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Spring 2015

Deborah Spitalnik Re-appointed to 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 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, will be reappointed to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Dr. Spitalnik was appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2014, having previously served on the Committee from 2011 to 2013, from 1994 to 2001, and as Chair from 2000 to 2001. Dr. Spitalnik is Chair of the New Jersey Medical Assistance Advisory Council, having joined the Council in 2005. She is former Chair of the National Council on Quality and Leadership and past President of the Association of University Centers on 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.

View the White House Press Release

Boggs Center Interdisciplinary Trainees Graduate

The Boggs Center recently celebrated the accomplishments of this year’s Interdisciplinary Trainees with a graduation colloquium, gathering together faculty and staff as each student presented on their significant projects and the lasting impact of their Trainee experiences. The Boggs Center’s Interdisciplinary Traineeship offers an array of learning opportunities oriented toward developing a workforce of professionals who will be prepared to provide leadership and vision in the field of developmental disabilities. The Interdisciplinary Traineeship is available in both a long-term and intermediate format based on the number of hours and scope of requirements.

This May, four long-term Trainees graduated from The Boggs Center's Interdisciplinary Traineeship Program:

  • Kathrine Baldwin, a graduate student at Rutgers School of Public Health/Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences completed the Interdisciplinary Traineeship under the supervision of Daniel Baker, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Community Positive Behavior Support, Transition, and Supported Employment Projects.
  • Victoria Cabrera, a MSW student at Rutgers School of Social Work completed her field education placement at The Boggs Center. She was supervised by Michael Knox, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Deputy Director.
  • Alison O’Connor, a doctoral student at Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology completed the Interdisciplinary Traineeship under the supervision of Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director at The Boggs Center, while simultaneously completing her practicum at the Arc of Monmouth, supervised by Nancy Razza, PhD, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.
  • Ashley Ritchey, a MSW student at Rutgers School of Social Work completed her field education placement at The Boggs Center. She was supervised by Robyn Carroll, MSW, Communications Manager.

One student completed the Intermediate Traineeship Program at The Boggs Center. Samantha McDonald, a graduate student at Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences completed the Intermediate Interdisciplinary Traineeship under the supervision of Philip Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Project Manager for Community Positive Behavior Supports at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities.

2,000 Participants Learn About Disabilities Through The Boggs Center’s Disability Trivia Prize Wheel Booth at Rutgers Day

On April 25, 2015, The Boggs Center participated in Rutgers Day, an annual, family-oriented open house held on the Douglass/Cook, College Avenue, and Busch Campuses to highlight the University’s schools, centers, institutes, and programs as well as the valuable contributions Rutgers makes to those in New Jersey and beyond. This year’s event was attended by a record 91,000 people on all three campuses.

The Boggs Center coordinated a Disability Trivia Prize Wheel booth on the Busch Campus in Piscataway.  Over 2,000 people, including the Rutgers Scarlet Knight, learned about disabilities from Boggs Center faculty and staff through a family-friendly trivia game that addressed topics including important public policies, person first language, and common myths.

The Boggs Center’s Disability Trivia Prize Wheel was featured in highlight videos by RU-TV and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Participants answer questions at The Boggs Center's booth

The Rutgers Scarlet Knight takes a turn at the prize wheel

The Boggs Center Celebrates 250th Session of the Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series

250th Session of the Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series Deborah Spitalnik and Andrew Solomon
The Boggs Center held its 250th Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series (DDLS) on Friday, April 17th.  This milestone event featured presentations from two speakers: New York Times best-selling author Andrew Solomon, PhD, and The Boggs Center’s founding Executive Director Deborah Spitalnik, PhD. Dr. Spitalnik began the session with “The Context for Our Empathy,” a presentation tracing the structure of disability policy, trends in supports and services, and the cumulative impact on the lives of people with developmental disabilities, their families, and those who work on their behalf.  Dr. Solomon shared his experiences writing Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, an examination of the means by which families accommodate and embrace their children with physical, mental, and social disabilities. 

View List of 250 Sessions of the Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series

Audio Files and Handouts now available

Philip Smith Community Access Unlimited honored Philip Smith, PhD, Project Manager for Community Positive Behavior Supports and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, as Educator of the Year at its annual Awards Night Celebration on April 8, 2015.  The award recognized Dr. Smith’s hard work and dedication in providing training that helps ensure the staff of Community Access Unlimited can reach their full potential when supporting individuals with disabilities.

 

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