Autism + ABA Team is Burning Bright!

Are you ready to change lives?

Easterseals UCP is dedicated to achieving positive outcomes for our clients, transforming lives in the process. To facilitate this mission, we recognize that successful Behavior Analysts require two crucial elements: the ability to leverage their strengths for impactful work and a work environment that values the time required for their clinical duties. We have established a high-performing and supportive culture that encourages the appreciation of each team member’s unique strengths, fostering robust collaboration and enhancing the skills of our clinicians.

We have alleviated the overload on our clinicians, providing them with more time for analytical thinking and curiosity as they determine the best course of action for their clients. Our clinicians now have the opportunity to cultivate leadership and mentorship skills, contributing to the empowerment of the upcoming generation of technicians and behavior analysts. This enables them to confidently excel in their roles. We deliberately create avenues for mentorship, underscoring the significance of both offering and receiving guidance within our organization.

Unique organization with unique opportunities

We are a large, unique organization. Easterseals UCP’s diverse and inclusive 2,600-member team proudly provides more than 10.2 million hours of meaningful support to 40,200 kids, adults and families in 11,000 home and community locations.  In addition to Autism + ABA services, our organization also provides exceptional disability, behavioral health and addiction treatment services. As a result, our team members have unique opportunities rarely found in one organization. Our Autism + ABA team is close-knit and has the privilege of working with and learning from interdisciplinary teams of professionals across our organization who have with diverse expertise and perspectives.

If you are interested in expanding your career in innovating ways, we have opportunities for you!

Meet our leadership team.

Shanun Kunnavatana
Ph.D., BCBA-D

Vice President, Outcomes

Shanun Kunnavatana, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Vice President, Outcomes

“I burn bright at Easterseals UCP because this organization allows me to live out my passion! Every day I am given opportunities to broaden the applicability and impact of behavior analysis, build bridges to create powerful interdisciplinary collaboration and develop future leaders. My top 5 CliftonStrengths are Learner, Individualization, Ideation, Arranger and Intellection.”

Dr. Shanun Kunnavatana is the Vice President of Outcomes at Easterseals UCP.  In her role, she leverages data analytics to support programs in making data-based decisions, bridges the strengths of the teams to ensure high quality service delivery, provides clinical and operational leadership to Autism & ABA services and leads the Learning and Organizational Development team. Dr. Kunnavatana joined ESUCP in July 2018 and has held leadership roles in both Autism & ABA services and within the larger organization.

Dr. Kunnavatana is a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) with more than 20 years of experience working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual/developmental disabilities and/or mental health challenges.  She has supported individuals across their lifespan at home, school, in behavior clinics and in the community.

Dr. Kunnavatana has held multiple faculty appointments and has published more than a dozen peer-reviewed studies that focus on ways to improve long-term behavioral outcomes, including the accessibility of behavioral assessments and treatments, caregiver engagement and training, and treatment preference.  Dr. Kunnavatana actively maintains involvement in the behavior analytic community by presenting regularly at national and regional conferences, being a guest reviewer for several journals that publish behavior analytic research, lending expertise as a Research Review Committee Member for LittleStar ABA and serving a four-year term on the Executive Board for the North Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis (Vice President, President Elect, President and Past President).

Dr. Kunnavatana lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband, two children, puppy and chickens. On weekends, you can find her hiking at nearby State Parks with her family and cooking with locally sourced ingredients inspired by nearby farmer’s markets.

Recent Media
Investing in Mission-Based Outcomes

Podcasts:

Natalie Kulesza
M.S., BCBA

Statewide Clinical Director, Autism + ABA Services

Natalie Kulesza, M.S., BCBA

Statewide Clinical Director, Autism + ABA Services

“I burn bright for Easterseals UCP because this organization provides me with the space and support I need to achieve my goals while demanding alignment between our actions and our values. My top 5 CliftonStrenghts are Learner, Connectedness, Strategic, Responsibility and Developer.

Natalie is the Statewide Clinical Director of Autism + ABA Services at Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). She joined the team in 2023 and is responsible for supervising the clinical progress of the ABA clinics across North Carolina. She ensures the entire ABA program is providing high-quality evidenced based services to the learners they serve, as well as professional and clinical development opportunities for BCBAs, students and RBTs/BTs.

Natalie has worked in the ABA field for almost 15 years. Prior to joining ESUCP, Natalie served as Clinical Director at The Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis. She has also worked in key roles within other organizations offering ABA services that have included Senior BCBA, Apprentice Mentor and Student Coordinator.

Natalie holds a Master’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Kaplan University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from ­­­North Carolina State University. She has also obtained licensure in North Carolina as a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA). In her time away from work, Natalie enjoys cooking, tending to her plants and spending time with her large family.

Paul Traglio

Operations Manager

Paul Traglio

Operations Manager

I burn bright at at Easterseals UCP because it’s a dynamic organization filled with passionate and driven team members. Every day, we are making a difference in the lives of the individuals and families we support. This motivates me to do my best. My top 5 CliftonStrengths are Context, Achiever, Individualization, Analytical and Arranger.”

Paul Traglio is the Operations Manager for Autism & ABA Services at Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). He joined ESUCP in August 2023. He works in tandem with the Clinical Director to ensure a balance between financial sustainability and high clinical integrity. Paul evaluates and identifies opportunities for improvement, develops and executes strategic solutions and reports progress on financial metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). He is responsible for maintaining and improving program efficiency. In addition, he leads processes improvements for the service line to ensure financial goals and objectives are achieved. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to ESUCP’s purpose mission and being part of the ESUCP family!”

Paul started working with people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in 1997. His previous key roles include Operations/ Administrative Manager with Capitol Autism Services, Client Intake and Authorizations Manager with Kadiant, LLC., and Enrollment Manager with The Stepping Stones Group.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling and rooting for the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.

Amanda Stred
M.A., BCBA

Apprenticeship & Training Coordinator

Amanda Stred

Apprenticeship & Training Coordinator

“I burn bright at Easterseals UCP because I have the great privilege of helping to shape the next generation of clinicians and staff who will carry on this invaluable work and I couldn’t be more excited! My top 5 CliftonStrenghts are Relator, Developer, Futuristic, Connectedness and Includer.”

Amanda Stred is the Apprenticeship and Training Coordinator for Autism and ABA Services at Easterseals UCP. She joined the team in October of 2023. In her role, she is responsible for clinically and operationally developing staff aspiring to pursue a career in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In addition, she helps strengthen the clinical infrastructure and strategic growth of the service line.

Amanda began her career in 2005. She has provided Behavior Analytic services in the home, school, community and clinic-based settings, with clients ranging from ages 2 through adulthood. Prior to joining ESUCP, Amanda received her initial training in the field of ABA while working at the New England Center for Children as an Education Coordinator. After obtaining her BCBA credential, she worked as a clinical professional for the Autism Society of North Carolina and later pursued her passion for working with the adult population by providing specialized consultative services with Berth Behavior Consultation, PLLC. Additionally, Amanda is a licensed teacher and has a history of working as a Special Educator for the Massachusetts public-school system.

Amanda earned a Master’s degree in Special Education from Simmons College in Boston, MA. She completed her BCBA course sequence with the Florida Institute of Technology. Amanda enjoys art, travel, reading and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Audrey Shen
M.A., BCBA

Special Projects, BCBA

Audrey Shen, M.A., BCBA

Special Projects, BCBA

“I burn bright at Easterseals UCP because we are mission forward! I love that we mentor and empower our clinicians to provide compassionate, effective and client-centered ABA services. My top 5 CliftonStrengths are Individualization, Woo, Ideation, Positivity and Futuristic.” 

Audrey Shen manages Special Projects for Autism & ABA Services at Easterseals UCP (ESUCP). She joined the team in 2016 and leads a wide-range of projects that support intentional program growth, clinical outcomes and staff development. She is passionate about facilitating a strength-based culture, where the unique talents and abilities of clients and staff are celebrated and leveraged, resulting in growth and progress.

Audrey has more than 20 years of experience providing evidence-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) interventions to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Prior to joining ESUCP, she was a Clinical Manager at Easterseals Northern California. She has also conducted research on the effectiveness of ABA treatments and presented it at the annual ABA International Convention. In addition, she has conducted research at the University of California at Davis’ MIND Institute, where she helped carry out a brain imaging study to examine how the brain develops in children with ASD and presented the success of this study at NCABA. Audrey is currently collaborating with UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine to teach their neuroscience research team how to implement ABA techniques to teach children with ASD to lie still in an MRI scanner.

Audrey was recently appointed by the North Carolina governor and state legislature to launch a state licensure board for behavior analysts, responsible for ensuring high quality services are delivered to all individuals with ASD in North Carolina.

Audrey earned a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Autism Education from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

Jennifer Blackburn
M.A., BCBA

Manager, BCBA

Jennifer Blackburn, M.A., BCBA

Manager, BCBA

“I burn bright at Easterseals UCP because our organization celebrates the strengths and skills of not only our employees, but the people we support as well. My top 5 CliftonStrengths are Restorative, Includer, Empathy, Positivity and Harmony.”

 Jennifer Blackburn is the Managing BCBA in Raleigh, NC for Autism and ABA Services. She has been with Easterseals UCP for 6 years, joining in 2017 as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) with the Charlotte team. Jennifer helps facilitate the clinical team in Raleigh by supporting and mentoring RBTs and BCBAs, along with coordinating services with incoming families. Jennifer enjoys developing her team to grow within their position and explore how their natural skills can shine while working with their clients.

After graduating from North Carolina State, Jennifer was a fifth-grade science and social studies teacher in the Wake County School System for four years. It was in the classroom that Jennifer found her calling to support the autistic population which led her to pursue a Master’s in Education from Penn State University. With deep roots in education, Jennifer enjoys any chance to collaborate with the schools to better support the needs of clients and families. Jennifer has held her BCBA Certification since August 2019 and has been an NC Licensed Behavior Analyst since August 2023.

Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and dog, as well as going to CrossFit and traveling.

Joseph Rumsey
M.A., BCBA

Manager, BCBA

Joseph Rumsey, M.A., BCBA

Manager, BCBA

“I burn bright at Easterseals UCP because I am given opportunities to collaborate across services and the freedom to explore innovative ways to meet the needs of the individuals and families we serve. My top 5 CliftonStrengths are Developer, Learner, Individualization, Empathy and Achiever.”

Joseph Rumsey is the BCBA Manager for Autism and ABA Services at Easterseals UCP in Wilmington, NC.  He has worked with ESUCP since 2021. In his role, Joseph leverages his strengths to support the clinical development of the BCBAs and RBTs on his team, so in turn they can maximize their impact with the clients supported in Wilmington.

Joseph has worked in the field of ABA since 2011 starting out as a Behavior Technician and moving into the role of BCBA in 2014.  He has great experience across various settings, working in Onslow County Schools to support children in the classroom, providing in-home ABA services with Butterfly Effects LLC for 6 years and working at two different ABA centers in Eastern North Carolina.

Joseph earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from North Carolina State University and his Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Kaplan University.

Nakia Kinney
M.A., BCBA

Manager, BCBA

Nakia Kinne, M.A., BCBA

Manager, BCBA

“I burn bright at Easterseals UCP because I am inspired by the people that I support. They keep me curious and push me to be the change I want to see in the world. My top 5 CliftonStrengths are Discipline, Connectedness, Arranger, Positivity and Relator.”

Nakia Kinne is the Managing BCBA in Charlotte for Autism and ABA Services at Easterseals UCP. Nakia joined Easterseals in 2018 as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) providing one-on-one ABA services to children on the Autism Spectrum. In her current role, she supports the clinical team in Charlotte to ensure that clients and team members meet their goals and that organization-wide goals are also achieved. In addition, she provides direct support to the families and clients supported, while developing the BCBAs and technicians that pour into our clients.

Nakia began working in the ABA field in 2013, when she interned at the Florida International University’s Summer Treatment Program for individuals diagnosed with ADHD and ASD, led by the late Dr. William Pelham. Nakia earned a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Florida International University. Nakia is a dog mommy of two rescue pitties. In her downtime she likes to eat and travel.

Recent Media
A Journey in Behavior Therapy

Be a part of our story.