Team Meeting

SEARCH’s clinical team consists of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA), special education teachers, and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT). SEARCH’s instructional model provides for a 1:1 student to teacher ratio, which allows for individualized instruction, curriculum, and ongoing skill assessment for each learner. Each member of our team receives ongoing training and supervision to ensure each learner is making meaningful and lasting changes.

Our team of professionals works under the guidance of our Executive Director and senior staff and is committed to the families we service, the field of behavior analysis, and ongoing skill development.

Our Leadership

Carrie Kahana

Carrie Kahana, MA, BCBAFounding Executive Director of SEARCH Learning Group

Carrie holds a Master of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She completed her behavior analytic coursework at the University of North Texas and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since 2007. In addition to being a BCBA, Carrie is a certified special education and regular education teacher. Early in her career, Carrie was involved in the creation of one of the state’s premier public school programs where she worked for 6 years.

SEARCH, which was founded in 2005, was born from a desire to provide high quality, comprehensive behavior analytic services to families with children with autism. Carrie’s goal is to provide learners with the services they require, but also to provide parents with guidance as to how to navigate autism and the processes that are involved in appropriate educational programming and autism education. Carrie collaborates with the SEARCH team and is closely involved with programming and planning to facilitate the best possible outcomes for each learner and their family.

Nicole Journe

Nicole Journe, M.Ed., BCBA

Nicole Journe holds a Master of Education degree in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Washington and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2015. Prior to becoming a team member at SEARCH, Nicole gained experience in the field by working in several of New Jersey and New York’s state approved private educational programs for learners with autism. Nicole has presented her thesis research on error correction procedures at the university level and will be presenting research on differential reinforcement at an upcoming international autism conference.

As the Assistant Director of Training and Curriculum at SEARCH, Nicole has designed and implemented an internal curriculum system and is responsible for creating staff training programs, as well as overseeing programming.

Jessie Northgrave

Jessie Dello Russo, MA, BCBA

Jessie Dello Russo holds her Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University, where she also completed her practicum hours at Caldwell University’s Center for Autism and ABA. She completed her Master’s thesis on “The Effect of Reinforcer Choice on Skill Acquisition in Children with Autism” under Dr. Jason Vladescu. She has presented her thesis and other research on safety skills at state, national, and international conferences including: The New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis, The Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy, and The Association for Behavior Analysis International. Her research interests include staff training, choice, and safety skills.

As the Assistant Director of Clinical Management at SEARCH, Jessie is responsible for mentoring the team leaders and managing staff, as well as overseeing programming and calendars for all learners and staff.

Ben Rhodes

Ben Rhodes, MA, BCBA

Benjamin D. Rhodes, MA, BCBA completed his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Montclair State University in 2013. He received his Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis at Caldwell University in 2017 and completed the Applied Practicum course at the Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis at Caldwell University. He has presented his own research on autism interventions at several conferences including NJABA, BABAT, and ABAI. Ben became an Instructor/Data Analyst at SEARCH in November of 2016 before becoming a Team Leader in September of 2017. He is currently a Team Leader for five learners and has several responsibilities including conducting assessments, training Instructor/Data Analysts, and making programming decisions.

Kristen Labbate

Kristen Labbate, MA, BCBA

Kristen M. Labbate graduated from the University of Rhode Island and received a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders. She received a Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Caldwell University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Prior to joining the team at SEARCH, Kristen gained clinical experience and worked at Caldwell University’s Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis and implemented programs to teach language, academics, self-help, and community skills to children with Autism. She is also experienced in staff and parent training through her time provided ABA services to individuals with autism in their home settings. She has presented professionally at the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy conference. As a Team Leader at SEARCH, Kristen is responsible for running assessments, creating interventions, and organizing/overseeing programming for each of her assigned learners.