On this page you will find the list of counselors selected to participate in ATS's Adventure Camp 2015 intensive SM training. Each counselor participated in a 2-day intensive SM training held at ATS and led by Dr. Carmen Lynas. Each counselor also received direct supervision from Dr. Lynas during lead-in sessions to ensure intervention fidelity.
Nicole Burt, M.A., earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Arizona State University. She is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Northern Illinois University, where she received her Master’s degree in August 2014, and is en route to receive her Ph.D. in 2017. At NIU, Nicole is actively involved in both clinical and research settings. Before starting her graduate studies, Nicole spent three years as a behavioral therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Since arriving at NIU, Nicole has been involved in the treatment and assessment of children and adolescents in a number of settings, including the Psychological Services Center at NIU and Florissa Pediatric Center in Dixon, IL. Within these settings, Nicole has gained valuable experience conducting diagnostic evaluations and providing treatment for children experiencing a range of emotional, behavioral, and developmental difficulties, including autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, social anxiety, language disorders, depression, and anger management difficulties. Nicole also works with young children in the context of her research where she examines temperament and self-regulation. Her work has been instrumental in providing her with the knowledge of child development that is necessary for helping children struggling with behavioral and emotional difficulties. Nicole absolutely loves spending her days with children and she is dedicated to using empirically supported interventions in her work. She is extremely excited to be an Adventure Camp counselor for the second time, and to continue working with families affected by selective mutism.
Taylor Day earned her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Florida State University. She is en route to receive her Master’s degree in December 2015 and her Ph.D. is expected in 2020. She has extensive experience working with children and an excellent understanding of behavior modification techniques. Her research and clinical work primarily focuses on early identification of autism spectrum disorders in toddlers. She also has applicable experience with school-aged children, as well as a range of pediatric psychiatric disorders including ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Taylor is dedicated to bettering the lives of children and their families and is eager to learn techniques that can mitigate the symptoms of selective mutism. She is extremely excited to be a member of the Adventure Camp team.
Debbi Del Re, RN, MSN, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Master of Science in Nursing. She is currently working on completing her clinical hours in a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner post-master’s certificate program and has plans to work with children and adolescents in an outpatient setting. Debbi teaches mental health nursing at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL and works as a staff nurse on a mental health unit serving adolescents and adults at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, IL. She has been a nurse for 24 years and has tended to children, adolescents, and adults. Debbi is looking forward to working with the campers and parents who are involved in Adventure Camp. She hopes to use the training, knowledge, and experiences gained during camp in her future role as an advanced practice nurse working with children who struggle with selective mutism. She also plans to educate others and heighten SM awareness among healthcare providers, school personnel, and members of the community.
Deanna Dow earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with honors from the University of Michigan in 2008. She completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Florida State University and is currently en route to earn her Ph.D. in 2017. Deanna has been working with children with special needs for 12 years in a variety of clinical and research contexts. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of young children with autism spectrum disorder, and her current research focus is on improving screening measures for autism in toddlers. Deanna works as a clinical diagnostician and interventionist at the Florida State University Autism Institute. She also had the opportunity to conduct psychoeducational and diagnostic assessments for children referred for a variety of concerns at the Florida State University Psychology Clinic. She has disseminated empirically validated treatments for a range of mental disorders including anxiety, depression, ADHD, and conduct problems. Deanna is extremely excited to participate as a counselor at Adventure Camp this summer. She is eager to learn strategies to alleviate symptoms of selective mutism to help improve the lives of campers and their families.
Erin Edwards graduated from St. Olaf College with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Biology, with concentration in Neuroscience. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Child Track at Northern Illinois University. Erin has worked in outpatient settings with children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of emotional and behavioral concerns (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, depression, and adjustment issues) . She has also conducted developmental research with young children and their mothers. Erin is excited to join the diverse Adventure Camp team this summer and provide excellent evidence-based care to the children and families involved.
Lisa Gudmundson received her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Elmhurst College and an endorsement in English as a Second Language from Benedictine University. Her overall teaching experience ranges from teaching nonverbal middle school students with moderate to severe disabilities to primary students with mild learning disabilities, autism, and emotional disorders. Currently, she is an elementary special education classroom teacher in Westchester, IL. In addition to providing research-based, intensive interventions to her students, she also works closely with school psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, and speech therapists to help meet the various needs of her students. Her interest in selective mutism stems from working with an increasing number of students who have the condition and also working with their parents and teachers. Lisa was an Adventure Camp counselor in 2013 and 2014 and is excited to participate once again this year.
Rebecca (Becky) S. Heusner, M.S.-CCC/SLP earned her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) from Purdue University. She has worked in multiple educational and rehabilitation settings over the past 20 years, primarily serving children with a variety of communication disorders and educational and social skills challenges. Her most recent work has involved pediatric private practice treating children affected by childhood dyspraxia of speech, autistic spectrum disorders and social skills challenges, and articulation and language delays. Rebecca also served for three years on the Executive Board of the Illinois Speech and Hearing Association to advocate for her profession and the families served by both SLPs and audiologists in Illinois. After learning about Steven Kurtz's "Brave Buddies" approach, Rebecca was inspired to continually educate herself about the most current, best practices for treating selective mutism, especially as she recognized the overlap between psychology and SLP in the context of SM. Becky loves working with children and watching them fulfill their potential. She is looking forward to returning to the Adventure Camp team for another summer and helping children with SM.
Micah Ioffe graduated from York University in Toronto, Canada with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Currently, she is a rising fourth year student in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Northern Illinois University, where she earned her Master’s degree in May 2015. Micah has had the pleasure of working with children and families in a clinical practicum at the Psychological Services Center at NIU. She has also co-led group therapy sessions focused on developing social skills for children ages 6-13 at a local private practice. Most recently, she completed an externship within the Joliet school district where she worked collaboratively with a team of school and healthcare professionals to conduct assessments on school-aged children. While working at these practicum sites, she has utilized empirically-supported treatment approaches with children and young adults for a variety of clinical concerns. Micah has also had the opportunity to conduct psychological and developmental assessments for clients ranging from toddlers to late adolescents. In July 2015, she will begin an externship at a pediatric developmental center where she will conduct autism and related social-emotional behavioral assessments. Micah is excited to continue working with Adventure Camp children and families for a second year. She is thrilled to be part of a team of multidisciplinary professionals who share her goal in supporting and helping children with selective mutism.
Christine Keeports, M.A. earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cedarville University and her Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at NIU. She enjoys working with children, adolescents, and young adults with an emphasis on empirically-based therapy strategies. Christine has worked in numerous settings with multidisciplinary teams. For instance, she has experience in school systems, pediatric development centers, private practices, and university-based clinics. She has worked collaboratively with medical doctors, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, and school Individualized Education Plan (IEP) teams to determine accurate diagnoses and interventions. She is actively working on her doctoral dissertation concerning marital conflict and its impact on adolescents. She has also been published in several academic journals and books. Christine is looking forward to helping children meet their therapeutic goals during Adventure Camp this summer.
Chrissy Lee, M.S. earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northwestern University where she completed an honors thesis exploring the differences between Chinese American and Caucasian parenting styles and level of acculturation. She is currently a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Kentucky. She studies emotion regulation and social relations in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Chrissy loves working with children of all ages and has led multiple therapy groups teaching emotion regulation and social skills. She is excited to join the Adventure Camp team this summer and learn more skills to help the children she works with!
Sheila Lepkin graduated with a Master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has been a Nationally Certified School Psychologist for over 28 years. She also has a certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Denver Family Institute. During her long career in public schools, Sheila was co-chair of the ADHD Task Force for her Denver-area school district, developed an academic organization counseling program called Binder Doctor, and created and taught a summer class for students with ADHD. Sheila recently began a private practice to help children with anxiety and those with ADHD using a family-school systems approach. Currently, she is the Colorado Coordinator for the Selective Mutism Group of the Child Anxiety Network. Sheila has presented workshops on SM and other topics to professional organizations throughout the greater Denver area. She hopes to learn and bring cutting edge, effective therapy techniques back to families in the Denver metro area.
Molly Lipkin, M.A., L.P.C.C. graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. Afterwards, she received her Masters of Art in Counseling Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Molly is currently employed as a child and family psychotherapist in Denver, CO specializing in early intervention and in-home care. Molly is especially passionate about working with children with special needs who come from diverse backgrounds. She is looking forward to the unique experience of Adventure Camp and the opportunity to support parents and children affected by selective mutism. Molly is excited to be part of AC’s multidisciplinary team and to continue developing as a therapist. She is looking forward to being able to apply the clinical training and therapeutic interventions used during camp to improve services for children with SM in the Denver community.
Lea Rose Moravec earned her Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Saint Xavier University. She is currently attending graduate school at Saint Xavier University to pursue a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology. Post graduate school, Lea Rose intends to pursue her doctorate in Special Education, researching various communication disorders. She has a wide range of volunteer experiences that focus on children with various special needs, specifically with her work at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and at Mulliganeers. Lea Rose has been volunteering at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions since January 2013. Her interest in this field stems from her sister’s ten-year struggle with selective mutism. She hopes to provide opportunities to children and parents that were not available when her sister was affected by SM. Lea Rose also hopes to be a resource for speech pathologists that are not familiar with selective mutism and to continue spreading awareness about SM.
Susan McAuliff is en route to earn her Master’s degree in Licensed Professional Counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia where she also earned her Bachelor’s degree in Christian Counseling. She completed her undergraduate internship working with the assisted living elderly at The Little Sisters of the Poor in Richmond, Virginia. She felt that it was a privilege to help those who cannot completely help themselves. Susan's interest in working with children comes from her love of being a mother to eight beautiful children, a homeschooling teacher for over 20 years, and working as a nanny for two young girls while finishing school. She is excited and appreciative to have the opportunity to work with the Adventure Camp team, and to help families and children who deal with selective mutism. She hopes to make a difference in the lives of others.
Emma Mumper currently attends Indiana University and will be graduating next year with a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Psychology. She then plans to attend graduate school to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. In summer 2014, Emma participated in Adventure Camp as an ATS intern and acted as a counselor during Winter Adventure this past February. Emma has a wide range of work and volunteer experiences that have allowed her to teach diverse populations of children. She is an advocate for those with special needs and has experience instructing swim lessons to children of various ages and comfort levels. This past year, she acted as a mentor to adolescent girls within a local boys and girls club where she worked on promoting positive social relationships, in addition to providing tools to help others cope with anxiety. She feels passionate about encouraging children with a nurturing and safe environment to help them grow and attain personal goals, despite challenges. She is looking forward to joining the Adventure Camp team and continuing to help families and children with SM.
Jenifer Muzer received her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in July 2014. Additionally, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Central Michigan University. She completed her practicum and internship at Erie Neighborhood House where she worked as a mental health counselor providing individual play and talk therapy for children and adolescents ages two through sixteen. Jenifer also conducted creative movement groups during her internship, encouraging mind and body connection. She is currently working in Michigan providing home-based and school-based therapy with children diagnosed with autism. Jenifer joined the Adventure Camp team in 2014 and is ecstatic to meet and work with 2015 campers.
Cathleen O'Leary M.A., LPC, NCC, earned her Master of Arts in Counseling from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her practicum and internship at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois where she worked as a school counselor. As a school counselor, she specialized in working with students who struggled academically due to social and emotional issues. Her professional experience also includes working as a hospice counselor where she provided anticipatory grief and loss counseling for patients, families, and caregivers. Cathleen is currently working as a job coach for both high school and adult transition students with developmental and emotional disabilities. She provides on-site vocational training and counseling for students who may also have co-existing issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder or selective mutism. Cathleen feels passionate about providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and adolescents so they may grow and develop, and she was inspired to seek education and training for SM interventions. Cathleen was an Adventure Camp counselor in 2013 and 2014, and she is looking forward to once again helping children and families this year.
Emily Powers, B.S., recently graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University where she majored in Psychology and minored in Hispanic Studies. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue school counseling or clinical psychology. In the past, Emily has worked in therapeutic camp settings for children with autism, in schools as a coach and facilitator of social-emotional groups through Girls on the Run, and in an inpatient unit helping adults with addiction. She has served as a research assistant for studies about autism and also conducted an independent study on eating disorders. Her favorite and most valuable extracurricular activity in college was acting as a peer educator to spread mental health awareness on campus. She enjoys connecting others through education and advocacy. She also has a particular interest in helping children and adolescents overcoming anxiety disorders. Emily has been providing assistance to ATS therapists and staff as a volunteer since April 2015. She is excited to support families this summer and eager to apply the clinical knowledge and skills gained from camp towards future studies and her career.
For the last twenty years, Olga Silva-Sletz has worked in different capacities supporting children and families. She worked as a developmental therapist at El Valor Early Intervention Program. Then, while earning her Ph.D. at Loyola, she worked as the coordinator of El Valor Prevention Program for children ranging from newborn to three years old. Olga has also worked with Metropolitan Family Services in the Family Preservation and Reunification Program. After she obtained her Ph.D. in 2000, she initiated the Healthy Steps program at Infant Welfare Society in Chicago and managed it for five years. Olga’s passion is working with families and young children from different cultural backgrounds, especially Latinos. She has been a bilingual Infant Mental Health Clinician with the DuPage County Health Department since 2005. As a clinician, Olga has been an Early Childhood Mental Health consultant to the Head Start, Healthy Families and Early Childhood Programs in DuPage County, as well as a socio-emotional evaluator and therapist with the State Early Intervention program. She has also provided direct infant and early childhood mental health services to young children and their families, where either the child or the parent suffers from mental illness. Olga has received an endorsement from Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health as an Infant Mental Health Specialist, Level III in 2006. She appreciates the opportunity from ATS to be a counselor at Adventure Camp this summer.
Emily Stewart graduated from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish. She is currently a rising third year student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Northern Illinois University where she will eventually obtain her Ph.D. with a specialization in children and families. Emily has been fortunate to be able to work with children, families, and adults across multiple clinical settings including a clinical practicum at the Psychological Services Center at NIU. Additionally, she has had the opportunity to work as a co-leader for group therapy sessions for children ages 6-17 at a local private practice. These groups focused on teaching children social skills and managing symptoms of anxiety. In addition to utilizing empirically-supported interventions within the above practicum sites, Emily has also conducted multiple neuropsychological assessments for children and adolescents. In the fall of 2015, Emily will begin an externship in the Joliet, IL school district working with multiple professionals to provide assessments for school-aged children. She is delighted to be a counselor at Adventure Camp and is looking forward to helping children and families impacted by selective mutism.
Monica Whitehead, M.S. is a native to the midwest, growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH) as a double major in Psychology and Mathematics. She then went on to pursue her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Illinois University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Georgia where she researches therapeutic processes, treatment outcome, emotion regulation, and comorbidity in clinically anxious youth. Monica’s clinical work has focused primarily on child and family-related issues. She has several years of experience in therapy, assessment, and is even gaining experience incorporating virtual reality into therapy sessions when possible. Being a first time counselor at Adventure Camp, Monica is looking forward to applying her clinical skills in a different setting and with the selective mutism population. She is excited to help these children gain confidence and conquer their fears!