The Early Learning Institute was developed by Dr. Joshua Plavnick, a Doctoral Level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), and Laurie Linscott, M.A. and Director of the Child Development Laboratories.
Joshua Plavnick, Ph.D., Michigan State University
Joshua Plavnick is an associate professor of special education, and Director of the Early Learning Institute, which he founded in 2014. His research interests involve the development and implementation of community-based interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, automated measurement of human behavior, applications of technology to behavior analytic interventions, and training educational service providers to administer behavior analytic interventions.
Matt Brodhead, Ph.D., Utah State University
Matthew T. Brodhead is an assistant professor, the Research Director of the Early Learning Institute, and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst whose research examines behavioral determinants of response variability, choice and independent social skills in children with autism. He is also interested in research and conceptual issues relating to the ethical and professional behavior of practicing behavior analysts. He is on the editorial boards of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and the Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Through workshops and consultation, he has established multiple school-based programs for children with autism, and he has provided training to teachers, related service providers and behavior analysts throughout the United States.
Laurie Linscott, MA, Michigan State University
Laurie Linscott is a Senior Academic Specialist who serves as Director of the Child Development Laboratories. She joined the faculty of HDFS (formerly Family and Child Ecology) in 1999 as a Head Teacher where she worked with the MSU/C.A.C.S. Head Start Collaboration. In 2001, Laurie moved to Central School as Head Teacher.
Kate Colaluca, MA ASD
Kate Colaluca is the Outreach and Operations Director for the Early Learning Institute. Kate has 15 years of experience in Special Education as a teacher, trainer and consultant.
Gretchen Ewart, MBA, Cleary University
Gretchen Ewart is the Business Manager of the Early Learning Institute. She has over ten years of experience working for Deans, Directors and Chairs across multiple Big Ten universities in Michigan. She has been with MSU since 2012.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts/Site Directors
Erica Weber, MA, BCBA
Erica Weber is the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) at the on-campus location of the ELI. In addition to her board certification she also holds a State of Michigan Professional Teaching Certificate and has 15 years experience working in the public school system.
Sara Dodson, MA, BCBA
Sara Dodson is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Behavior Analyst at the Early Learning Institute located in Head Start at Capital Area Community Services, Inc. in Lansing. In addition to her board certification, she also holds a State of Michigan Professional Teaching Certificate in Special Education and has 9 years experience working in the public school system. Sara attended Graduate School at Michigan State University obtaining a Masters of Arts in Special Education with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorders and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Sara also has a Bachelor’s of Science from Eastern Michigan University with a focus on Elementary Education (K-8) and Cognitive Impairments (K-12).