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NCDET STAFF

DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR DISABILITY EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Annie Baghdayan, PhD

BCBA-D, PhD, MEd, University of Oklahoma
BA, Haigazian University, Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Annie Baghdayan is the director of the National Center for Disability Education and Training (NCDET). Currently, NCDET leads two federally funded projects: Add Us In (Office of Disability Employment Policy) and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project (Social Security Administration) and state contracts with Department of Rehabilitation Services. Baghdayan provides services to schools, agencies, and individuals with disabilities. She conducts descriptive and systematic behavioral assessments, including functional analyses, and provides behavior analytic interpretations of the results.

Annie Baghdayan, PhD

Baghdayan was an adjunct assistant professor and a lead behavior analyst at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She worked as an instructional coach with special education teachers for Norman Public Schools. She worked in school, home, and clinical settings with individuals with various disabilities for more than a decade. She was the director of Autism Day School at Easter Seals Oklahoma, overseeing and supervising more than 20 employees.

Her most recent projects include providing professional learning opportunities for professionals who work with individuals with disabilities, specifically, autism spectrum disorders. She continues to work with young children with ASD, their parents, and professionals. Her research focuses on parents’ and educators’ perceptions on including students with ASD in inclusive settings, quality of service delivery in applied behavior analysis, promoting culturally competent environments for individuals with disabilities, and building the capacity of parents and professionals of individuals with ASD. She has presented in different local and national conferences such as OSAC, LDAOK, Governor’s conference, Children’s Behavioral Health Conference, CEC, TED, and ABAI.

Baghdayan is a nationally Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and licensed in the state of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), and Association of People Supporting Employment (APSE).

NCDET STAFF

Laurie Conaway

NCDET Business and HR Admin

After beginning her career in student personnel services with the university from 1991-1993, Conaway returned to OU in July 2006 in a financial and administrative capacity. Conaway is the account and budget representative for NCDET’s state and federal grant contracts, responsible for account documentation, invoice processing, personnel and payroll functions. Prior to that time, she taught in Norman Public Schools from 1993-2006. Conaway holds Bachelor’s of Science and Master of Human Relations degrees from the University of Oklahoma.

Heather Eisel

Project Director and Community Work Incentives Coordinator  
Oklahoma Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project

Heather Eisel is a Certified Work Incentives Coordinator for the Oklahoma Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project at the University of Oklahoma. She provides Social Security disability beneficiaries services that are vital to them when they return to work. These services include verifying and analyzing current benefits, work incentives counseling, and networking with local organizations to help beneficiaries access needed services and resources. As the result of the services she provides, individuals with disabilities are better able to reach their personal and professional goals.

Eisel has been a committed advocate for individuals with disabilities. She began working with adults with disabilities in group homes and sheltered workshops, and decided in 2002 to return to college to become a special education teacher. She received her Bachelor of Science Education, Special Education in Mild/Moderate Disabilities in 2007 from the University of Central Oklahoma. She taught for six years in the Oklahoma City Public School district with a diverse student population whose disabilities ranged from mild learning disabilities to severe emotional and behavioral disabilities. During those years, she worked closely with students and their families, recognizing a need for services that supported students in the transition from high school into adulthood and self-support. Her strong background in special education has allowed her to develop specific skills that educate and empower beneficiaries as they make decisions that will greatly impact their lives.

Kelli Freeman

Community Work Incentives Coordinator
Oklahoma Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project

Kelli Freeman is a Community Work Incentives Coordinator for the Oklahoma Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project. As a CWIC, Freeman writes benefits analyses for Social Security disability beneficiaries and educates them about the work incentives they are entitled to. She believes that in doing this work, she helps to empower those individuals with disabilities to work to their fullest potential and achieve their own personal goals.

Freeman has always had a passion for working with individuals with disabilities, and while working full time as a case manager for transition-aged youth, she earned her BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to her case management services, during her six years working for Central Oklahoma Community Mental Health Center, Freeman facilitated a monthly group for teens and young adults, teaching life skills and demonstrating social skills. She also started a support group for young parents in the program with client-driven topics and concerns. In 2012, Freeman was nominated as a top five finalist for Best Customer Service throughout all of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Sean Murray

Community Work Incentives Coordinator
Oklahoma Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project

Stephanie Brooks

Community Work Incentives Coordinator
Oklahoma Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project

Marylin Pratt

Staff Assistant
DRS/Project Search

Judi Goldston

Project Director
DRS Training and Project Search  

Judi Goldston is the training project manager, statewide coordinator for Project SEARCH and a certified ASTD instructor with the University of Oklahoma, National Center for Disability Education and Training. Since 1992, she has offered training and technical assistance on customized employment supports to state and community provider agencies assisting individuals with disabilities to obtain community employment and independent living. During her tenure, her efforts have included curriculum development and training in the following areas: Employment Consultant, Job Club, Peer Support facilitation, Assistive Technology Modifications, Social Security Work Incentives, Job Development, Job Analyses, Marketing and Building Employer Relationships, and Career Planning and Assessment. Her experience as a job coach, job developer and program marketing adds depth and value to the trainings. 

Goldston has been a member of APSE for over 15 years and has held the position(s) of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Conference Chair on the Oklahoma APSE Executive council during her 18-year tenure. She works nationally with the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) to ensure curriculum competencies that provide a foundation for best practices for national Employment Support Professional curricula certification.

Pat Faulkenberry

Employment Consultant Trainer

Pat Faulkenberry currently serves as the Employment Consultant Trainer at the University of Oklahoma, National Center for Disability Education and Training. He has held the ECT position since August 1998. 

In 1985, Faulkenberry began working for the Stillwater Group Homes and worked in a variety of residential settings. Moving to employment services in 1991, he worked at the Sheltered Workshop for Payne County, switching to the Supported Employment Department in 1993.

While working in employment he also provided counseling services at an intermediate care facility. During his time as an Employment Consultant and program coordinator with the Sheltered Workshop of Payne County, Faulkenberrry provided education and support to individuals with disabilities, family members, and employers.