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News & Announcements


Introducing New Jersey’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, a component of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Pediatrics, has been awarded a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Training Program grant totaling $2.2 million over the next five years from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau in the federal Health Resources and Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Services. Funding for LEND programs is authorized by the federal Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act [P.L. 113-157].

2016-2017 NJLEND cohortThe inaugural year of NJLEND, The Boggs Center’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program, began in August of 2016 in New Brunswick. Over the course of the academic year, the NJLEND program will prepare graduate-level health and allied health trainees to provide high-quality, interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally competent care addressing the complex needs of children with autism, related disabilities and other maternal and child health populations. NJLEND trainees will participate in the program’s weekly Didactic Seminar Series, as well as a range of experiential learning, leadership development, and clinical training opportunities. Children’s Specialized Hospital, with its extensive expertise and patient population with ASD and broad network of clinical services statewide, is the primary partner for clinical training aspects of the program. Rutgers’ Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center is also a clinical partner.

NJLEND represents a unique set of university, state, local, and family partnerships. The 2016-2017 NJLEND cohort includes 9 trainees, representing 5 academic disciplines from Rutgers and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, as well as family members of children with disabilities. NJLEND provides trainees the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, receiving support and mentoring by faculty in their respective disciplines, and are also paired with a mentor family. Seven academic disciplines are represented by the NJLEND faculty discipline coordinators, including: Dentistry, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Nursing, Nutrition, Psychology, Social Work, and Family.

Visit the NJLEND page on The Boggs Center’s website to learn more.

The Boggs Center Welcomes Jessica Mayfield, MEd

Jessica MayfieldJessica Mayfield recently joined The Boggs Center as a Training and Consultation Specialist for the Community Based Instruction (CBI) Project. She provides training and technical assistance regarding best practices in implementation, management, and sustainability of CBI. Jessica earned her Masters degree in Special Education with an emphasis on severe disabilities and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from The College of New Jersey. Jessica is a certified supervisor, teacher of students with disabilities, and elementary school teacher.  Prior to employment at The Boggs Center, she worked as an educator of individuals with multiple disabilities ranging from early elementary to high school. Jessica has a vast amount of experience and interest in development and application of programming for individuals with a wide range of abilities, emphasizing on Autism Spectrum Disorders.


The Boggs Center Welcomes Somerlee Monaghan, MS

Somerlee MonaghanSomerlee Monaghan, MS, is a Training and Consultation Specialist at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. Ms. Monaghan provides project training and assistance on the Person Centered Approaches in Schools and Transition (PCAST) project, working closely with schools, students, and families. Ms. Monaghan is certified in Person Centered Thinking and Person Centered Facilitation in Schools by the Learning Community for Person Centered Practices. Prior to joining the Boggs Center, Ms. Monaghan worked as a speech and language pathologist for more than 14 years. She is a passionate proponent of the development of critical communication, self-advocacy, and self-determination skills. Ms. Monaghan is certified in the area of augmentative and alternative communication by Stockton University as well as customized employment by the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators. Ms. Monaghan is a founding member of the Transition Coordinators’ Network of South Jersey, which serves as a community of practice to unite people with disabilities and those who support and care about them. She was the recipient of the 2016 APSE Educator of the Year award. Ms. Monaghan received a Bachelor of Science degree from Stockton University and a Master of Science degree from LaSalle University in the area of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.

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