Autism Education Center Staff

Amy Matthews, Ph.D. - Project Director
P: 616-331-3513  /  F: 616-331-2480

Amy Matthews is a Professor of Psychology at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and director of the GVSU Autism Education Center.  She has served as the Director of the Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START) Project, funded by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education, since its inception in 2001.  She supports implementation of the START project activities and presents the Early Childhood Intensive Training series modules. Amy is actively involved in various local and state projects to improve integrated opportunities and quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families, and is currently vice-chair on Michigan’s Governor’s Autism Council.  Amy has been both principal investigator and project faculty for a number of grant awards over the past 15 years, and he has published and presented in the field of autism spectrum disorders.

Jamie Owen-DeSchryver, Ph.D. - Project Faculty
P: 616-331-8703  /  F: 616-331-2480

Jamie Owen-DeSchryver has been with the START Project part-time since 2006.  Jamie is currently an Associate Faculty in the psychology department at GVSU, where she conducts research in the field of ASD.  She came to START with prior experience as an educational consultant for students with ASD in public schools in New York, and as a co-director for the New York Autism Network.  For START she collaborates on projects and co-presents the Early Childhood Intensive Training series. She has published and presented nationally and regionally and works with several committees and groups of individuals in Michigan to improve programming for individuals with ASD.

Judith McKenna Shea, M.A. - Project Manager
P: 616-331-6482  /  F: 616-331-6486

Judith Shea has worked with the START Project since 2001.  Prior to joining START, Judith had extensive experience working with the management and implementation of adult learning/PD organizations and projects in education, employment and training  and the medical field. Judith has worked with several other statewide and regional initiatives and human resource teams focusing on a range of budget management and grant writing/ monitoring activities.  For the START Project, Judith over sees and is involve in all aspects of the Project: planning goals and the allocation of resources, budget management, coordination of grant subcontracts, audits and financial reports, and monitoring of grant progress for MDE-OSE.

Maureen Ziegler, Ed.S. - Autism Education & Intervention Specialist
P: 616-260-2700  /  F: 616-331-6486

Maureen has had extensive experience working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Prior to joining the Autism Education Center staff at GVSU in 2002, Maureen was a teacher for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Clarkston Schools, where she developed program models to serve students with Autism at the elementary, middle school and high school levels, and developed the LINK peer support program.  Maureen also worked as an ASD teacher consultant and was a supervisor of ASD programs.  With extensive experience presenting at the state, national, and international level, Maureen specializes with START in topics related to educational strategies and supports, peer-to-peer support, Asperger Syndrome, and transition to adult employment, as well as other related topics.

Kelly Dunlap, Psy.S. - Autism Education & Intervention Specialist
P: 231-330-0136  /  F: 616-331-6486

Kelly has been with the Autism Education Center since 2001 as a contractor, and full-time since 2003.  Prior to working for START, Kelly worked as a school psychologist and behavior consultant for Delta-Schoolcraft ISD.  With the START project, Kelly has extensive experience and expertise on topics related to evaluation for special education eligibility, positive behavioral interventions and supports, IEP development and implementation, and guiding principles for establishing effective programs for students on the autism spectrum.  She also contributes to the development of systems of support for students with ASD as they transition to employment settings, including the utilization of tools, checklists, and resources that improve the process of transition.


Margie Mayberry - Consultant
P:   /  F: 616-331-6486

Margie Mayberry has worked with the START Project as a consultant since 2011. She came to the project with a range of school-based experiences, including classroom teacher, special education coordinator, and ASD Team leader, as well as with previous experience at the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD), University of South Florida.  She has given numerous national and local presentations on ASD, and through START, regularly provides technical assistance to school-based teams across the state on topics related to the development of peer-to-peer support, implementation of Community Conversations, and other strategies that improve employment outcomes for individuals with ASD.

Melissa Adair - Marketing & Training Coordinator
P: 616-331-6483  /  F: 616-331-6486

Melissa Adair has worked with the START project since 2001.  She came to this project with prior experience in event marketing, informational and promotional material design, and scheduling/tracking.  With START, Melissa is engaged in a range of activities, including assisting with grant preparation, development and monitoring, as well as coordination and management of materials and the START website.  Melissa also provides support for conferences and trainings, coordinates training schedules, assists with applications, prepares purchase agreements, and maintains project-related databases.

Melissa Kurek - Office Coordinator
P: 616-331-6480  /  F: 616-331-6486

Melissa Kurek has worked with the START project part-time since 2012, coming to the project with prior experience in data entry, data processing, report generation, and office logistics.  For START, she addresses a range of administrative tasks, including reception and clerical support, data management, and coordination of financial systems.  She purchases, processes invoices, and prepares expenditure reports, while contributing to the  management and organization of project activities.


Page last modified September 10, 2014