Leadership

Our Team


With decades of collective expertise in the teacher preparation space, our team is focused on amplifying the unique contributions that MSI’s offer in training highly effective diverse educators for America’s classrooms.

Dr. Cassandra Herring
Founder, President, and CEO

Cassandra Herring, Ph.D., is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and founder of Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED). BranchED is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to maximizing programming and driving innovation in preparing highly effective diverse educators for all learners. Dr. Herring’s passion for equity-driven education reform is firmly rooted in the belief that diversity and excellence are inextricably linked. Dr. Herring has more than 20 years of experience in education, and her career spans all levels of education. She has worked in early childhood settings through higher education and has led several state education policy initiatives.

Prior to founding BranchED, Dr. Herring served as Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at Hampton University for nearly 10 years. Under her leadership, struggling education programs were transformed, earning state approval and highest commendations by accrediting bodies. She doubled her school’s enrollment through strategic recruitment efforts and secured external resources for student support. In addition to her work within the school of education, Dr. Herring conceptualized and spearheaded Hampton U Online, the university’s virtual campus for the delivery of online degree programs, and opened the Hampton University International Office, a central hub for supporting international students and faculty, promoting study abroad, and building global connections.

Dr. Herring has served on numerous national and international boards, including on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Equity and Diversity Committee, the Board of Directors of Data Quality Campaign, and advisory boards for the Cato College of Education at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Teachers College at Western Governors University. Previously, Dr. Herring served on the Board of Directors of the international Online Learning Consortium, the External Advisory Committee for the North Carolina Educator Quality Data Dashboard, the advisory board for the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education, and as Chair of the NAFEO Academic of Deans of Education Council. She has been recognized as a Salzburg Global Institute Fellow at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria. Currently, Dr. Herring is a distinguished Emerson Collective Dial Fellow.

Dr. Herring earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Policy from Georgia State University, and Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.


Dr. Patricia Alvarez McHatton
Chief Program Officer

Patricia Alvarez McHatton, Ph.D. is BranchED’s Senior Vice President. As Senior VP, Dr. Alvarez McHatton oversees all MSI Educator Preparation Program faculty and leader facing programming, including capacity building and professional learning initiatives. Most notably, she overseas BranchED’s National Teacher Preparation Transformation Center and BranchED’s Inclusive Rigorous Content Hub & Professional Learning Center (aka The Birch Center). Dr. Alvarez McHatton brings to BranchED a wide range of experience in higher education. She previously served as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Success, and P-16 Integration at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) where she also served as the founding Dean of the College of Education and P16 Integration. As Dean, she led multiple initiatives to enhance educator preparation programs within the college, expand the educator pipeline, and cultivate and maintain strong, collaborative partnerships with districts and community members. She is the author and contributor of over fifty reports and publications and has presented at numerous conferences both nationally and internationally. Dr. Alvarez McHatton earned a bachelor’s degree in Special Education Behavior Disorders and Learning Disabilities, a master’s in Special Education Varying Exceptionalities, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Special Education and Urban Education, from the University of South Florida.


Mark Bailey
Director of Organizational Effectiveness

Mark Bailey is the Director of Organizational Effectiveness at Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity. Mark comes to BranchED from New Leaders. He joined New Leaders in 2013 as a Program Associate supporting the training and development of Baltimore teachers and school leaders.

Most recently, Mark served as the Senior Manager of Data Strategy and Analytics at New Leaders, where he helped lead much of the organization's surveys and data collection work while supporting program evaluation and key organizational learning efforts. Mark received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Michigan Technological University.


April Black
Instructional Designer

April Black is the Instructional Designer at Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity. April Black has served in various roles in education for over twenty years, beginning as an educator for the youngest learners to an educational coach and developer the last nine years. Previously she served the Carrollton Farmers Branch school district as an Early Literacy Coach, Instructional Mathematics Coach, Instructional Facilitator and Instructional Dean where she supported initiatives such as instructional coaching, curriculum and TEKS content alignment, data driven instruction and assessment practices and the Texas Reading Academies initiative. She also served as a faculty member at St. Johnsbury Academy Jeju in South Korea as an Instructional Specialist in Literacy where she chaired a committee to align curriculum around CCSS standards, co-chaired a multi-school learning conference and led an accreditation team. Ms. Black holds a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in the field of Reading from Texas A&M University Commerce and an M.Ed. from the University of Texas Arlington in Curriculum & Instruction.

Dr. John Bishop
Development Manager and Grant Writer

Dr. John Bishop is the Development Manager and Grant Writer at Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity. He comes to BranchED from University of New Orleans, where he served as Grant Writer for the Office of Research and Economic Development. Prior to administrative grant work at UNO, John was a tenure track faculty member in Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education at University of Southern Mississippi, teaching literacy education and qualitative research methodology courses for undergraduate and graduate level students. He has taught Language Arts for both elementary and middle level grades, and has facilitated professional development for literacy teachers through federal grants and his local chapters of the National Writing Project in GA, MS, and LA. He is an enthusiastic volunteer for 826 New Orleans, a local youth writing and publishing center and part of the 826 Network. He earned his doctorate in Language and Literacy Education from University of Georgia.

Donna Brooks
Events Manager

Donna Brooks is the Events Manager of the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED). Donna handles the planning and executing of learning summits, retreats, board meetings, and all events operations.


Donna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from the esteemed Virginia State University. After completing her degree, Donna worked for ten years as a Director of Hospitality in five-star hotels, such as The St. Regis, the Grand Hyatt, and the Bristol Plaza.


After leaving the hotel industry, Donna moved to the District of Columbia where she obtained the position, Patient Ambassador and Training Manager for Washington Hospital Center. In the role as Patient Ambassador, she met with all incoming patients within twenty-four hours of their arrival at the hospital to ensure they received quality care during their stay. In doing so, Donna significantly increased Washington Hospital Center’s Press Ganey scores, the rating system for all hospitals. During her tenure, Donna also trained transformed single mothers over 500 employees, throughout the hospital, on workplace safety procedures.


After leaving Washington Hospital Center, Donna served as the Director of the GED program for young mothers, Mothers Obtaining Victor in Education, at Atlanta Technical College. Under her leadership, young mothers received their GED and successfully transitioned into higher education and/or the workforce. During her 10 years at Atlanta Technical College, she partnered with Morehouse School of Medicine, University of Georgia, The Thurman Group, and other community-based organizations, bringing workshops in nutrition, parenting, anger management, HIV/AIDS awareness, health and wellness, and countless others to the young mother.


Ryan Bruce
Digital Marketing Manager

Ryan Bruce is the Digital Marketing Manager at Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED). Ryan is a marketing professional with over 12 years of experience in various industries. Prior to joining BranchED, Ryan led all digital content efforts at Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) the world's largest hotel owner’s association, increasing their social media engagement by 6,000%. Ryan also has marketing experience in the music industry - working for major record companies, where he commissioned and curated digital content for artists' digital channels and administered campaign performance data.

Throughout his career, Ryan has received numerous accolades, including being featured in 2014's long list of Music Week's annual "30 Under 30".


Dr. Luzelma Canales
Chief of Staff

Dr. Luzelma G. Canales is the Associate Vice President of Leadership Learning and Activation at the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED). Prior to joining BranchED, she served as the Senior Associate Vice President for Student Success for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). She was responsible for the overall leadership and administration of programming and services leading to student success in academic, college life, and the transition of students to the workforce or graduate school. In addition, Dr. Canales had a key leadership role in ensuring excellent and ongoing academic and student support services for all students, designed to increase retention and graduation rates while maintaining the highest standards of academic excellence. Dr. Canales served as the founding executive director for RGV FOCUS, a collaboration with Educate Texas. Dr. Canales provided leadership for a large-scale collective impact initiative launched to transform college readiness, access, and success across a four-county region in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. The collaborative is comprised of over forty partners including four postsecondary institutions, eleven school districts, two workforce boards, private funders, and numerous community based organizations and nonprofits. Dr. Canales served as a community college and university administrator for over twenty-five years. She led numerous institutional community college national reform initiatives including Achieving the Dream, Breaking Through, and several with Excelencia in Education. Dr. Canales serves on local, state and national boards related to closing equity gaps in voter turnout and educational attainment. She was born and raised along the Texas-Mexico border in deep South Texas. She and her family migrated to Washington and Oregon to work in the fields during the 1960s and 1970s. Her lived experience includes participating in the integration of schools and witnessing the efforts of the United Farm Workers to bring to light concerns over working conditions of migrant farm workers. These and other experiences formed her commitment to work with organizations to identify and eliminate barriers that are faced by Latino students as they navigate the high school and college experience. Dr. Canales earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pan American University, master’s in business administration from the University of Texas – Pan American, and doctorate of philosophy in human resource development from Texas A&M University.


Egbert Charles
Associate Vice President, Grants & Contracts

Egbert Charles oversees the administrative and financial aspects of grants and contracts awarded to BranchED, ensuring strict adherence to financial regulations and compliance standards. With over a decade of expertise in grants management, predominantly within higher education institutions, he brings a wealth of experience to his role.

Egbert is a graduate of Saint Leo University and the University of Technology, holding degrees in business and management. He remains actively engaged in the field through his membership in the National Grants Management Association, which keeps him abreast of the latest government regulations and industry best practices.

Guided by "Respect, Responsibility, and Productivity," Egbert consistently succeeds in his professional and personal endeavors.

Cheryl Coleman
Executive Assistant to the President & Board Liaison

Cheryl Coleman is the Executive Assistant to the President & Board Liaison at Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity. She has over twenty-five years of experience supporting C-Level Executives and senior leadership teams in the political, healthcare, and private industry arenas. Cheryl received her business management certification from WSS. Her expertise extends to office management, record keeping and coordination of events and conferences.  Cheryl has also worked for several nonprofit organizations developing extensive knowledge in supporting underrepresented communities. She is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) and is a certified Registered Parliamentarian.

Dr. Nicole Dobbins
Continuous Improvement Coach

Dr. Nicole Dobbins is a Continuous Improvement Coach with BranchED. Previously, she held the position of Associate Professor of Special Education for over 15 years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (NCA&T). Her scholarly pursuits focus on equipping teachers with effective academic, behavioral, social, and cultural strategies tailored for diverse learners, with a particular emphasis on differentiation through the application of Universal Design for Learning.

Her research interests encompass the efficacy of educational strategies within inclusive classroom settings, specifically for students with disabilities such as autism. Dr. Dobbins has contributed extensively to the fields of social skills training for students with disabilities, effective classroom management, cultural competency education, and school-wide discipline.

Dr. Dobbins brings a wealth of professional experience, having served as a special education teacher, project facilitator, adjunct professor, and university faculty member. Her scholarly contributions include over 18 publications, securing over 1.5 million dollars in extramural funding, and presenting at 44 peer-reviewed conferences. Additionally, she has consistently received above-average teacher ratings and has committed over 30 service engagements at the university, community, and professional levels.

In her leadership roles, Dr. Dobbins has served as Vice Chair for both the NCA&T Faculty Senate and the University of North Carolina University System Faculty Assembly. Notably, she was appointed to Governor Roy Cooper’s Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina in 2023.

With over 15 years of experience teaching students with disabilities and mentoring both general and special education teachers in K-12 classrooms, Dr. Nicole Dobbins is deeply committed to advocacy for historically marginalized communities. She serves as a resource facilitator and actively engages as a community member, striving for direct and visible impact in the community.

Dr. Beth Garcia
Manager of PK-12 Activities

Dr. Beth Garcia is Manager of PK-12 Initiatives for the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED). In this capacity, she collaborates with PK-12 school districts to support the ongoing training of pre- and in-service teachers, championing quality and equitable education for all students. Leveraging her expertise in the Texas Instructional Leadership Coaching Model and research-based pedagogical strategies, Dr. Garcia has developed many training tools to facilitate continuous improvement and growth among classroom teachers.

Dr. Garcia brings over two decades of experience as an academic researcher and education leader advancing literacy, bilingualism, and pedagogy. Beginning her career as a devoted classroom teacher within Hereford ISD, Dr. Garcia's eleven-year tenure spanned grades 5th through 10th, providing her with invaluable firsthand insights into the complexities of education.

Transitioning into academia, Dr. Garcia's scholarly trajectory flourished at West Texas A&M University, where she ascended to tenured associate professor. Her leadership and scholarly contributions led to her appointment as the Director of Teacher Preparation and Certification Officer, followed by her tenure as the Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs. Notably, Dr. Garcia's dedication to excellence in teacher preparation was recognized through prestigious accolades such as the Sylvia Nugent Professor of Education endowed professorship and the Texas A&M System Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators Excellence Award, bestowed upon her twice.

Dr. Garcia's unwavering commitment to fostering inclusive learning environments and empowering educators has been a constant thread throughout her career. Her dedication to these values has shaped her professional journey and significantly impacted the educational landscape, preparing educators to navigate the ever-evolving challenges of the field.

Kimberly Igwe
Professional Learning Manager

Kimberly Igwe is a Professional Learning Manager at the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED) Kimberly Igwe has devoted her work over the last 16 years to promote equitable education to all of our children so that they are able to have choices in their life decisions. Before joining BranchED as Professional Learning Manager, she served as the Director of Academic Programs at Relay Graduate School of Education as well as an Assistant Professor of Practice. Before joining Relay, Kim taught 8th grade ELA in Charlotte Mecklenburg School System for eight years through Teach for America. During that time, Kim earned her MAT at UNC Charlotte and her National Board Certification in Secondary ELA.

In addition to her work at BranchED, Kim consults with international educational organizations such as Teach for Nigeria and Instill Education in South Africa. She also partners with her husband, who serves in the state legislature in Nigeria, to help local schools throughout his district. Together, they have three children: Joseph, David and Olivia who inspire their work every day.


Dr. Elizabeth Lisic
Assistant Director of the BIRCH Professional Learning Center

Dr. Elizabeth Lisic joins BranchED as a Continuous Improvement Coach. Before joining BranchED, Dr. Lisic was Assistant Director of the Center for Assessment and Improvement of Learning (CAIL) at Tennessee Tech University, where she leads regional training workshops to prepare institutions for the implementation of the Critical-thinking Assessment Test (CAT) as a performance measure of student critical thinking and as a faculty development tool and provides ongoing support to institutions across the country in the implementation of the CAT at multiple institutional levels. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Tennessee Tech University teaching information literacy in psychology, quantitative research methods, experimental psychology and senior thesis. Educator with over 10 years of experience focused on professional development and student learning assessment and improvement, specifically related to outcomes such as critical and creative thinking and lifelong learning. Dr. Lisic earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Lee University and her Ph.D. from Tennessee Tech University.


George Mastoras
Associate Vice President for Public Relations

George Mastoras is the Associate Vice President for Public Relations at the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED). George joined BranchED in 2023 with over fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. He leads BranchED’s communication and public relations efforts and oversees media relations, storytelling, and branding.

Previously, George was the Director of Communications at the National Center on Time & Learning and a Communications Officer at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, New England’s largest philanthropic organization focused exclusively on public education. He has degrees from George Washington University and Stonehill College. At the start of his career, George was honored to work for Congressman John Lewis’s office, organizing a congressional delegation to Selma to commemorate Bloody Sunday.


Dr. Ruby Stevens-Morgan
Data Coach

Dr. Stevens-Morgan is a Data Coach for BranchED's National Educator Preparation Transformation Center. She comes to BranchED with more than 18 years data management and analysis experience in K-12 and higher education. She previously served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Prairie View A&M University where she established strategy and direction for data management, analysis, and reporting. Prior to relocating to Texas, Dr. Stevens-Morgan served as an education administrative consultant with the Kentucky Department of Education and as a high school business teacher with Fayette County Schools in Lexington, KY. She has taught business, education and psychology courses at 4-year and 2-year higher education institutions.

Dr. Stevens-Morgan earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kentucky and her B.S. in Business Education at Auburn University. Her scholarly interests include factors impacting student educational outcomes, equity-based leadership, and positive psychology. She has been actively involved as a community volunteer for more than 20 years and is the founder of a non-profit organization with a mission to empower underserved youth with the social and academic skills to achieve personal and educational goals.

Dr. Stevens-Morgan has been an active participant in professional learning communities where she has conducted training and presented sessions on using data tools, understanding and using data for program improvement, reporting for grant-funded programs, and reporting data with an equity lens. She has a passion for work that involves improving education outcomes and, ultimately, people’s lives.


Dr. Amy Murillo
Continuous Improvement Coach

Amy Murillo is an experienced educational leader having served almost two decades in public schools at the secondary level. She has served as a classroom teacher, a world languages department chair, and as a building assistant principal in large comprehensive high schools. Some of her past experiences include work in curriculum and assessment, teacher development, as well as initiatives related to culturally responsive teaching and educational equity. She is passionate about centering students in schools and ensuring all students have access to quality educational experiences; especially students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds. Additionally, she has personal and professional experiences working with Latinx communities and first-generation college students. Dr. Murillo holds a bachelor's degree in English education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from University of St. Francis, and a doctoral degree from Lewis University in the area of Leadership in Teaching and Learning.


Susan Patterson
Administrative Assistant

Suzy Patterson is the Program Coordinator for Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity. Prior to joining the team, Suzy has served with various non-profits that served our military community and has done extensive volunteer work to include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Semper Fi Fund, USMC Spouses Groups and other community based organizations.

Suzy holds a Master of Management degree from Troy University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in Marketing from Saint Louis University.


Alex Persaud
Data Analyst

Alex Persaud is a Data Analyst at the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED).

Prior to joining BranchED, Alex worked as a Sr. Student Information Data Specialist at KIPP DC Public Charter Schools for 4 years where she improved the efficiency of scheduling, grading, and audit systems and created new data management processes in support of a large high school. During this time, Alex also served as an Equity Fellow, where she collaborated with the organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team to build awareness of DEI issues at KIPP DC and ultimately functioned as her team’s representative in the DEI space. Additionally, Alex is particularly passionate about creating and fostering spaces where individuals feel welcome and supported, so she facilitated a dedicated discussion group (C.H.A.T.S.) at KIPP DC that held DEI-specific conversations to further knowledge sharing and exploration.

Alex received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Technology Innovation from Boston University and a M.S. Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society with a concentration in Community Action and Social Change from the University of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Alicia Gonzalez Quiroz
Data Scientist

Dr. Alicia Gonzalez Quiroz’s experience is varied and multifaceted having worked in higher education in providing instruction and in student support services and administration for several years and over ten years in public health administration, promotion, policy and research. Dr. Quiroz’s area of interest is in the area of research methodology, analysis and interpretation, having extensive experience in statistical analysis for outcome assessments and program evaluations. Major roles have included developing, coordinating, administering and evaluating services to provide guidance and support; using her credentials as a Registered and Licensed Dietitian to teach in the college setting; and collaborating with national researchers to add to pool of knowledge in the areas of education, health and public policy.

Dr. Alicia Quiroz is a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scholarship recipient. She earned her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University, her Master of Science degree in Nutrition from The University of the Incarnate Word, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin. She is pursuing her second doctoral. degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition from the North Dakota State University. Dr. Quiroz is bilingual in English and Spanish to fully encompass the nuance for Hispanic-serving populations.


Jennifer Reese
Center Coordinator

Jennifer Reese is the BIRCH Center Coordinator at Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED). Before coming to BranchED, Jennifer spent fifteen years managing national programs for leadership and continuing education in the Episcopal Church. Previous to her program work, she served as director of special events for two thriving event venues in downtown Austin, TX. Jennifer studied English at Texas State University. While working in community organizations professionally, she also has extensive experience as a community volunteer, including Austin Neighborhood Council, Americorps, working with refugee and asylum-seeking families, and raising funds for water systems in developing communities.


Dr. Angela Schroeder
Continuous Improvement Coach

Dr. Angela Schroeder is an experienced educator that has been working in P-16+ education for over 15 years. She has been a highly effective secondary classroom teacher in both face-to-face and online settings while working for Title I campuses. As a professional learning community leader, she identified opportunities to close achievement gaps and increase educational equity. While working in higher education, she served on academic initiatives and curriculum committees performing analyses of educator preparation data and strategizing for continuous improvement. Additionally, she has published articles and written presentations focused on using data to find solutions for teacher shortages and improving teacher preparation programs. She is passionate about the profession of teaching and ensuring that classroom teachers are prepared to address the needs of today’s diverse learners. Dr. Schroeder holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Central Arkansas, a master’s degree in Student Development and Leadership from Angelo State University, and a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Tech University.


Hawa Tuli
Special Assistant to the President

Hawa Tuli is Special Assistant to the President at BranchED. She previously served as Project Manager for BranchED. Prior to joining BranchED the first time, Hawa served as a Project Delivery Associate for an international development company called Palladium. There, her primary responsibility was managing the operational aspects of multiple USAID-funded projects in several countries including Moldova, Guatemala, Kenya, and South Africa. Previously, she served as a Project Coordinator for non-profit organizations that worked within the education space.

Hawa was born in Tanzania, raised in the Middle East, and relocated to the United States to pursue a higher education. Having the fortunate opportunity to attend schools with diverse teachers and populations in her formative years played a key role in her life. Seeing the positive impact such experiences had on her spurred her interest in exploring the educator diversity field to create similar experiences for others. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Meredith College and a Master of Science in Global Health from Duke University.

Dr. Kate Zimmer
Director of the BIRCH Professional Learning Center

Dr. Kate Zimmer is BranchED’s Director of the BIRCH Professional Learning Center. In this role, Dr. Zimmer collaborates with the BIRCH professional learning and development team to create goals and design trainings for in-person and virtual programs, resources, and learning communities. In addition, Dr. Zimmer leads BranchED's mixed reality simulation lab. This lab provides individuals with a powerful and interactive learning experience that allows the participant to purposefully practice skills that prepare them for real world situations.

Before joining BranchED, Dr. Zimmer was the Director of the AVATAR Lab and an Associate Professor of Special Education at Kennesaw State University. During her directorship, she helped serve over 7,000 students, 937 in-service teachers, and collaborated with over 19 academic disciplines.
Her scholarship centers on teacher preparation and quality, with an emphasis on innovation and educational inequities. To date, this work has yielded over fifty national and international presentations, numerous articles, and external funding.
Dr. Zimmer earned her bachelor of arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Saint Leo University and a master’s in education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Florida. She holds a Ph.D. in Special Education with a focus on literacy and Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of Florida.