoys working with kids of many ages and is mostly experienced
with 2-12 year olds. She advocates for the child to feel safe, heard and to give them the space
and opportunities to grow and succeed in their treatment. When she is not working or in
school, Kira likes to play with her two cats, Mac & Tilly, and spend time with her fiancé,
probably playing a board, video or card game!

Sara Bennett
Taylor Leach, RBT

Taylor Leach has been a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) for almost 2 years. She has experience working with children ranging from 2-10 years of age in a clinic and home setting. While attending Illinois State University as a psychology and sociology major, Taylor worked at Children’s Home & Aid as a Children’s Program Worker assisting in the facilitation of group therapy sessions. She also worked at Mid Central Community Action as an Advocate for Children of Domestic Violence. Taylor has a deep and meaningful passion for working with children. She aspires to make a positive impact on the lives of the children and families in which she has the opportunity to work with. After graduating ISU, Taylor had the intention to become a Clinical Mental Health Therapist. While applying for graduate school, she started working as an RBT. She quickly learned that working in the field of ABA was her true and meant to be career path. Currently, Taylor is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (specialization in Autism) through Ball State University. Her goal is to sit for the BCBA exam and fulfill her dream of becoming a BCBA. When not at work or studying, Taylor spends time with her Golden Retriever, Maui, who just turned 1. She also enjoys yoga, reading poetry, and spending quality time with her family and friends (preferably outdoors).

Destiny Campos, RBT

Destiny has been in ABA for a little over a year now. She has worked in a clinic as well as in homes. She has experience working with children from ages 2-10 years old. She received her RBT certification in April of this year. Previous to her ABA experience, she worked in childcare through a daycare as well as nannying. She is finishing up her Associates in Arts at Elgin Community College. Once finished, she will attend Aurora University to get a Masters in Social Work. Destiny hopes to work at a multidisciplinary clinic at In2Great to provide counseling for neurodivergent youth. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her fiance, her corgi Cleo, friends and family.

Thalia Espinoza, Behavioral Technician

Thalia is a BT at In2Great! and is working towards becoming an RBT! Thalia came to us after working at a pediatric physical therapy clinic. She will be going to school to become a physical therapy assistant in Fall ’23 before eventually transitioning to become a pediatric PT.

Thalia has a passion for working with kids, but also loves working with individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. She has dedicated much of her life to working with this specific population of people.

In her free time, Thalia loves watching documentaries and spending time with family and friends.

Sara Bennett
Emily Carlson, RBT

My name is Emily Carlson. I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with bachelors degrees in psychology and Spanish and a minor in criminology. I became a Registered Behavior Technician in 2021 after working over my summer break at an ABA clinic and falling in love with the field. This led me to pursue a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis degree to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst which I will complete in the summer of 2024!

I believe that each client is their own unique individual, and I love that In2Great! provides personalized treatment to fit each client’s specific needs and interests! When I am not at work I love to bake, tend to my many house plants, go for long walks, read, and spend time with my friends and family!

Sara Bennett
Sam Serviss, RBT

Hi, my name is Sam and I have been in the field of ABA for about 2 years, and an RBT for about a year and a half. I graduate from Lake Forest College in 202 with a double major in Psychology and Environmental Studies. After college, I began doing conservation and restoration work in Arizona before coming back home and learning about the ABA field from a close friend who is a BCBA. Once I started working as an RBT, I fell in love with the job, the feeling of making such an impact on the lives of so many wonderful kids, and watching them grow and become more confident! I have experience working with children ranging from about a year and a half to 13, and also worked in a nursery throughout all of college! I am considering going back to school for my Master’s someday!

I love spending my free time with my family, friends, and dogs! I enjoy being outside in nature whenever I can, especially in the summer, and am always looking to plan my next trip. I have also been enjoying playing volleyball each week with family and friends!

Maddie Maze, BCBA

Maddie has worked with kids her entire life including in a daycare setting, babysitting, and assisting in the school settings. She received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University. During her undergrad she stumbled upon an RBT position and fell in love with the field of ABA. She went on to peruse her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University. She passed her board exam in 2021 and officially became a BCBA. Throughout her time as a BCBA, she has worked with a wide range of ages ranging from 16 years old to 2.5 years old. She over 5 years of experience in the ABA field. She enjoys making a connection with not only her kiddos but their families as well. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her fur babies, cooking, and traveling.

Katharine Schwarz, RBT

My name is Katharine Schwarz. I have been an RBT for nearly a year and have worked with kids with disabilities for over 10 years. My undergrad is in Human Services and I am currently getting my Masters at the University of Cincinnati for Applied Behavior Analysis in the hopes of one day becoming a BCBA!

I have worked with kiddos from birth to 18 years. I also have a few years experience of working with Adults with disabilities. I was even a preschool teacher for a year during the pandemic!

When I am not working or doing homework, I am either relaxing with my family’s two dogs, at my mom’s house, or taking a walk outside.

Paulina Rzepecki, RBT

Hello, my name is Paulina Rzepecki. I am a certified and registered behavior technician. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in arts from Roosevelt University. Along with my degree I am qualified in early childhood education. My next goal is to become a BCBA. I have always had a passion for working with children and have over 7 years of experience as an ABA Therapist, Teacher, and Nanny.
On my free time I enjoy spending time on my fitness, traveling, playing with my dog Milo, and watching documentaries.

Sara Bennett
Crystal Garcia, RBT

My name is Crystal Garcia and helping people has been a passion of mine since I was little. I grew up in Libertyville, IL and went to undergrad at Southern Illinois university of Carbondale (go salukis!) and received my bachelors degree in criminal justice and psychology in 2017. I pivoted to applied behavior analysis (ABA) two years after college and made the decision to go back to school to earn my masters in the field! In May of 2023 I earned my masters degree while continuing in my practicum to eventually become a BCBA! I love to help people grow and meet their goals and am so beyond excited to be able to be a part of the in2great team!

Katelyn Kashnowski, RBT

Katelyn Kashnowski has been a Childcare professional for 10 years. Katelyn started helping children as a behavior technician in 2021. She studied at Illinois State University and majored in Theater Design and Production. Katelyn is passionate about providing the best possible support to children and their families. She loves connecting with each child and working together as a team. In her free time, she continues to work on plays and musicals at local theaters in the suburbs of Chicago. Katelyn loves spoiling her niece any chance she can get. Relaxing with a book and her cat is truly a purr-fect weekend for her!