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Spring 2011

Dan Baker, PhD, Co-Authors Disability Employment Report

Ready and Able report coverDan Baker, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Community Positive Behavior Support, Transition, and Supported Employment Projects at The Boggs Center, co-authored the National Technical Assistance and Research Center – Leadership Center disability employment report with Robert Nicholas, PhD, Ronnie Kauder, and Kathy Krepcio.

The report, Ready and Able: Addressing Labor Market Needs and Building Productive Careers for People with Disabilities through Collaborative Approaches, describes market-driven practices that increase hiring, retention, promotion and accommodation of people with disabilities through partnerships with employers. Approaches profiled in the research include: collaborations between major national employers and public sector agencies; models that focus on an industry or occupational sector; private and “alternative” staffing services that place people with disabilities; partnerships that expand opportunities for college students and graduates with disabilities; and local and regional hubs that connect people with disabilities and employers. The research also profiles two organizations where lead disability and employment partnerships act as catalysts.

View the the Ready and Able report

View more information about The Boggs Center’s disability employment efforts

The Boggs Center Interdisciplinary and Project Focused Trainees Graduate


Two students graduated from The Boggs Center's Interdisciplinary Traineeship Program. Matthew Hundemann, a MSW student at Rutgers School of Social Work, completed his field education placement at The Boggs Center and was supervised by Kathy Roberson, MSW, Policy and Information Coordinator. Allison Seebald, a student at Princeton University majoring in Molecular Biology with a certificate in Neuroscience, was supervised by Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director of The Boggs Center.

A student from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, David Chen, and a student from the Rutgers University, Justine Kim, graduated from the Independent Project Focused Traineeship Program. These students worked on projects mentored by The Boggs Center faculty. Jasmine Marwaha, a student at Rutgers University completed a Planning and Policy Internship at The Boggs Center this spring.

The Interdisciplinary Traineeship Program is coordinated by Caroline Coffield, PhD, Instructor of Pediatrics.

Clinical Pastoral Education Program Students Graduate

CPE Students

Six students graduated from the 2010-2011 Clinical Pastoral Education Program, directed by Rev. Bill Gaventa, MDiv, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Community and Congregational Supports, and Alice F. Walsh, MDiv, ACPE Supervisory Candidate. The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program is a training program initiated by The Boggs Center in collaboration with community agencies in New Jersey. This year’s students included: Janet A. Becker Halpren, Angela Brooks-Wright, Cheryl A. Daniel, Zacharias Abel Grant, Victoria McGrath, and Megan E. Thomas.

Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, to be Appointed to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Deborah Spitalnik, PhDThe White House has announced that Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, Executive Director of The Boggs Center and Professor of Pediatrics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, will be appointed to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

The mission of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) is to provide advice and assistance to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual disabilities and the field of Intellectual Disabilities. Undergirding the Committee's mission is the goal to improve the quality of life that is experienced by people with intellectual disabilities, by upholding their full citizenship rights, independence, self-determination, and life-long participation in their respective communities.

The Boggs Center also congratulates the other appointees, including Sheryl White-Scott, MD, who teaches the Seminar on Developmental Disabilities and Family Centered Care for third year medical students at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. See the White House Press Release at

Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, Honored with Verice M. Mason Community Service Leader Award

Deborah Spitalnik

Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, was honored with the Verice M. Mason Community Service Leader Award, one of the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Awards sponsored by MDAdvantage Insurance Company. The Verice M. Mason award is presented to an organization that demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to improving the health and welfare of the citizens of New Jersey and to an individual representing that organization who has personified, led and/or provided the vision for that organization. Dr. Spitalnik was presented with the award on behalf of The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Awards ceremony on May 4, 2011 in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, is the founding Executive Director of The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, New Jersey’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She is also Professor of Pediatrics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Spitalnik holds degrees from Brandeis, Harvard and Temple universities and was a Maternal and Child Fellow at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. In her efforts to promote inclusive communities, her work has focused on the intersection between individuals and public policy. She is a coauthor of two editions of the classification manual in intellectual disability. Dr. Spitalnik has promoted the health of individuals with disabilities through her research by developing innovative models for integrating adults with chronic disabilities into managed healthcare and through the development of curricula and educational materials for professionals and consumers. Dr. Spitalnik educates a wide range of constituencies throughout various disciplines, including people with disabilities and their families, medical students, resident physicians, direct support professionals and social workers. Dr. Spitalnik chairs the New Jersey Medical Assistance Advisory Council, the national Council on Quality and Leadership and is Past President of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Serving on numerous committees in New Jersey and nationally, she provides extensive consultation to families, policymakers, state agencies and service providers. A former trustee of Children’s Specialized Hospital, Dr. Spitalnik serves on the board of George School and is a volunteer at the Flemington Area Food Pantry.




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