GPS 2017: Speakers
Amy Szarkowski, Ph.D, MS is a psychologist with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Boston Children's Hospital. Clinically, she works with children with reduced hearing and their families, ranging in age from infancy through early adulthood. She offers guidance and counseling support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals and families and, often as a part of an interdisciplinary team, conducts psychological assessment. Dr. Szarkowski is an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and also maintains faculty affiliations with Tufts University and Gallaudet University.
Maggie Bialecki, MOT, OTR/L holds a Masters of Occupational Therapy from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA as well as a Certificate in Leisure and Therapeutic Recreation. This is her ninth year at The Learning Center for the Deaf, working as a school based therapist, and has additional experience in multiple settings including pediatric inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, early intervention, and sensory integration and feeding clinics. Maggie is expected to earn her doctorate from Boston University this spring when she presents her thesis focusing on vestibular dysfunction in children who are deaf and hard of hearing as well as her Certificate in Assistive Technology from University of Illinois, Chicago. She is trained in SOS Approach to Feeding, Greenspan Floortime Theory, the Listening Program, the Astronaut Program and is a level II Reiki provider.
April Bottoms is a second year master student in the Education of the Deaf program at Boston University. She works at the Language Acquisition & Visual Attention Lab as a graduate student researcher. April is also advocating deaf children's education in the Pacific.
Brittany Farr is a first year graduate student in Education of the Deaf program at Boston University. She is passionate about transforming the English curriculum for the Deaf programs by having the English curriculum tailor to learning approaches that are relevant to Deaf students and their native language, ASL.
Sarah Honigfeld, CEIS-DS, SSP is the Parent Infant Program Coordinator at the Learning Center for the Deaf. She brings to the program over five years of experience in the Early Intervention field. Her work in the field includes working closely with families, communities and agencies to provide optimal services for infants and toddlers who are deaf and hard of hearing. She holds two certificates in Early Intervention, and is anticipated to receive her Masters in Counseling from Gallaudet University in December 2017.
Karran Larson, MA, LMHC received her Master of Arts in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University. She is certified to practice as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She additionally holds certifications as Hearing Loss Specialist , from the Hearing Loss Association of America; and Recovery Coach Trainer, by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health , Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. Karran is currently employed at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) as a Children’s Specialist. Her professional interests include Mental Health and Addiction/Recovery. She represents MCDHH on the Statewide Advisory Council for the Department of Mental Health, the Statewide Deaf/Hard of Hearing Taskforce for Substance Use Disorders, and the Consumer Advisory Council for the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. Karran is a member of NAD, MSAD, and WMADHI. In 2015 she was recognized by MSAD for outstanding Advocacy and her work to improve quality of life for Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Karran also enjoys baking, taking long walks in the woods of the Berkshires and spending time with family.
Amy Lieberman, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Boston University and Director of the Language Acquisition and Visual Attention Lab. Her research focuses on the acquisition and processing of American Sign Language (ASL) in deaf individuals, and the development of visual attention in deaf children. Prior to joining the BU faculty, she was at the University of California, San Diego, where worked as a Research Scientist in the Mayberry Lab for Multimodal Language Development. She previously worked as an Early Childhood teacher at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, and at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School at Gallaudet University’s Clerc Center.
Kym Meyer, M.S., CCC-A, is an educational audiologist and certified teacher. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Special Education at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has been at The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, Massachusetts since 1994, in a variety of capacities, including the educational audiologist for the students, supervising the spoken English/Communication Department, and, for the past 18 years, as Director of Public School Partnerships (originally known as TOPP). This program provides consultation from educational audiologists and teachers of the deaf to nearly 50 school districts throughout the state.
Terri Pancare, MA received her Masters of Arts in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University. She completed an Interpreter Training Program from College of Staten Island. She has over 35 years of experience working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. Terri worked at LaGuardia Community College for 3 years as a Career Education Counselor in the Deaf and hard of hearing program. She also did some interpreting at Lehman College. She then worked as a Rehabilitation counselor for the Deaf at OVR/VESID in NYC for 7 years. Terri is currently employed at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH). She has worked at MCDHH for over 25 years. She started as a Case Manager working mostly with adults but has been working as a Children’s specialist for many years now. Terri sits on various steering committees to better services for all. She is an avid skier and would like to set up a Deaf and Hard of Hearing ski group for kids at Mt. Wachusett.
Jayme Rivas Robertson, Ed. M. is the Early Childhood Director at The Learning Center for the Deaf. Before assuming directorship of the ECC in 2016, Jayme was a preschool and kindergarten teacher for 15 years at TLC. Jayme holds a Master of Deaf Education from Boston University and a Post Master’s Certificate in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice from UMass Boston. Jayme lives in Boston with her husband and two children.
Ashley Thompson is an elementary educator at her alma mater, Marie Philip School at The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, MA. She received her B.A. degree in Elementary Education as well as M.A.T. in American Sign Language/English Bilingual Deaf Education from Gallaudet University in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Ashley has served on the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf as a Board Member since 2012, she is also a chairperson of the Language Equality & Acquisition for the Deaf Kids - Kindergarten-Readiness (LEAD-K) program for the state of Massachusetts working with the LEAD-K Campaign. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities and traveling.
Sandra Williams, PT, MS, received her undergraduate degree from Boston College in 1995 and Masters of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Mass General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in 1998. She has been working as a Physical Therapist at the Learning Center for the Deaf for the last 12 years, working with children ages 3 through 22. She is also certified in Pilates, working with clients to improve core strength, back pain, balance impairments, and overall health.