College Autism Summit 2021

Pre-Conference Workshops and Research Symposium

Virtual

College Autism Summit Logo: The Power of Connection

The College Autism Network would like to thank all those serving on the College Autism Summit Planning Committees for their hard work and dedication.  Without them, the Summit would not be possible!

Pre-Conference Workshop #1

Tuesday, October 26, 1 pm – 4 pm.

Preregistration is required.
Additional fee: $50

Building, Expanding or Improving a College Program for Students with Autism

 About the Workshop:

Many colleges, universities and programs for students with autism are looking for unique ways to provide supports. This preconference workshop will assist participants in planning creative supports using examples from around the country. Topics will include: establishing a campus wide response; options for developing a mentoring program; the importance of keeping a career ready focus, and using key performance indicators to evaluate program effectiveness. The presenters will address many of the above issues, and more, in a unique virtual environment.  We will end the pre-conference with a moderated panel of service providers and students discussing important considerations, emerging best practices, and ways to improve existing supports.

Led by:

Jane Thierfeld Brown, College Autism Spectrum

Laurie Ackles, Rochester Institute of Technology

About the Leaders:

Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D, has worked in Student Affairs and Disability Services for 40 years and specializes in working with college students with autism.

Image of Jane Thierfeld Brown

Laurie Ackles, MSW, is Director of the Spectrum Support Program at Rochester Institute of Technology and a leading authority on college autism programs.

Image of Laurie Ackles

Pre-Conference Workshop #2

Tuesday, October 26, 1 pm – 4 pm.

Preregistration is required.
Additional fee: $50

Preparing Students to Transition to Employment 

About the Workshop:

Many programs across the country push for successful graduation of their neurodivergent students.  For others this is just the beginning of the road to achieve positive outcomes data and to have those graduates obtain sustainable and meaningful employment.  This preconference workshop will assist participants in planning and following the road map that leads to successful transition out of college programming and into vocational endeavors.  Topics will include 1) Curriculum areas that a vocational transition program should contain, 2) How to build relationships and partnership with corporate entities, 3) How to build in vocational opportunities before students graduate 4) Pinpoint Planning and other lessons learned.   

Led by:

Brad McGarry, Mercyhurst University

Jamell G. Mitchell, Ernst & Young

About the Leaders:

Bradley McGarry is Director of the Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst University.

An image of Brad McGarry

Jamell G. Mitchell serves as the Neurodiversity CoE Operations Leader along with being the National ASA Tax and Assurance Practice Leader. His experience relative to market trend analysis and business strategies spans over fourteen years internally. He is a sought after conference orator that challenges organizations to consider cognitive difference as an advantage. Team members describe him as a leader who adapts to various cultural and personal styles. His contributions creates a culture in which timely coaching is provided while demonstrating a passion in promoting strategy, service delivery and core values.

Jamell is responsible for driving awareness, identifying learning opportunities, sourcing and aligning the Neurodiversity CoEs to the firm’s service line. Jamell manages team members across the US, has developed training procedures, analyzed and reviewed budget reports and implemented best practices. He has an MBA with specific focus on Leadership and Finance from Walden University, Minneapolis and holds a BS in Criminal Justice Administration/Planning from John Jay College in New York.

Jamell Mitchell

Research Symposium

Tuesday, October 26, 1 pm – 5 pm

Preregistration is required.
No additional fee.

Taking Care of You: A Research Symposium on Mental Health and Autism

About the Workshop:

Learn about current research on mental health and autism, as well as engage in discussions with fellow Summit attendees in creating actionable, thoughtful, and data-driven resources that will shape research and practice.  The event will consist of panels and breakout groups.  All are welcome.

Led by:

Brett Nachman, Ph.D., North Carolina State University

About the Leader:

Dr. Brett Ranon Nachman is a postdoctoral research scholar at North Carolina State University’s Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, in which his research primarily focuses on capturing the experiences of community college students and their transfer intent. Brett also conducts research on the portrayals and experiences of autistic college students. Brett’s research interests stem from his own background as an autistic community college graduate.

An image of Dr. Brett Nachman