Under the leadership Chair, Matthias Grunke, the Board of Directors consists of researchers, educators, professionals, and parents who support individuals with learning disabilities. Serving as a voice of hope for these individuals and their families, the Board of Directors provides direction, oversight and guidance to the professional staff of LDW®, as well as its Advisory and International Board of Advisors.
Prince Emmanuel Chinweoke Aja, MD, Chairman
Dr. Aja, is a Medical Doctor, he is the co-Founder and CEO of K&A petrol Holdings Ltd, a founder of Divine Medical center Inc, President and founder the Associations of progressive Nigerians in the Americas Inc., Senior Partner Nofab Global mining Ltd, Partner M&M Capital Investments LLC, Founder & CEO of Aja Global Holdings LLC, and CEO of Aja International Ventures Ltd.
Nicholas D. Young, Ph.D., Ed.D., Vice-Chairman
Chair of the International Advisory Board
Nicholas D. Young has worked in diverse educational roles for over 20 years including serving as director of student services, principal, graduate professor, higher education administrator, and superintendent of schools. He holds numerous degrees from Austin Peay State University, Westfield State College, Western New England College, Union Institute & University, and American International College, including a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology. Dr. Young currently serves as the Past President of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) as well as the Chair of MASS Small and Rural Schools Task Force. He has presented and published widely on a variety of topics in education and psychology and was named the Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year for 2010. Additionally, Dr. Young has served in the military for more than 26 years; and he is currently a field grade officer serving in a command assignment in the US Army Reserves.
Micheline Malow, Ph.D., Secretary
Micheline Malow is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. In addition to teaching courses in Exceptional Students and Instructional Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning and Behavioral Disorders, she has presented at numerous professional conferences, published articles on students with exceptional needs, friendship and teacher attitudes, and has co-authored a book for Greenwood Press, Adolescents and Risk (2008). Dr. Malow is co-editor of Strategies for Successful Learning, an online journal for general and special education teachers published by Learning Disabilities Worldwide.
Matthias Grünke, Ph.D., Ed.D., Immediate Past Chairman
Matthias Grünke is a full professor of special education at the University of Cologne. Before his current assignment, he was a full professor at the University of Oldenburg. He received his Masters degree in educational psychology from the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg and his Ph.D. as well as his postdoctoral degree ("Habilitation") in special education from the University of Cologne. Dr. Grünke is a trained behavior therapist and Montessori educator. His research has focused on the efficacy of teaching methods for learning disabled students and on professionalizing special education teachers.
Dr. Grünke published nearly 100 scholarly articles and books between 2000 and 2010. During the same time, he presented over 100 papers and posters at professional conferences. He is the editor or author of the (German) textbooks Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities, Learning and Behavior Problems, Fostering Resiliency in Children and Youth with Learning Disabilities, and Teaching Students with Math Problems. Together with Dr. Jürgen Wilbert, he edits the German speaking and peer-reviewed journal Empirical Special Education and is one of the associate editors of Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices. He is a member of the editorial board of Aula Albierta, Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (in German), and Psicothema. In addition, he has served as a guest editor for Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal and as an ad hoc reviewer for the German Journal of Educational Psychology.
Dr. Grünke is the vice president of Learning Disabilities Worldwide (LDW®), the chair of the professional advisory board of the same organization, the vice chair of the scientific advisory committee of the German Association for Children with 22q11 Deletion Syndrome (KiDS-22q11), and a member of the Consortium for Empirical Research in Special Education (AESF), the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI), the German Association of Colleges and Universities (DHV), the German Association of Psychology (DGPs), as well as the German Association of Education (DGFE). He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Cologne, the University of Leipzig, the University of Oldenburg, the University of Potsdam, and the State Study Academy of Saxony. Dr. Grünke has been a doctoral thesis supervisor at the Egyptian Beni Suef University, the University of Cologne, and the University of Oldenburg. He is a regular instructor for the Consortium for Behavior Modification (AVM), for the Institute for Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Medicine, and Sexology (IVS), and for the German Institute for Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (DIREKT). He has served as a consultant for the German Federal Department of Education and Research (BMBF) and other renowned institutions.
Peter Ngunyi, Treasurer
Peter has over 20 years experience as a Software Engineer specializing in Retail and Supply chain Business Applications. He co-founded International Systems Resolution (ISR, Inc.) where he works as Director of Applications Development.
Peter designs and coordinates development of Retail and Supply Chain Applications, as well as integration of vendor applications such as SAP, Oracle, Sterling-Commerce(IBM). He implements major Software Projects for companies such as SEARS, STAPLES, Wal-Greens, Cabelas, GUCCI,etc.
Originally from Nairobi- Kenya, Peter has resided in USA over 20 years. He studied at California State University – Northridge
Chief Executive Officer
Teresa Allissa Citro
Teresa Allissa Citro is the CEO of Learning Disabilities Worldwide. She is the co-editor of two peer-reviewed journals Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal and Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices. In addition, Ms. Citro has edited 4 books and co-edited 4 books on learning disabilities and special education; several have received awards and others were translated into Spanish and Arabic.
She has produced 7 award-winning videos on several topics such as teacher training, selecting colleges/universities, children with learning disabilities openly discussing their feelings, and adults with learning disabilities discussing their past academic experiences. She co-produced two DVDs, one of which is in Greek, on teacher training and produced a CD, The Physician and the Child with Learning Disabilities as a resource for pediatricians.
Ms. Citro sits on the board of Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow’s Work Task Force, and The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Mental Health Task Force.
Board of Directors
Ioannis Agaliotis, Ph.D.
Ioannis Agaliotis is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Methodology for students with special educational needs in the Department of Educational and Social Policy at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Dr. Agaliotis is the author of two books (in Greek): Learning Disabilities in Mathematics and Instruction for Students with Learning and Behavior Problems: An Eco-Adaptive Approach. Vol. 1: Eco-Adaptive Assessment. He is writer and co-producer of the DVD, Contemporary Approaches to the Assessment of Children with Learning Disabilities (in Greek). Dr. Agaliotis also served as past editor of Strategies for Successful Learning, an online magazine, and Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices, a peer reviewed journal, which are published by Learning Disabilities Worldwide.
Dr. Agaliotis has presented at national and international conferences and has published articles on inclusive education, assessment and instruction for students with special educational needs, academic and social support for students with learning disabilities.
John Charema, Ph.D.
John Charema is Director of Education and promoter of doctoral students at Zimbabwe Open University. Besides his Ph.D. in Counseling from the University of Pretoria, Zimbabwe, he holds numerous degrees from Nelson Mandela University, Manchester University, and University of Zimbabwe. Dr. Charema has authored several publications and books on special needs and counseling, including Counseling Parents of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Teaching Mathematics to Children with Hearing Impairments.
Rick Roque, M.S.
Rick Roque has worked in secondary education in South Korea and given lectures and/or worked with higher educational institutions in Afghanistan, Turkey and Nigeria. His diverse professional and educational roles has revolved around institutional financial management, economic and professional development and capital fundraising efforts. Mr. Roque has a diverse educational background in Electrical Engineering, a graduate degree in business management and he is presently finishing his doctorate in educational leadership with a concentration of K-16 financial leadership at American International College (USA). In 2000, he became a public policy fellow from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute (USA) whose research and focus involved public and private partnerships and the ability to leverage financial innovation to expand student services and faculty development opportunities. In 2009, he spoke at the first banking liquidity conference at the Lagos Business School in Nigeria, he was a speaker at Ataturk University's Eurasian Silk Road Consortium in 2011 on Educational Transformation and was the key note speaker with LDW's Dr. Young, at the Tomorrow's People Organization Economic Development and Education conference in Bangkok, Thailand, publishing and presenting their paper entitled: Educational Advancement of Primary & Secondary Students: A Western Perspective on Administrative, Community and Financial Foundations for Tomorrow's Schools.
Karen Russo, Ed.D.
Karen Russo is an Assistant Professor in the Child Study Department of St. Joseph’s College in New York, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses related to elementary education and literacy instruction. Before joining the college faculty, she was an Assistant Principal of a New York City elementary school, a literacy specialist, teacher mentor, staff developer, and adjunct professor at Queens College (CUNY). She has recently joined the panel of the New England/New York Comprehensive Center’s Teacher Quality Collaborative in the hope of improving and maintaining the quality of teacher preparation programs in the Northeastern United States.
Dr. Russo has presented at local, national and international conferences and has published articles on differentiating instruction, enhancing motivation of struggling readers and writers, and effective professional development for teachers. She has served as Guest Editor for Reading Writing Quarterly and Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices. Dr. Russo is co-editor of Strategies for Successful Learning, an online journal for general and special education teachers published by Learning Disabilities Worldwide.
Robin Welch M.Ed.
Robin Welch is an Elementary School Principal in Framingham, Massachusetts and awarded Massachusetts Elementary School Teacher of the Year in 2005.
Ann Marie Leonard-Zabel, Ed.D., ABSNP, NCSP, CCJS-MAC, BCPC, CCJS-MAS, FAPA,
LEP, LMHC, NCCBT, MCADAC, ABDA-Emeritus
Dr. Ann Marie Leonard-Zabel is a Full Professor of Psychology at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. In addition, she served as one of the developers of the Psychology internship program as well as a faculty advisor for students pursuing their internship in the field of Psychology. She lectures within the Master's of Education Program-Special Education cohort focusing in the area of Assessment. She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, a Master's degree from Bridgewater State University, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies Degree from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, and her Doctorate Degree from Nova Southeastern University. In addition, Dr. Leonard-Zabel completed course work in Paralegal Studies, a post-doctoral fellowship in Attentional Disorders and post-doctoral work in Special Education Law, School Neuropsychology and Forensics. In addition, Dr. Leonard-Zabel owns a private practice specializing in evaluations for neuropsychological learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, court-involved issues, pediatric cancer affecting learning and memory and pre-adolescent/adolescent substance abuse.
Dr. Leonard-Zabel served 16-years as a voluntary member on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts School Psychologist Association and served as an Executive Board Member of the American Board of School Neuropsychology. She presently serves as a clinical instructor and supervisor for the Kids Inc. Post-Graduate/Post-Doctoral Hybrid model program based in Dallas, Texas for the School Neuropsychology Certificate Program. She assists with training professionals in the United States and abroad to be board certified by the American Board of School Neuropsychology. She holds diplomat and fellow certifications in the field of School Neuropsychology, Homeland Security, Forensic Counseling, Psychotherapy, Clinical Counseling, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Addictions, and Disability Analysis. Recently, she was awarded Emeritus Status from the American Board of Disability Analysts attesting to the highest level of skill and expertise in area of Disability Analysis.
Dr. Leonard-Zabel is a presenter at national and international conferences on an ongoing basis. She has written articles and chapters involving School Neuropsychological Ethical and Legal Issues as well as the Neuropsychology of Juvenile Criminal Behavior. In addition, she has written and presented webinars on a variety of topics focusing on Attentional Disorders, Neuropsychology of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, the Neuropsychology of Autism, Neuropsychology of Visual-Motor and Language, Hyjacked Brain involving Adolescent Addiction, and Cancer Brain-the Neuropsychological Learning Effects of Cancer Treatment on the Pediatric Brain, among others.
Dr. Leonard-Zabel is serving as one of four Committee Chairs for the Annual World Conference under the direction of the Learning Disabilities Worldwide Congress. In addition, she was appointed to serve as the Associate Editor for "Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices" which is a peer-reviewed journal, published bi-annually by LDW.
Honorary Board Members
Jordan Rich has been a fixture on radio and TV for nearly thirty years. In 1996, Jordan signed on with WBZ News Radio 1030 as a fill-in talk host and eventually succeeded his longtime friend and mentor, the late Norm Nathan. Since then, Jordan has hosted the weekend late nights at WBZ, and his program is heard throughout much of the U.S. and Canada as well as worldwide on the Internet.
Along with his on-air work, Jordan Rich maintains a full schedule running his audio production and marketing firm Chart Productions, Inc. He has appeared on hundreds of local and national commercials and narrations for such clients as The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops, Sullivan Tire, The New England Sports Network and Liberty Mutual. Jordan offer’s voice-over classes throughout the year and is responsible for having trained dozens of talented performers. Jordan is often out on the speaking circuit serving as master of ceremonies and auctioneer at dozens of events a year.